Tag Archives: Batman

Detective Comics #1039 Review

Writers:
Mariko Tamaki (“The Neighbourhood: Finale”) and T. Rex (“The Life & Times of Hugh Vile”).
Art:
Viktor Bogdanovic, Daniel Henriques and Norm Rapmund (“The Neighbourhood: Finale”), with T. Rex (“The Life & Times of Hugh Vile”).

Colours: Jordie Bellaire (“The Neighborhood: Finale”) and Simon Gough (“The Life & Times of Hugh Vile”)

Letters: Aditya Bidikar (“The Neighbourhood: Finale”) and Rob Leigh (“The Life & Times of Hugh Vile”)
Released: 13/07/21Published by DC Comics 

Huntress confronts Hugh Vile while Batman continues his struggle with Worth. But when Vile infects Huntress he sends her after the dark knight and the two vigilantes become locked in a deadly battle with one another.

For a story with “Finale” as its subtitle I have to say that I found it very disappointing. It just doesn’t feel like anything has been fully resolved at all. We are left with too many questions that leave you feeling frustrated. Is Vile defeated? If so, where does that leave Penguin and Worth, given they seemed to be in league with him? Where’s the logic in Bruce turning himself in, especially since Worth is still out there? After all, he’s already destroyed one police station to get at Bruce, so what would stop him from doing it again? 

Then you have the infections of both Huntress and Deb Donovan, which are unsatisfyingly wrapped up with a line of dialogue from Oracle. 

Not only do all of these elements suggest that this issue is not, in fact, the “finale” of the story, but also, the cover presents the tagline, “From the depths… Enter: Vile”. This suggests that things are just about to get going with regard to our main villain. But he “entered” our story a few issues ago. Perhaps such a tagline might have been more appropriate during one of those issues rather than on the “finale” of the story.

Thankfully, the artwork by Viktor Bogdanovic, and the coloring, by Jordie Bellaire, are still on excellent form.

T. Rex’s short origin story for Vile, “The Life & Times of Hugh Vile”, is a much more rewarding affair. At only ten pages, Rex doesn’t have much to work with, but manages suitably enough to convey the story of a man who has embraced his dark side thanks to the Venom-esque parasite that now lives inside him.

However, I’d rather the thirty pages of a comic book were devoted to the main story at hand. I often find that, as the main story starts to hit a stride, we are then forced to dovetail into another story altogether. I don’t think I’m a fan of this particular evolution in the medium.


Verdict:
Again, we are left with more questions than answers, making for a highly unsatisfying “finale” (if that title is to be believed) to Mariko Tamaki’s story. 


Review by Bryan Lomax, 30/07/21


Throwback Review – Batman #445 – March 1990

Throwback Review – Batman #445 – March 1990
Review by Bryan Lomax

Writer: Marv Wolfman
Pencils: Jim Aparo

Inks:
Mike DeCarlo
Published by DC Comics March 1990

Batman goes to Russia to help the Moscow police commissioner catch The NKVDemon, protégé of The KGBeast, who is out for revenge against those who betrayed his master. The Demon works his way through a hit list of 10 people, much the same way as the KGBeast attempted to do in Gotham, only this time the hunting ground is his home turf in Russia. Can Batman accomplish what he once did in a city he is unfamiliar with?

‘Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast’, written by Jim Starlin in the late 80’s, is one of the seminal works of that decade. Marv Wolfman, no slouch when it comes to writing Batman, is given the task, two years later, of writing a direct sequel to that story. ‘When the Earth Dies! Chapter One: Red Square, Bloody Square’ is a pretty good starting point for it.


Wolfman bookends his story with two sequences. The opener sees Batman catching a villain in Gotham, his home turf, precisely because he knows every street, every alleyway, every sewer tunnel. The closing scene plays out similarly, only this time the villain escapes, precisely because Batman doesn’t know the layout of the city he’s in. In Moscow, the streets, alleyways and sewers belong to The Demon.

Batman #445

I love when stories are bookended. It’s a great device that writers can use to show us a change has happened, whether it be in a character’s personal growth, or in their circumstances. Here we see that Batman is Gotham. Gotham is as much a part of him as the air in his lungs. Without it, he cannot breathe, he cannot function as well as he once did. It gives his nemesis the edge.

That nemesis in question is probably the weakest element of the story, as The Demon is essentially just The Beast, only with a slightly different costume. I would rather they had just brought back The Beast himself. It would be much more fun to see a rematch with the iconic villain, where Batman no longer has the upper hand, instead of giving us a carbon copy in his place.

I always have a sense of nostalgia for Jim Aparo’s artwork. He’s not my favourite, but seeing his work always takes me back to my childhood, when I started reading comic books. It’s very much a golden era for me personally. But it’s great that both Aparo and inker, Mike DeCarlo, both return here, as it was the two of them that brought the ‘Ten Nights of the Beast’ storyline to life.


It must be said that this particular story is very dated as it assumes quite heavily on the audience’s knowledge of Russian politics of the time. And seeing Bruce just randomly bumping into Vicki Vale whilst dining out in Moscow is very quaint. Also, it seems to me that, if The Demon spent as much time doing stuff as he does gasbagging about a better Russia, he might actually stand a chance of achieving his goal. Some of his dialogue is stilted to say the least.

Batman #445


Verdict:

A great nostalgia trip for anyone who read comics as a child of the 80’s, but reading Jim Starlin’s ‘Ten Nights of the Beast’ before this is strongly recommended.


Review by Bryan Lomax, 24/07/21


Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #1 Review

Review by Andy Flood

Written by:
Christos Gage

(Concept/Story Consultant: Donald Mustard)
Art:

Reilly Brown (Pencils), Nelson Faro DeCastro (Inks)

Colours: John Kalisz

Letters: Andworld Design

Released 20/4/21 Published By DC Comics

Epic Games are well known for working in crossovers and mashups with different areas of pop culture, having previously brought characters and elements from Star Wars, Marvel, DC and others to their game Fortnite.  To tie in with their latest in-game Batman appearance, DC launched Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point.  Aside from being a cool crossover project/event, each comic contains a unique code which allows for a free download of DC themed in-game goodies (this first being a Harley Quinn costume or ‘skin’).  If all 6 issues are purchased and redeemed, readers get the ‘Armoured Batman’ skin as an additional freebie.  All of this makes the limited run incredibly good value for money for Fortnite and DC fans.

Even were this not a factor, the comic itself has a great many things going for it.  The cover here is by Mikel Janín, whose art has graced numerous DC titles recently, not least of which have been some excellent covers on the current Action Comics arc.  This cover is immediately recognisable and sets a precedent in terms of style for the other covers to follow while also giving us a nice taster of the varied characters we are about to meet.

We open on a classic Batman scene: a dramatic rooftop meeting between Jim Gordon and Batman.  The Bat-signal in the cloudy night sky torn asunder by a strange, crackling rift.  The creators waste no time in dropping us straight into the action and within a few exciting panels, we are following Batman as he is thrust through this rift into… where?


This is one of many questions Batman faces as he wakes in this new world.  While the setting will be instantly familiar and thrilling for fans of the Fortnite game, it shows Batman in unfamiliar territory in more ways than one.  He scarcely has time to catch his breath before he is drawn into a series of seemingly random encounters.  Here we get to see Batman adapt, analyze and survive in a near literal maelstrom of chaos, despite having no memory of who he is and being unable to speak!

Christos Gage uses Batman’s inner monologue to great effect here, showing a clear understanding of what make the famous Dark Knight tick.  As we learn about this new world through Batman’s experiences, Gage cleverly introduces concepts from Fortnite which will delight fans of the game while also intriguing DC fans.  The tone of the writing is just right, and keeps us invested until the final page.

Artwork is bold, dynamic and colourful; just what is needed for this title.  The world of Fortnite is mercurial and, as such, can be hard to characterise but the art team have done a great job of nailing the style of both the game and the featured DC characters.


Verdict

‘Zero Point’ is a title which manages to get a lot of things right when so many could have gone wrong.  While there is some definite crossover between comic fans and players of Fortnite, it would have been easy to alienate either group.  This issue has plenty to please everyone and, if you’re lucky enough to be fans of both, you get a great comic to read and some very cool stuff for your game.  A cool read for all ages.

(Suggested ages 13+ by DC)


Review by Andy Flood, 20/7/21


Batman #110 Review


Writer: James Tynion IV

Art: Jorge Jimenez (“The Cowardly Lot Part Five”) and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (“Ghost-Maker Chapter 4”)

Colours: Tomeu Morey (“The Cowardly Lot Part Five”) and Romulo Fajardo Jr. (“Ghost-Maker Chapter 4”)

Published by DC Comics Released: 06/07/21

Review by Bryan Lomax


I stated in my review for the previous issue that I came into James Tynion’s story, “The Cowardly Lot”, somewhat late, but that I filled in the blanks with a quick search on the internet. Since then, I have gone back and read issue #106-#107, and I would highly recommend everyone doing the same if you haven’t already. Issue #107, in particular, really tells us who the character of Miracle Molly is, and what she stands for, in a way that makes me care for whether or not she will get out of the predicament we find her in by the end of issue #110. It also dives deep into the main themes of Tynion’s overarching story, adding more weight to events that happen in the current issue.

That theme is fear or, more to the point, societal fear. Tynion is asking, “where does that fear come from, why do we allow ourselves to be held prisoner by it and who stands to gain something from it?” The Scarecrow is obviously the perfect villain from Batman’s rogues gallery with which to explore that theme. But it’s still unclear as to where he fits into it all. Is he being used or is he the mastermind behind all that is happening in Gotham?

Then we have Simon Saint and his Peace Keeper program. Saint represents a threat that uses fear to achieve an agenda. And, while that agenda may ultimately be based on noble ideals, it’s execution reveals a complete lack of trust in the people it would supposedly serve. It is therefore no more than a vain attempt at making a play for power and control, marking Saint out as a true villain.

We have former Arkham security guard, Sean Mahoney, who takes up the frontman position of Saint’s Peace Keeper force. He represents much of what so many people today fear, particularly in the US, as their country becomes more and more divided, seemingly heading towards totalitarianism. If Gotham was to embrace Saint’s Peace Keepers then it might as well change its name to Mega City One.

The scary thing about Miracle Molly and the Unsanity Collective is that everything they say about the definitions of “sane” and “insane” and who gets to decide upon them makes for quite a convincing argument. The greatest system of control, Tynion argues, is fear and we are all caught up in it. But those who do not fear anything, such as Ghost-Maker, are labelled as psychopaths, even though, as this story shows, they might be the only ones we can count on to release us from our own prisons of fear.

These are the things I find myself thinking about as I read this issue, which is all down to the excellent story telling from Tynion. And once again I have to say that I’m really loving the artwork by Jorge Jaminez and the beautifully rich colours by Tomeu Morey.

I’m still not quite as keen on the artwork for the “Ghost-Maker” origin story, now in its fourth chapter, which kind of feels like Tynion is setting up a rogues gallery for his creation, that he can then use as a starting point, should the character get his own series. Beyond that there’s not much to complain about and I eagerly await the next issue.


Verdict –

The pairing of artist, Jorge Jimenez, with colourist, Tomeu Morey, works wonders in bringing Tynion’s compelling study on societal fear to life.


Review by Bryan Lomax, 17/07/21


Harley Quinn #1 Review

Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Art: Riley Rossmo
Colours: Ivan Plascencia
Letters: Deron Bennett
Released: 23/03/21

Published by DC Comics

Reviewed By Bryan Lomax


The first story, “Welcome Home”, in Harley Quinn’s new solo series, from writer Stephanie Phillips, offers a fresh take on the character. With the recent movie, Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, a film which I actually really loved, having been helmed by a female director, it’s nice to see DC Comics following suit, allowing one of their most beloved female characters to be tackled from a female perspective.

Phillips does an incredible job of showing us a complicated, multi-faceted character, that has too often been played for laughs at the expense of some real depth. Here, she is angry, smart, compassionate, violent and, yes, funny.

There isn’t much story to speak of within these pages if I’m being honest. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing at this point. Phillips just takes the time to set the scene, show us where Harley is at in her life right now, and give us a sense of her place within Batman’s world going forward.

She is a character trying to make amends for her past sins and, as Harley herself points out during one specific moment, “Everyone does love a good transformation story”. And seeing such a flawed character striving to earn redemption is definitely the kind of story I am drawn to.

The artwork by Riley Rossmo will take some getting used to for me. It’s not the kind of work that I usually go for, with exaggerated features, which often feel as though you have entered somebody’s fever dream. However, it is entirely in keeping with the character of such an often unreliable narrator as Harley.

We are introduced to a character, named Kevin, who could very well go on to become Harley’s side-kick. I can certainly see the potential there and there is something endearing about Harley taking someone under her wing who may just be crazier than she is.


Verdict:

A suitably chaotic first issue in this solo series for fan favorite Harley Quinn.


Review by Bryan Lomax, 16/07/21


Get BOTH issues of DC Future State: Harley Quinn for only £5 now!

FUTURE STATE: HARLEY QUINN, PART 2
Harley Quinn has gained Jonathan Crane’s trust, everything is going according to plan, and she is getting close to making her escape. But Black Mask and his gang are continuing to undermine the Magistrate and push Crane closer to the edge, where he will become the Scarecrow once more. Will Harley be able to defeat the Scarecrow and stop the Black Mask Gang? If she’s going to secure her freedom and save Gotham’s future, she’ll have to!

FUTURE STATE: HARLEY QUINN, PART 1
In a bold move that rocks Gotham City, the Magistrate has imprisoned Harley Quinn! The villain—once known as the Scarecrow, now a pawn of the Magistrate—taps into Harley’s knowledge of Gotham’s villains and the Black Mask Gang for his own dark purposes. Crane and his bosses think they have Harley Quinn defeated and her spirit broken, but they are sorely mistaken—and Harley will have her revenge. Written by rising star writer Stephanie Phillips and drawn by fan-favorite artist Simone Di Meo, the next era of Harley Quinn begins here!




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DC kicked off 2021 in some style with their huge Future State event, seeing a whole new catalogue of writers and artists taking on some of the biggest characters within the DC universe and telling tales of what their futures may hold!

We are offering you the chance to grab both of Harley Quinn’s Future State appearances for only five whole pounds! (Including bag and board)
The comics are 1st print, which if you are scouting around, you will know these are becoming a little harder to track down now that the event is over!

Grab yourself both while stocks last! Remember, you can opt to click and collect in one of our stores if you wish, just state the store in the comment box when you reach the checkout!

Check it out HERE!


Pre-order Batman ’89 this week and get Superman ’78 for only £2!


That’s right folks, Batman ’89 and Superman ’78 are on the way, and what better way to celebrate the revisiting of these absolute classics than to offer you the chance to save a little and pick up Superman ’78 #1 for only £2 when buying the two!

You will also find the variants on the website, however this offer is for these standard covers, which are pretty cool looking I must admit.
Is it just me or does the idea of revisiting this era leave you with a little nostalgic grin? I mean, that looks to me like Gene Hackman and Margot right there, and… and that is very much a Keaton chin of course on the Batman cover.

It’s going to be a trip down memory lane by the looks of it! Get onboard and pre-order now, the offer only extends until the end of the week!

Find the deal right HERE on our website.

What is HOT in Wow Comix stores this week?


WOW COMIX STRETFORD

Warhammer section fully re-stocked!

Lots of great 40,000 and Sigmar sets available in our Stretford store. Check out the great value starter sets and for those of you needing that extra shade or two will be happy to see that our paint rack is back to being fully stocked too!

WOW COMIX STOCKPORT

Full Sets

A load of great value and collection worthy full sets are on display in Stockport right now. Stories such as the iconic All Star Superman, Civil War, Green Lantern Rebirth and Alien: Earth Hive, and many more are all in excellent condition and waiting for you now!

WOW COMIX BURY

Super Sized Batman Funko needs new home!

As much as we would love too, we can’t keep this guy hanging around, he’s just too big and he’s blocking out our R2-D2 display, so you can take him home for only £90 this week! (That’s the cheapest anywhere around!)

COMIC OF THE WEEK!

The New Mutants #98 – First Deadpool!

A fine copy for reading or grading, only a faint crease in the bottom right hand corner would keep this beauty of the absolute top tier with regards to quality. Copies like this are going for between £350 and £450 right now, and over the next we days we are offering it too you for only £200!!! Head to our Stockport store to have a look!



Detective Comics #1038 Review

Detective Comics #1038 Review by Bryan Lomax


Writers: Mariko Tamaki (“The Neigborhood Part 5”) and Meghan Fitzmartin (“March of the Penguin”).

Art: Viktor Bogdanovic and Daniel Henriques (“The Neighborhood Part 5”), with Karl Mostert (“March of the Penguin”).

Colours: Jordie Bellaire

Letters: Aditya Bidikar (“The Neighborhood Part 5”) and Rob Leigh (“March of the Penguin”)

Released 22/06/21
Published by DC Comics


The Neigborhood Part 5 sees Batman battling Mr Worth in the sewers beneath the city streets of Gotham. It is the perfect setting for their showdown given the themes that were explored in the previous issue. Everything that is wrong with Gotham is represented by these two men, whose struggle now rocks the city at its foundations, threatening to bring it crashing down on top of them.

image courtesy of DC Comic News

The artwork by Viktor Bogdanovic depicts the two men as titans, though I feel, excessively so in the case of Mr Worth. This guy looks like he’d make Bane appear modest in size.

I’m still enjoying the mystery that writer, Mariko Tamaki, manages to convey, particularly in regard to the character of Hue Vile, who has yet to reveal just precisely who/what he is and what his endgame might be. However, I do feel that Tamaki’s writing gets a bit choppy at one point, with Mr Worth seemingly having given up the fight with Batman, only to announce to the world that he still wants him dead. It leaves me wondering if there was a page torn out with a missing scene on it.

Reporter Debbie Donovan finds herself in hot water by the end of this issue. As I expressed in my review for Detective Comics #1037, she is a character that has grown on me, so I’m really routing for Batman to save her come issue #1039.

Huntress is a bit lost in this one, like Tamaki didn’t quite know what to do with her, while Batman is off fighting Mr Worth. She gets to save a cyclist, leading to a humorous exchange between the two, but it’s a scene that could have been cut without having any impact on the overall narrative.

Fans of The Penguin will be pleased to know that the nefarious birdman is starting to rear up as a key player in this story. Again, it’s not exactly clear how he’s going to figure in to the plans of Hue Vile, but he will undoubtedly have his own agenda.

Cobblepot is a survivor. He changes and adapts to the times, which means that, while he’s never quite top dog he always manages to hold a seat at the table of the criminal underworld. This is highlighted in the short story, “March of the Penguin”, by Meghan Fitzmartin, which reminds us that, while Oswald Cobblepot is quite easy to laugh at, he is also quite easy to underestimate. Because of this, it is impossible to predict just how the character will play into the events of Tamaki’s story moving forward, which is, ultimately, what makes him an interesting character.


Verdict:

Writer Mariko Tamaki leaves us with more questions than answers in the fifth chapter of this highly engaging mystery thriller.


Review by Bryan Lomax, 03/07/21

Batman #109 Review

Batman #109

Writer: James Tynion IV

Art: Jorge Jimenez and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

Released: 01/06/21

Published by DC Comics

It’s been quite a few years since I picked up a Batman comic from my local comic book store. In many respects issue 109, from writer James Tynion, was probably not the best place to begin my re-entry into the world of the Dark Knight. It doesn’t help that this is the fourth part of a larger story, but I am introduced to at least three fairly major characters and, quite frankly, I’ve no clue who they are. A quick internet search filled me in on what I needed to know however, so even without the rest of the story that precedes this issue, there is no need to be kept in the dark.

The events that take place within Batman #109 created more than enough intrigue for this thirty-year Batman fan that it is a testament to Tynion’s writing that I was interested enough to even do said internet search. The Ghost-Maker character, created as a twisted mirror image to Batman himself it seems, certainly has a lot of potential to go either way as hero or villain.

The artwork in the primary story, part four of “The Cowardly Lot”, is fantastic. At one point, on page 16, artist Jorge Jimenez invokes the spirit of the late, great, Norm Breyfogle, which is always a plus in my book.

The artwork for the secondary story, chapter three of “Ghost-Maker”, while perfectly fine, didn’t really excite me in the same way and I felt it was a bit too cartoony for a Batman comic. It would be much more suited to something like Scott Pilgrim in my personal opinion. Even so, the writing by Tynion rises above it enough to make me want to go a little deeper into his work.

Verdict –

Fantastic artwork from Jorge Jimenez really compliments the intriguing character development, from writer James Tynion, igniting a desire to seek out more of both men’s previous work.

Review by Bryan Lomax, 13/06/21