Tag Archives: scott snyder

Batman#13 A Clown walks into a Police Station….

Batman #13

Story By: Scott Snyder Backup Story By: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV

Art By: Greg Capullo & Jock

Its been a year since The Joker has been in any of the Bat Books and Scott Snyder has decided to bring him back in issue 13 of Batman. Following His past Court Of Owls story Arc is no easy task. Death of the Family’s opening issue manages to set the tone and expectation for this book through the roof. This version of The Joker is menacing , frightening and out right horrific.  Snyder manages to go very deep into Joker as a character thanks to his amazing dialogue and writing skills.

The story moves very fast. The feeling I got while reading issue 13 can only be compared to how I feel when I watch Breaking Bad. The tension is constant and builds until the end of the issue. You will feel emotionally invested by the end as Batman, Commissioner Gordan and the rest of the Bat Families fears become yours.

Greg Capullos art continues to amaze me. He’s still playing with  his style and I love his version of Batman now. Everything from his jaw line down to the subtle high lights on his cowl are fluid and perfectly rendered. Capullo has mastered building tension through his panels as well. Often times focusing on some thing iconic without giving everything away. His redesign of the Joker is disturbing and I hope it sticks.

The back up story this issue focuses on Joker and Harley Quinn’s relationship. It does a good job of making Harley a sympathetic character now and its interesting to see what her role will be as the story plays out. I don’t want to give parts of the story away because I want you to enjoy the book the same way I did. There is a specific moment with Gordon and Joker that made me sick to read.

Batman #13 is an amazing start to The Death in the Family arc. The pacing is perfect and Snyder does a great job throwing you right into the madness without showing his cards yet. Comics are supposed to be engaging and fun and I can’t think of  a better DC book to buy this week. If you haven’t been reading Batman now is the time to start.

Review Score 9.5/10

On a side note the cover is one of coolest things I’ve come across in a while. See Below

Batman #13’s cover doubles as a very creepy Mask

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

 

 

Snyder and Capullo bring a Faceless Joker to “Death of the Family”

Today Scott Snyder announced that starting with issue 13, Batman’s arch-villain would return. Yes indeed, the Joker will finally show his face – or lack thereof. If any of you have read the Bat-books, you will remember that The Joker was last seen getting a visit by the Dollmaker, with a shocking final image of his face being nailed to the wall of his cell in Gotham Asylum.

“Joker is my favorite villain of all time,” Snyder told The Source. “Not just in comics. In everything – film, books, TV. He’s the greatest, hands down. So this story is something extremely important and personal to me – something I’ve built in my head ever since I started working in Gotham. Basically, this is my big exploration of the Joker, my ‘Arkham Asylum’ or ‘The Killing Joke,’ only bigger in scope. Bottom line: it’s the biggest, baddest, most shocking Joker story I could tell. This is Joker completely unleashed. He has been away for a full year planning this revenge, watching, plotting, setting things up. And now he’s back. He has his traps set, his knives sharpened… And wait ’til you see him. Greg’s sketches literally gave me chills. Point blank: This is Joker like you’ve never seen him before. He has a mission. He has a secret. And he has a serious axe to grind with Batman. It isn’t going to be pretty, but it’s going to be a wild ride. Thanks for taking it with us.”

“When Scott told me that he’d written a Joker story for our next arc, I couldn’t contain my excitement,” said Capullo. “Talk about a dream come true! For me, the Joker is the ultimate rogue and the villain I most wanted to draw. I gotta tell you, after hearing what the story is about, this isn’t a dream come true. It’s a nightmare! A macabre and bloody, flesh crawling nightmare. We hope you’ll have the nerve to face what’s coming. Warning: It ain’t for the faint of heart!”

Will we also see the Dollmaker make a return? Does the title “Death of the Family” tie in somehow to the arc “Death in the Family”? Hopefully we will find out more come Comic Con.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

Batman #10 This Issue Changes Everything

Batman #10

Story By: Scott Snyder

Art By: Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion

Wow…there are very few comics out now that have been on a stronger roll than Batman. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo manage to increase the level of intensity this issue while also shedding light on their entire run on Batman thus far.

Batman is now the aggressor this issue after getting a tip from Lincoln March on who is responsible for the Court Of Owls. Snyder writes this issue pretty straight forward at first but as always starts to peel back the layers of the story and his most solid issue since Batman was trapped in the Owl’s maze in issue 5.

There are a few twists this issue. With the biggest reveal coming towards the end of this issue changing not only Batman’s but Bruce’s life forever. I don’t want to spoil the story for you but its safe to say that their will be people who love and hate this plot twist. In my opinion I think it’s a ballsy move by Snyder and shows that he’s willing to play with every corner of Bruce’s life. Hell if it makes things harder for Bruce and Batman as a whole why not?

I’m also completely in love with Greg Capullo’s art. He draws batman this issue full of rage and anger. You get the feeling he’s ready for this whole ordeal to be over but that he’s enjoying playing the role of Batman for the first time in a long while. Whether it’s a well placed bit of sarcasm towards Ms. Powers  as he smashes an owl mask against steel bars or increasing anger that builds as he chases the mystery person behind The Court you feel his anger on each page grow.

5 o'clock shadow Batman finally gets his revenge on the court

Jonathan Glapion’s inks also have to be brought to light. He’s just as important to this book. I recommend anyone wanting to see how much he actually contributes to each page to look his name up and you tube and watch one of his time elapsed ink jobs he’s done so far.

The backup story written by James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder this issue serves to drive Snyder’s story home even further while also showing us the fate of Jarvis Pennyworth. It also shows us a side of Martha Wayne I’ve never seen. Long story short I think Bruce may have more of his mother in him than I was ever aware of. It’s all drawn hauntingly and beautiful by Rafael Albuquuerque. The painted style is a nice choice and goes along way to making the time period feel believable.This story is just as worth the price of admission as Snyder’s Court of Owls and both creators should have a long career at DC afterwards.

With the way this issue ends I cant wait to read the conclusion to what may be the best Story in comics this year. I know it sounds like I’m gushing over this book and I am. There is something to be said about a book when you’re at issue 11 and you want to immediately start reading issue one again to appreciate all the smaller nuances to the story you may have missed. This is a rare comic created by people who truly love their source material and are fearless to place their own stamp on Batman . Buy it , Read it , you’ll enjoy every page of this book.

Review Score : 10/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

 

Batman #9 Batman defends Wayne Manor Against a Talon Invasion

Batman #9

Story By: Scott Snyder

Art By: Greg Capullo and Rafael Albuquerque

Scott Snyder keeps the pace fast and furious as Batman defends the Batcave from The Court of Owl’s and their Talons. The issue reads very quick due to most of the pages in the main story taking place inside the Batcave. Snyder continues to build on the history of Wayne Manor and The Wayne family during the fight. What starts out as an all out brawl ends up being a gripping fight between Batman and the Talons.

It’s nice to see again that Snyder uses his narration in the beginning of the issue to expand on the action and story as Batman fights for his life. The new suit design by Capullo and the fight choreography are both amazing to look at. This fight is intense and Snyder takes advantage of Batman’s new look by showing off the vicious weapons Batman has in the suit. In fact Snyder chooses to take Batman into a darker and more aggressive mindset as he unleashes his anger and frustration on his enemies throughout the issue.

Greg Capullo’s art in this issue is very strong and I really enjoy the smaller details he works into each issue. Viewing each panel is exciting and Capullo is just as responsible for the sense of danger on the page as Snyder. There was one scene towards the end of the issue that left me a little confused but as always Capullo’s art continues to be just as high a selling point as Snyder’s writing. Snyder does manage to introduce one new piece of information at the end of the story that has me looking forward to next issue.I’m not sure whether it was intentional or not but I love the fact that Batman’s armored suit is reminiscent of the suit Batman wore during the old Batman vs Predator Series.

Batman unleashes a few new toys on a group of Talons

What’s more impressive to me is that the backup story is just as thrilling if not more important to the main story itself. The story centers around Alfred’s father Jarvis Pennyworth. Jarvis writes a letter to his son warning him of the Curse put on Wayne Manor and his fear that Alfred may one day have to deal with that fear. It becomes yet another wrinkle Snyder and his writing partner James Tynion IV manage to place into an already thrilling story. I also have to mention that Rafael Albuquerque’s art is perfect for this story. He uses a painterly style that lends itself very nicely to the early days o f the Wayne Family. The story closes on a very big cliff hanger that promises to have huge effects on both the Wayne and Pennyworth Family down the road.

I continue to be amazed that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo manage to deliver such High Quality work issue after issue. I highly recommend this issue and commend Snyder for putting an extra back up story in each issue that improves on the story and is strong enough to warrant its own arc.

Review Score : 8.5/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

 

Batman #8 – Night of Owls Begins!

Batman#8

Story By: Scott Snyder

Art By: Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion

Issue #8 of Batman starts off with Bruce finally coming to terms with his behavior regarding the Court Of Owls and him finally coming to the conclusion that he’s been acting like a stubborn fool.  Scott Snyder gives just enough time to focus on Bruce being tortured physically and mentally. I like that he allows the events of the past 7 issues to finally sink in with Bruce.

It only lasts for a few seconds though. During his conversation with Alfred they both notice sounds on the roof and from that point on Snyder and Capullo put together one of the most energetic and suspenseful issues yet of Batman.

Bruce and Alfred go into full Panic Room Mode. With Bruce sending Alfred to the Bat Cave as he defends Wayne Manor from The Court and their Army of Talons. Snyder allows Greg again to tell large parts of the story through panel progression. While Capullo amazes us with the art, Snyder gives the Talons sentence after sentence of noteworthy Dialogue. The Talons are creepy, in a Slasher Film kind of way. “Hoot Hoot” will forever give me chills from now on.

A brief glimpse at Capullo and Glapion's amazing work in Batman #8

There is a constant sense of fear and worry as Bruce and Alfred are split up and left to fend for themselves. The issue again runs at breakneck speed and it ends on a bad ass cliffhanger. I also commend Snyder for continuing to throw new tools and gadgets at the reader keeping things constantly fresh and fun “Where does he get those wonderful toys” indeed.Capullo continues to draw amazing panel after panel of action. Every choice and panel seems thought out in detail and it shows in the amazing results on the page. With the final page hinting that Batman may finally start giving the Owls something to fear themselves.

There is a back up story co written by Snyder and newcomer James Tyonin IV. It establishes two things. First it gives Alfred a larger role in the story and how the rest of the Bat Family comes into play during Night Of The Owls. Second it effectively sends The Talons into full on Horror film territory as they target and execute Public Figures across Gotham City. The art for the backup is also great in focusing on the terror and overwhelming fear a normal human would have when confronted with a creepy Owl Man staring at them.

Scott Snyder and Greg have created a group of Villains that have invaded the culture of the Batman Mythos in a way I haven’t seen since the “Hush” arc for better or worse.I love this series and I continue to be amazed at the level of consistency and quality of this book. You’re a fool if you’re not reading this series , it’s that simple.

Review Score 9.5/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

#C2E2 2012: Dc’s New 52 Panel

 

DC's New 52 panel

The line for DC’s new 52 panel at C2E2 was the longest yet at the convention . There must have been over 700 people waiting to get in a hall that seated 400. A lucky few got to stand along the wall of  DC’s New 52 panel room S401 to hear Scott Snyder , Chris Burnham , Patrick Gleason, Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, Tony Daniel, Kyle Higgins, Gail Simone  and Jimmy Palmiotti .

Chris Burnham talks about creating alongside Grant Morrison for Batman Inc. He explains bringing his work to the page . Using a pop art 60’s style Adam West work alongside the dark stories everyone knows and loves.

Earth 2 brings characters like Superman and Batman in a new a different way. Its going to have a big impact on the DCU,. Also speaks to the Worlds Finest starring Power Girl and The Huntress . Power girls costume isn’t really my style. Powergirl and Huntress story actually will be taking place in the current DCU . Both heroines are the only two characters planted into DCU proper

Gail Simone joins panel.

Dial H – It’s in the spirit of Animal Man and Swamp Thing. The story itself will also weave into the New 52 as well.

Now a book featuring Dinosaurs ! Its called GI Combat . JT Krull and Jimmy Palmiotti are the first two writers n the book. Jimmy says it starts with Dinosaurs and ends with  a lot of Gore.

New Book The Ravagers will tie into Teen Titans and Superboy. Its introducing Beast Boy to the new 52 and he hints that he has something to do with The Red.

Free Comic Book Day is coming and DC’s book will be putting out a new One Shot by the new 52 ,.

Geoff JoHns said the book will have Jim Lee , Ivan Reis, Joe Prado . Again he asks a young child to come out to check out the new preview issue as long as she doesn’t tell anybody.

She proceeds to walk off the stage and they warn her not to walk off the stage .

Hall S401 was filled with DC fans

There is a lot of new characters introduced in the One Shot for Free Comic Book Day and sets the stage for the next years worth of stories . Geoff says the book will have a ton of surprises in it.

Moving on to the Next Justice League arc. The next villain will be narrating the series . Issues 9-12 will feature an overconfident team that will get dropped back to earth.

Diamond top 50 comics featured DC Comics in the top 10 exclusively. Aquaman has consistently outsold Spiderman.

Geoff thanks the crowd again for their support.

The next Aquaman issue deals with the others and will run right into the Atlantis arc coming up. He then made a talk to the Fish comment.

Green Lantern follows….

Geoff Johns- He thanks us for still picking up the book. Indigo Tribe will lead right into The Revenge of Blackhand . The annual will wrap the story up to Blackhand and will be a e changer for Green Lantern proper.

Wonder Woman is up next.

Brian Azzarello – In the next series she goes to Hell. Crowd laughs ….Cliff picks up the mic…Issue 8 is drawn By Cliff and 9 and 10 will be drawn by Tony Atkins , and Cliff will pick back up art duties in issue 11 . Brian also say it gets worse.

Enter Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder – Issue 9 will be the big Finale between Abby and Alec Swamp Thing. It will wrap the storyline back up that brings Anton Arcane back into Swamp Thing proper. After that Animal Man and SwampThing will finally have their team up following. He thanks the crowd for reading both Swamp Thing and Animal Man.

He then speaks on Batman

Scott-Hes creeped out ..he notices a few Court of Owls in the crowd. One of which seated behind me .

The next issue will feature a ton of new gadgets and vehicles for Batman to take on the Court. Also he says issue 10-11 will have the biggest story Reveals .

The Annual will feature The Owls as well . Mr Freeze will be introduced back into the DC and inserted into the Night of the Owls story. Scott says Freeze will play into one of the books . It will establish him properly into the DC , give him an origin and what his story is. Big Revelations for him .

Dark Knight #9 will be written by Judd Winick and David Finch bringing Red Robin back to the Bat Family to take on the court of owls.

Tony is up next to speak about Detective Comics.

He describes his story in Night of the Owls as a “One Shot” that takes place at Arkham Asylum. Jeramiah Arkham will be back into the book for this issue. After that he will be taking the break from the art for the next few issues. He wants to keep the book focused on Bruce, commissioner Gordon and his new love interest.

Gail Simone is up to speak about Batgirl

Gail’s issue for Night of The Owls and talks about how much fun she had doing the issue. After that she will be putting her past behind her a bit and move forward with her life. She will be going up her new Arch Villain Nightfall .

Issue 9 of Nightwing comes on the screen and gets the biggest cheer so far

Kyle Higgins is up to speak on Dick Grayson  aka Nightwing

Issue 9 will also feature the tie in to Night of The Owls. He speaks to the big reveal in issue 7 speaking on what Dicks true background was . Specifically his ancestor Willaim Cobb. He describes the story as twisted and ends it by saying he looks how you get from William Cobb’s name to Dick Grayson’s name. It will then focus on him becoming “The Prince of Gotham”. He’ll start to ask the question can there be hope in the city.

Palmiotti is up to speak about All Star Western

He also has a Bight of the owls Tie In. Dealing with the history of Gotham using the Court of Owls . Jonah Hex will have a huge part in the history as well as Crime Bibles. He promises that this book will lead directly into some of the story elements you see in the Batbooks.

A fan asks if Bludhaven is still destroyed or will Nightwing Remain in Gotham. Kyle says he is determined to stay in Gotham.

A fan asks why the star isn’t part of the new DC logo. The response was they were going from something different.

Someone asks again what the Orange Lantern Oath is from Geoff . He promises he’ll learn ..eventually.

A familiar fan asks about Azrael . Scott says there aren’t any plans to put him in yet. Tells him to play Arkham City for his fix.

Geoff tells a fan you will see Black Adam before Billy Batson becomes Captain Marvel.

A fan speaks about why there are to Glaring omissions to the Bat Family proper being Cass and Steph and why they aren’t introduced yet. Scott says to wait …what he wants to do is introduce them properly and the girl you see help Batman in issue 7 will come back into focus on issue 12.

Crazy fan rambles a long time about liking books …then finally asks a question about Deathstroke. He is told Lobo will be going into the book as well.

A fan asks about Super Boy Prime . Geoff says while it was fun writing him he isn’t planned to return to the series.

A fan asks about where the Joker is now that his face has been ripped off . They say something special will be revealed down the line for him.

A fan asks a question about the Timeline in Dc . How far back are we going ? Geoff gives him

A young kid asks if the Elongated Man still Dead . Geoff tells him its the New 52 and anything can happen.

Someone asks if The Spectre will return to the DCU . No one says a thing…everyone laughs.

Someone asks if Animal and Swamp Thing will be inserted into the whole DCU now. Scott says they will start showing up in other books eventually after their story is established .

Someone goes into how much they enjoyed the New Wonder Woman designs and asks how they are designed.

Cliff says that want to highlight the fact that the Gods are not human. He gives Tony Atkins props for Poseidon and Hades.Cliff focuses more on the fashion and human elements. Brian says there are physically manifesting their personalities onto the page. He wants them to be feared.

A younger kid asks if any of the old timelines will be reestablished in the new books. The whole panel says they will continue to builds off of certain stories from the past into a the new 52.

Mini superman asks if there will be a book focusing on just Cyborg in the future . Geoff tells him their will be an arc dealing with Cyborgs history and story.

A girl asks if Mogo will be coming back. Geoff tells her that Mogo is a hard thing to kill he’s a planet and tells her that he should be back. He also says that DC Direct may make a Mogo Beach Ball ..The crowd gives a giant cheer.

The panel ends with the We Can Be Heroes short film and ends the panel.

Mike DeVivo

Follow Me on Twiter @pandasandrobots

Review : Swamp Thing #8 : Swamp Thing Unleashes Green Hell on the Rot

Swamp Thing#8

Story By: Scott Snyder

Art By: Yanick Paquette and Marco Rudy

Review Score: 9/10

After a near perfect last issue of Swamp Thing Scott Snyder, Yanick Paquette , and Marco Rudy continue to produce a Dark and engaging comic that stands at the top of DC’s New 52. This issue starts off heavy on the narrative side as Snyder works with Rudy to show the Rot making its way through State after State, killing and claiming victims to add to Sethe’s Army and world of death. Snyder finally gives Sethe a voice warning his Dead Army that Swamp Thing is coming to take everything away from them. It’s an interesting touch that he chose to have the numerous dead speak for him and creates an added sense of fear and despair to each page as his puppets await The new Swamp Thing Alec Holland.

Rudy’s final Splash page provides an amazing reveal of the New Swamp Things Face , not only showing the new touches to Swamp Thing included Moss Covered Wings and a body that’s as much plant as it is Bark, but he uses the panel construction to show you the design and shape of Swampy’s new face. It’s both effective and a great use of the page that continues to show how strong of an artist Rudy has become working alongside Snyder and Paquette. The new and improved Swamp Thing is definitely something unique and fun to look at , and Snyder writes him just on the edge of being heroic an embracing the fury and anger that the Green and Parliament of Trees have for the rest of the world.

Paquette continues to push the boundaries of conventional Page construction with each issue..page provided by IGN

While the first half of the issue focuses on setup the last half amps the action up into an all out war between Swamp Thing and Sethe’s army of the Rot . Snyder allows Paquette to do most of the storytelling drawing page after jaw dropping page of interior art as Swamp Thing tears through morbid hybrids of Flesh and animals all of the dead variety. There is a visceral sense of awe you get seeing how much detail gets put into each page and the varied amount of characters on the page. Swamp Thing has come for his love Abby and refuses to stop killing until he gets her back. Unfortunately Swamp Thing he gets his wish , only Abby herself has went through some horrific changes and isn’t herself any more leading to one last beautiful page of art. There aren’t many books made with this much love and attention to detail page after page. If you’re a fan of Horror , Superheroes or comics in general you need to be reading this book.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

Review : Batman #7 Bruce Keeps his friends close and his enemies even closer than he imagined

Batman#7

Story By: Scott Snyder

Art By: Greg Capullo

Review Score: 9.5/10

Scott Snyder opens up this issue with an homage to Batman Year One. We see Bruce sitting in front of a statue of his father as a Bat comes crashing through his window .He uses that as his sign of what he will become . That’s how the scene was left. Scott Snyder however uses this moment to draw more subtext into his story. He shows us the short path that bat traveled after Wayne Manor. Very shortly after leaving the Manor the bat gets attacked and eaten in a brutal display of power by an Owl. These scenes drawn by Greg Capullo and narrated by Snyder are a perfect way to build tension and dread into Bruce’s already bleak situation. It once again proves that Snyder is a master at creating new story threads using old elements from a characters past which strengthens the title characters history in the process.

Batman finds help from an unlikely teen which provides some levity from an otherwise shocking and dark issue. Batman finds his way back to Wayne Manor using the underground sewage tunnels . Alfred sees Bruce and helps him into the Bat Cave . Bruce not knowing that Alfred had found the corpse of Talon shows considerable fear at first site of the character. It’s a sad moment showing us just how much Batman has went through that he would back pedal in fear at the site of his dead enemy. Instead of resting Bruce opts to inspect the body to try to find clues about what he’s dealing with.

Batman has seen better days

Enter Dick Grayson aka Nightwing. If Dick has served anything in this series its been that he’s the one who hasn’t been afraid to call things what they are to Bruce.When he comes down to see Bruce he immediately see’s Bruce is in a bad place. After Dick asks Bruce what hes hiding from him Bruce finally explains what hes found out. Batman has found out how and why Talon was able to come back to life . Using an alloy called Electrum that was put into his tooth at an early age it caused his cells to reproduce at an accelerated rate . This is how the bodies are being reanimated as well as how he survived the Fall in issue two. However Batman also reveals to dick that this Talon’s name is William Cobb and that hes Dick’s Great Grandfather. A angered Dick starts arguing with Bruce , telling him that the reason he hid this from him was to protect himself from feeling emotions. Bruce’s response? He backhands Dick knocking out a tooth in the process. That tooth ends up also having Electrum in it in the shape of an owl . Finally Batman tells Dick that he was supposed to be this eras Talon and he found out that Haley’s Circus has gathered Gotham’s best young talents for The Court of Owls throughout the years. Batman saved Dick from that fate when he adopted Dick after the Death of his parents. Again its a nice way to pay respects for cannon while adding new layers to an already rich story.

Greg Capullo again shows us that he’s becoming stronger and stronger as a story-teller in his own right. He manages to add dramatic touches to every scene he draws . Whether it’s the many facial expressions he captures on Bruce even while wearing his costume or the anger and sadness on the faces Dick and Alfred he forces you to become emotionally invested in every panel. I especially love the scene where he Backhands Nightwing and then the next panel is him picking up that single tooth. Because of Scott’s ability to set the build up to that scene in his writing he allows Greg to finish it out through his Artwork. The two of them may be the best collaborators working in comics at the moment.

The last pages show the Court of Owl’s unleashing a whole army of Talon’s on Gotham . They want to reclaim Gotham City and Dine on Batman’s bones in the process. Whats going to unfold on this next arc has me excited to no end. It’s Batman and his extended Bat Family against the Court of Owls . Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo continue to tell an exciting and emotional story that is sure to go down as one of Bruce’s best in recent memory. Simply put go read this book.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

 

“A Comic Show” 3.21.2012 – Justice League & Geoff Johns

Aw Yeah Comics! Justice League’s back with Geoff Johns and SHAZAM, Wonder Woman rocks, and Scott Snyder’s BATMAN rounds out DC’s awesome output. Indy books have some great stuff with Stephen King and Joe Hill’s Road Rage as well as Mark Millar’s final part of Kick Ass 2 and the start of SUPER CROOKS!
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SwampThing #7 Alec Holland’s Destiny is Revealed

Swamp Thing #7

Story By: Scott Snyder

Art By: Yanick Paquette

Review : 9.5/10

At the end of last issue Alec Holland was left on the edge of death . Impaled and bleeding out Alec is suffering as The Parliament of Trees burns to the ground.  Snyder decides to finally show his hand and writes an extremely powerful and strong argument for Alec becoming Swamp Thing even though he directly defied The Green . The Parliament tells Alec that they want him to watch them suffer and ultimately die after they have burnt to the ground. Snyder’s dialogue between Alec and the Parliament couldn’t be more perfect . Digging deeper into The Parliaments behavior and characterizing them almost as angry children  who feel slighted. Alec tells the Parliament that they lack a conscience and that his sole purpose is to give balance to The Green. Finally The Parliament use Alec’s last container of restorative formula and Alec transforms into Swamp Thing.

I have to say that this is Yanick’s strongest work to date on the book. His panel breakdowns continue to amaze me . Using smeared blood in the scenes with the Rot and Foliage , Sunflowers and Vines to break up the panels with Alec and the Parliament . Pacing and facial expressions are spot on and seeing Alec slowly succumb to the green taking over his body and internal organs was chilling and exciting . Which brings me to the last few pages of this book . Swamp Thing is born again , this time with Alec in the driver’s seat proper. Snyder and Paquette show just how powerful Swamp Thing is now with a sequence of panels that start with a stretched out index finger and ends with a brutal display of power as vines spiral forth and impale the poor victims of the Rot who came to kill Alec in the beginning of this issue.

After putting Alec and his support cast through every kind of imaginable hell , Swamp Thing #7 manages to put an emphatic exclamation point on Alec Holland and his sacrifice to become Swamp Thing to save his love from the Rot. Its classic Movie monster magic in comic book form . The last page sets up a collision course with Swamp Thing and The Rot . Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette continue to move this book into uncharted territory for the character and we all of us get to sit back and reap the benefits.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

 

Batman #7 Dustin Nguyen’s variant “Night of the Owls”

DC Comics Monday, released the Dustin Nguyen variant to Batman #7 as the “Night of the Owls” approaches. Batman #7 is written by Scott Snyder and will be in your local comic book store on March 21st.

From DC the Source:

By Alex Nagorski

For the past few days on THE SOURCE, we’ve been showing you some of the various character designs of Talon, the newest villain in Batman’s gallery of rogues and the leader of the Court of the Owls.

Today, we continue to give you a backstage pass to the “Night of the Owls” crossover event by showing you an exclusive sneak peek at artist Dustin Nguyen’s variant cover for BATMAN #7. Setting the stage for the “Night of the Owls” prelude in issue #8, BATMAN #7 is an issue comprised of secrets so grave that the Dark Knight’s world will never be the same.

“While reading Scott Snyder’s script, there was an act that really stuck with me,” Nguyen exclusively told THE SOURCE. “It was a scene where Batman was mixed with pain, fear, and shock. I thought that was a powerful moment in the issue and decided to base the cover off of that moment.”

BATMAN #7 will be available for purchase starting March 21st.

Review : Batman #6 Batman Has seen better days

Batman#6

Story By: Scott Snyder

Art By: Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion

Review Score : 8.5/10

After a pretty insane sequence of events last issue Scott Snyder decides to lay off of the narrative a bit and let Capullo do most of the heavy lifting this issue. That’s not to say that Snyder doesn’t continue to push the narrative forward. He finally introduces us to the odd dynamic between Talon and the Court of Owls. Snyder write the relationship between Talon and the Court of Owls almost like what you would expect a conversation between a Dominatrix and her submissive client would sound like. The whole thing is very creepy and uncomfortable as Batman continues to take punishment as he is surrounded by the court.

It’s in this moment that Snyder and Capullo show how in sync they are telling this story. As Capullo alternates in and out of panels , Snyder writes Bruce as someone who is on the edge of giving up between a panel of Batman’s Eye welling up with tears as he looks at a picture of his Ancestor Alan Wayne being tortured by the Court years before, its a mix of Snyder’s spot on narrative set to a progression of just his eye welling up that really breaks your heart. Batman snaps and fights back against the Court and Talon and makes his escape with the help of a few things lying around the Labyrinth . Snyder continues to keep Batman’s fate a mystery though as he finds that while he left the maze he still can’t escape the Court.

This issue reads very fast because Batman and Talon fight through the majority of said issue, but Snyder still manages to add new layers to the Court and present Batman and the entire Batman Family with a huge problem on their hands going into the next issue. I am really enjoying everything about this series but what i love most thus far is the collaboration process between Snyder and Capullo.Yes this book continues to be great and you should be reading it.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

DC Comics: THE DARK GROUP SOLICITS – May 2012

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DIAL H #1
Written by CHINA MIEVILLE
Art by MATEUS SANTOLOUCO
Cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
1:25 Variant cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
On sale MAY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
• A brand new series by bestselling and Hugo award winning novelist CHINA MIEVILLE!
• What would happen if you discovered the H Dial, an unbelievably powerful artifact that turned you into a super hero?
• And what if you found out that the world is threatened by this very device that’s become your uncontrollable obsession?
• These are just the first questions asked in this thrilling and inventive storyline that introduces the strangest super heroes and super villains in the DCU while exploring the boundaries of reality!

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #9
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by MIKEL JANIN
Cover by RYAN SOOK
On sale MAY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• New series writer JEFF LEMIRE introduces a new team roster and a new mission!
• Featuring JOHN CONSTANTINE, ZATANNA, DEADMAN, BLACK ORCHID and more!
• Constantine and the team must steal a map to the source of all magic out of the clutches of FELIX FAUST!
• The first of a four-part story that will have lasting implications for the entire DC Universe.

SWAMP THING #9
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art by YANICK PAQUETTE and MARCO RUDY
Cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
1:25 Variant cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
On sale MAY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
• SWAMP THING battles his way through the BONE KINGDOM to take on SETHE and his servants!
• This issue lays the groundwork for the debut of a classic Swamp Thing villain and the beginning of the next phase for this series.

ANIMAL MAN #9
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by STEVE PUGH
Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN
On sale MAY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
• “EXTINCTION IS FOREVER” part one of three!
• Separated from Buddy, the rest of the Baker family is in terrible danger!
• Guest-starring JOHN CONSTANTINE!

ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #1
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by TIMOTHY GREEN and JOSEPH SILVER
Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN
On sale MAY 30 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T+
• A stand alone tale detailing the history of the epic struggle between THE RED, THE GREEN and THE ROT!
• As seen in ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING, these forces will play a major role in the future of the DC Universe!

FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #9
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by ALBERTO PONTICELLI and WAYNE FAUCHER
Cover by ALBERTO PONTICELLI and WALDEN WONG
On sale MAY 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• S.H.A.D.E. sends FRANKENSTEIN to find the mysteriously missing ANIMAL MAN.
• Frankenstein battles THE ROTLINGS!

I, VAMPIRE #9
Written by JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV
Art and cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
On sale MAY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
• “RISE OF THE VAMPIRES” aftermath!
• The new leader of the vampires is ANDREW BENNETT?!
• The vampire pilgrimage to their new homeland begins here. Many new characters and stories will be introduced along the way.

RESURRECTION MAN #9
Written by DAN ABNETT and ANDY LANNING
Art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
On sale MAY 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
• Continued from this month’s SUICIDE SQUAD #9!
• AMANDA WALLER and the SUICIDE SQUAD want MITCH SHELLEY’S seemingly indestructible body in the worst way possible – and that’s how they’ll probably wind up getting it!

DEMON KNIGHTS #9
Written by PAUL CORNELL
Art and cover by DIOGENES NEVES and OCLAIR ALBERT
Cover by MIKE CHOI
On sale MAY 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• “THE MURDER OF MERLIN” begins!
• Who has the power to murder Merlin – and what else are they capable of?

DC Comics: BATMAN GROUP SOLICITS – May 2012

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BATMAN, INCORPORATED #1
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art and cover by CHRIS BURNHAM
1:25 Variant cover by FRANK QUITELY
1:200 B&W Variant cover by CHRIS BURNHAM
On sale MAY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $3.99 US
• BATMAN, INCORPORATED makes its NEW 52 debut with an all-new first issue!
• The series hits the ground running as BATMAN and ROBIN face off against the assassin GOATBOY!
• LEVIATHAN’S sinister mission revealed!
This issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

BATMAN #9
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Backup story by SCOTT SNYDER and JAMES TYNION IV
Art by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION
Backup story art by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
Cover by GREG CAPULLO
1:25 Variant cover by DALE KEOWN
1:200 B&W Variant cover by GREG CAPULLO
On sale MAY 9 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
• “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!
• Batman must stop the TALONS that have breeched the Batcave in order to save an innocent life…and Gotham City!
• In the backup story, learn more about the PENNYWORTH family and the secrets they’ve kept from the Wayne family!
This issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

BATMAN ANNUAL #1
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art and cover by JAY FABOK
On sale MAY 30 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
• MR. FREEZE is introduced to The New 52!
• What is Mr. Freeze’s relationship to the COURT OF OWLS? Is he an ally – or do they want him dead?
• “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!

DETECTIVE COMICS #9
Written by TONY S. DANIEL
Art by TONY S. DANIEL, JOEL GOMEZ and SANDU FLOREA
Backup story art by SZYMON KUDRANSKI
Cover by TONY S. DANIEL
1:200 Variant cover by TK TK
1:25 B&W Variant cover by TONY S. DANIEL
On sale MAY 2 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
• BATMAN has been poisoned at the hands of the deadly MR. TOXIC!
• Featuring a TWO-FACE backup story written by TONY S. DANIEL with art by SZYMON KUDRANSKI
This issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #9
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
1:25 Variant cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
On sale MAY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!
• Guest-writer JUDD WINICK joins artist DAVID FINCH for the return of RED ROBIN!
• Red Robin is back in Gotham City just in time to face off against TALON and THE COURT OF OWLS!

BATWING #9
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art by MARCOS TO and RYAN WINN
Cover by MARCOS TO
On sale MAY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!
• BATWING arrives in Gotham City just in time to fight the chaos the Court of Owls has unleashed! Outgunned and on unfamiliar turf, can Batwing survive?

BATMAN AND ROBIN #9
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY
On sale MAY 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• NIGHT OF THE OWLS continues here!
• ROBIN faces TALON alone with the skies of Gotham City at stake!

BATWOMAN #9
Written by J.H. WILLIAMS III and W. HADEN BLACKMAN
Art by AMY REEDER and ROB HUNTER
Cover by BEN OLIVER
1:25 B&W Variant cover by AMY REEDER
On sale MAY 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
• The next chapter in “TO DROWN THE WORLD!”
• An unconventional spy thriller of six interweaving lives with only one thing in common: BATWOMAN!

BATGIRL #9
Written by GAIL SIMONE
Art and cover by ARDIAN SYAF and VICENTE CIFUENTES
On sale MAY 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!
• BATGIRL faces off against the Court of Owls to protect the life of her father, Commissioner Gordon!

BIRDS OF PREY #9
Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art by TRAVEL FOREMAN and JEFF HUET
Cover by JESUS SAIZ
On sale MAY 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!
• BLACK CANARY, BATGIRL, KATANA and POISON IVY risk their lives in Gotham City to battle THE TALON and The Court of Owls!
• A secret is revealed about Black Canary’s husband…Kurt Lance?!

RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #9
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art and cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
On sale MAY 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!
• The Court of Owls is attacking, and the last person in the world you’d expect to answer Batman’s call to arms is the RED HOOD!
• Also featuring MR. FREEZE!

NIGHTWING #9
Written by KYLE HIGGINS
Art by EDDY BARROWS, RUY JOSE and EBER FERREIRA
Cover by EDDY BARROWS
On sale MAY 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!
• NIGHTWING faces another villain claiming to be THE TALON at City Hall as the Court of Owls’ plans go into action – but will he be able to figure out what’s going on before it’s too late?

CATWOMAN #9
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art and cover by GUILLEM MARCH
On sale MAY 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
• “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!
• CATWOMAN and SPARK are forced to defend THE PENGUIN against the Court of Owls!

Review: Severed #7 Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Writer by:  Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft
Art by:  Attila Futaki
Colors by :  Greg Guilhaumond
Letterer by :  Fonografiks
Cover by :  Attila Futaki
Publisher:  Image

He loved to hear the little kids scream
His instruments of hell did gleam
A box with a cleaver, a saw and a knife
He used them to cut up their innocent lives

Mr. Albert Fish, was Children your favorite dish?
Mr. Albert Fish, was Children your favorite dish?
Mr. Albert Fish, was Children your favorite dish?
Mr. Albert Fish, was Children your favorite dish?

– Macabre “Mr. Albert Fish (Was Children Your Favorite Dish)” from the Grim Reality EP

(FYI – You might want to check out my previous review of Severed if you aren’t caught up on the full story.)

SEVERED 7 COVERSevered concludes in dramatic fashion this week with a final showdown. Young wayward fiddle player, Jack Garron, is trapped in a house with tattooed cannibal, Allan Fisher, in a battle for his life. The early 20th century has never felt so scary and dangerous. What Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft accomplish this issue is nothing short of amazing. They somehow manage to keep the suspense and the mystery going until the very last page. Even though we know Jack Garron survives (he’s been telling this story from the present) and he loses his arm, everything else is still up for grabs.

I’ve mentioned in my earlier review how I thought that Snyder and Tuft based Allan Fisher on real life cannibal, childer killer and rapist, Albert Fish. He was also known as the Gray Man, and the Bogeyman (there were several others too but these are the relevant ones). Of course we’ve all heard of the Bogeyman, as in “If you don’t go to bed, the Bogeyman will get you.” It has become sort of a mulit-regional legend used by adults to frighten kids into behaving. According to wikipedia: “Bogeymen may target a specific mischief — for instance, a bogeyman that punishes children who suck their thumbs — or general misbehavior, depending on what purpose needs serving.In some cases, the bogeyman is a nickname for the devil.” In the case of this story it may be relevant to punishing runaways. Jack Garron ran away from home in search of his estranged father because of a post card he got sent to him. It was his dream to be re-united with his dad and play the fiddle on the road with him. Now that he’s trapped in the house with this old pervy cannibal with shark teeth. Fisher tells him that he’s not here just to eat him, but also going to consume his dreams. His father is long dead and now he plans to take his arm so he can never play the fiddle again. Allan Fisher is the Bogeyman of this tale, a dream-devouring, child-eating immortal demon with truly evil motivations. Snyder and Tuft allude to supernatural elements and perhaps try to interpret the gap between the outlandish and crazy lies of Albert Fish and his Bogeyman reputation, and factual accounts of the crimes he committed. They consolidate legend and reality into Severed and spit out a timeless primal nightmare.

I’m usually pretty good a guess where a horror story is going to go. I’ve read a ton of books and have seen a enough movies to have a really firm grasp on the genre. So I was taken aback by how much I got wrong and didn’t see coming with this series. Whenever I thought there was going to be a scare, it was a red herring. When I was least expecting it I would get thrown a curveball and the plot would thicken or something terrible would happen. A foreshadowing kill in the first issue sets out a bait for the rest of the series.  Like-able characters and interesting historical backdrop drew me further into the story. Each issue builds upon the dread and tension established and left me anticipating a terrifying and bloody finale. Just when i thought I had it all figured-out stakes are raised when an unexpected guest from Jack’s past drops in. Suddenly nothing is safe. Is this set-up for some sick and demented dinner scene ala Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Hannibal? Will there be a demon’s feast or will it all fall apart? How does Jack get out alive? This is what I love about writing in Severed, it’s just unpredictable and inventive.

Unfortunately art took a step down from last issue. I know I was bitching and complaining about the soft coloring, but I still held the ink work and structure of the pencils in high regard. A heavy-handed air-brushed color approach by Greg Guilhaumond knocks out most of the line work and muddies the pages even further. I think if Attila had to time to color these pages, it would be on par of what we’ve seen before. I mean you can tell by the covers, that given the time to focus on one image, he can really nail it. That cover really pops. It has dynamic range, intricate detail and a dramatic palette. I think he just has a full plate and needed help on this one. That means we get mud, sweat and grime on every page, and get faded line-work. The last few pages that take place in modern times were especially hard for me to look at. The present day palette had little depth and look like high-school water colors. It’s a shame that a such mysterious and ominous conclusion got the bargain-bin treatment with cheap-o colors. However for most of the series it was a pretty solid effort.

Overall I was really happy with how Severed turned-out. I never thought I read such a page-turning comic that would leave me so anxious and nervous about what was going to happen next. The whole entire creative team deserve a big kudos for championing the medium and showing that true horror comic can be made even with the limitations of a comic book format. Although they veered slightly into the supernatural context of horror conventions, they didn’t rely on an abundance of monsters, blood and guts to scare the audience. It was with the use of foreshadowing and suspense that they crafted a frightening tale. That’s a rare thing these days, and they should be proud of their accomplishments. Don’t worry if you haven’t picked up Severed yet, you can grab the hardcover edition that is due out in April. Don’t miss out on one of the best comic book horror stories in the past ten-years.

Story: 10/10
Art. 6.5/10

Follow me on twitter and tell me what you think @the_hellhounds

Swamp Thing / Animal Man crossover in May

DC Comics announced Tuesday morning that Animal Man Annual #1 written by Jeff Lemire with art by Timothy Green II will feature Swamp Thing and explain the red, the green and the rot. Animal Man Annual #1 will be in your local comic book store in May.

From DC the Source:

The ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #1 written by ongoing series writer Jeff Lemire with art by up and coming artist Timothy Green, II arrives in May!

This oversized stand alone story details the history of the epic struggle between the forces of The Red, The Green and The Rot as seen in the pages of ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING.

“There’s nothing I love more than writing ANIMAL MAN. Since the book launched in September, Joey Cavalieri and the team at DC have given me an incredible amount of trust to craft a big sprawling story about life, death, family and pets. So I was especially excited when they asked me to write a new 48 page ANIMAL MAN story for the upcoming ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #1. I saw it as a great chance to expand upon the mythology of The Red, The Green and The Rot, but also to tell a satisfying story that can stand on it’s own as well,” said Jeff Lemire.

“In many ways this Annual is like a prequel to the crossover storyline that Scott Snyder and I have planned for ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING. But the best part is that I get to work with Timothy Green II. I’ve been a fan of Timothy’s since I first saw his work a few years back and I was really excited when Joey told me he would be drawing the Annual. I’ve seen the first few pages of art and man, is it gorgeous. He draws a great Swamp Thing and an even better Maxine!”

4-page preview: Swamp Thing #6 The Rot is winning

DC Comics Tuesday afternoon released a four-page preview of Swamp Thing #6 written by Scott Snyder with art by Yanick Paquette. Swamp Thing #6 will be in your local comic book on February 1st, 2012.

Swamp Thing (2011) #6
Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Yanick Paquette.

The Rot is winning, and its necropolis in the American desert is nearly complete. With Abigail Arcane all but lost to its power and the herald of Sethe risen, Alec Holland will bitterly regret trying to flee his destiny as Swamp Thing… but even if he wanted to do the right thing, it’s too late now!

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Review : Batman #5 Bruce Wayne Finally Reaches His Breaking Point

Batman #5

Story By: Scott Snyder

Art By: Greg Capullo and John Glapion

Review Score : 10/10

There isn’t another medium that can create and involve you with art and storytelling better than comic books and Batman #5 is a testament to that statement. A week has passed since anyone from the Bat Family has seen Bruce Wayne . Scott Snyder takes us further into the mind of Bruce as he is left to wander the Court Of Owls Maze this issue . With the exception of two pages in the beginning of the issue and a page at the end we are left to watch Batman at the mercy of his own insanity and insecurities . Scott Snyder uses Batman’s own inner dialogue to carry us through each part of this issue . It’s a perfect way to create despair  as we watch Batman enter room after room , sometimes the same room he had just left  as he convinces himself that he’s still in control . With every reaffirmation things take a turn for the worse and what begins as a battle of survival slowly turns into a decent into madness. I can only compare it to the feeling I had while watching “Buried ” . You want to see Bruce succeed , but deep down inside your convinced this isn’t going to end well.

Greg Capullo and Johnathan Glapion have truly out done themselves this issue. They use every angle and perspective you could imagine to create images that are nothing short of perfect. While Scott’s Job is to create the narrative , Greg Capullo is just as involved in the story telling this issue . Greg’s art is always amazing but he takes his craft up to another level this issue. By making the reader turn this issue to the side , upside down and finally having us view things out-of-order , we get the sense of what Batman’s feeling . His confusion at not being comfortable in his surroundings even though this is something he feels he can overcome and survive. Greg also manages to have Talon stalk Batman on each page utilizing reflections in glass and showing us the glow of his eyes off into the distance, waiting for the perfect moment to finally put down his prey .

This leads to a single page spread that blew me away . Watching Bruce slowly lose his mind as it gives way to his insanity is painful enough but to see him get taken down the way he is at the end of this issue I can only describe it as gut wrenching. Closing out by focusing on Damian missing his father and the symbolism of the Bat Signal burning out is a pitch perfect way to end this issue. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo must be commended for not only taking risks with this issue , but flawlessly executing them in every way. This is art and narrative blending in perfect harmony . Batman#5 may already be the best single issue I read of any comic this year and I can’t recommend this book strongly enough.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

DC Comics: THE DARK GROUP SOLICITS – April 2012


SWAMP THING #8
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art and cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
1:25 B&W Variant cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
On sale APRIL 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Behold the terrifying true potential of the Swamp Thing – a form so fearsome we couldn’t put it on the cover! The Green sought a warrior king, and now they have one…but will they regret unleashing a being this powerful? And can all that strength save Abigail Arcane from her destiny in the Rot’s clutches?


(Not final cover)

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #8
Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art and cover by MIKEL JANIN
On sale APRIL 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The crossover with I, VAMPIRE heats up as Zatanna and Shade stand alone against an army of single-minded vampires, with their most powerful teammates out of the action! Plus: Constantine and Deadman have gone to the ends of the earth and beyond in search of the only two powers who can put a stop to the bloody rise of Cain – but what they bring back will change the face of sorcery forever! To be concluded in this month’s I, VAMPIRE #8!


I, VAMPIRE #8
Written by JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV
Art and cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
On sale APRIL 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
As the Justice League Dark team faces the end of all magic – and perhaps life itself – only one man can challenge the dark force known as Cain: Andrew Bennett. He’s back from the dead, but whose side is he on? Regardless of the answer, nothing will be the same for either series when “Rise of the Vampires” is over!


FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #8
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art and cover by ALBERTO PONTICELLI and WALDEN WONG
On sale APRIL 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Enter: The Spawn of Frankenstein! As Frankenstein and his estranged wife hunt their demonic offspring across Europe, the secrets that tore them apart are revealed. But when Frank finally comes face to face with his long lost son, the fallout may mean the end of S.H.A.D.E.!


ANIMAL MAN #8
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by TRAVEL FOREMAN, STEVE PUGH and JEFF HUET
Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN
On sale APRIL 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
“Animal vs. Man” Part 2! Buddy takes a stand as the horde of Rot-infested animals continues to grow and close in on the Baker family. But the results are disastrous, setting up a chain of events that may lead Maxine right to the Hunters.


RESURRECTION MAN #8
Written by DAN ABNETT and ANDY LANNING
Art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
On sale APRIL 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Someone has been following Mitch Shelley, the Resurrection Man, everywhere he goes. Someone has been keeping tabs on where he’s been and what he’s doing. But who? This story serves as a lead-in to next month’s crossover with SUICIDE SQUAD – and you don’t want to miss that!


DEMON KNIGHTS #8
Written by PAUL CORNELL
Art by BERNARD CHANG, DIOGENES NEVES and OCLAIR ALBERT
Cover by MIKE CHOI
On sale APRIL 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Just how exactly did Madame Xanadu become the paramour of both Jason Blood and Etrigan, the foul demon trapped inside him? On the road to Alba Sarum, there’s nothing but time for tall tales…and this one’s as unbelievable as they come! Featuring guest art by Bernard Chang (DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS)!

DC Comics: BATMAN GROUP SOLICITS – April 2012


(above) GARY FRANK’S VARIANT COVER FOR BATMAN #6


BATMAN #8
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Backup story written by SCOTT SNYDER and JAMES TYNION IV
Art by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION
Backup story art by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
Cover by GREG CAPULLO
Variant cover by JASON FABOK
1:200 B&W Variant cover by GREG CAPULLO
On sale APRIL 18 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Broken and beaten, Bruce Wayne has retreated from Gotham City – the city of Owls – to Wayne Manor. But no place is safe, because the Court is about to strike at the heart of city, and nothing will ever be the same. Be there for the start of the battle for Gotham City’s soul…and the prelude to “The Night of the Owls.”
And in the first chapter of a new backup story, learn the secret history of The Court of Owls – as well as the secrets of Gotham City and the Wayne family!
This issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.


DETECTIVE COMICS #8
Written by TONY S. DANIEL
Art by TONY S. DANIEL and SANDU FLOREA
Cover by TONY S. DANIEL
Backup story art by SZYMON KUDRANSKI
1:25 B&W Variant cover by TONY S. DANIEL
On sale APRIL 4 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend, investigative journalist Charlotte Rivers, tries to protect a long-hidden secret even when her own life hangs in the balance. The Scarecrow is after knowledge only she possesses, and he’ll stop at nothing to get it from her. Can Batman uncover Charlotte’s secret past in time to save her future? With the clock ticking and a dose of newly designed fear gas in the air, Batman must first fight his own nightmare as all of Gotham City turns against him.
Plus, don’t miss the start of a new backup story written by Tony S. Daniel and illustrated by Szymon Kudranski (PENGUIN: PAIN AND PREJUDICE)!
This issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.


BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #8
Written by PAUL JENKINS
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
1:25 B&W Variant cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
On sale APRIL 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
A series of disturbing events captivates Gotham City as citizens turn on each other all across town. But when toxicology reports turn up negative, it’s left to Batman to determine the source of the problem, bringing him into an encounter with Tweedledum and Tweedledee at an entrance to the mysterious “Wonderland.” With Jim Gordon occupied on a tragic, high-profile case, and madness beginning to take root across the city, can Batman find the source of it all before it’s too late?


BATWING #8
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art by DUSTIN NGUYEN and DEREK FRIDOLFS
Cover by KEN LASHLEY
On sale APRIL 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Batwing vs. Massacre! The culmination of Massacre’s rampage and destruction of Africa’s first team of heroes, The Kingdom! The battle between Batwing and Massacre crashes Gotham City as Batman, Robin, Batgirl and Nightwing join the fight in a massive, action-packed rumble you won’t want to miss! And the shocking identity of Massacre is revealed at last!


BATMAN AND ROBIN #8
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY
On sale APRIL 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The “Born To Kill” saga concludes in a storm of fire and water, as Batman and Robin find themselves beaten and battered emotionally, as well as physically, as the fate of NoBody is revealed!


BIRDS OF PREY #8
Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art and cover by JESUS SAIZ
On sale APRIL 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Rumor has it that Dinah Lance – a.k.a. Black Canary – killed a man with her sonic scream, and she’s been running from the law ever since. But it wasn’t a mere punch that shattered the victim’s skull. Now, something far more dangerous than the law is hell-bent on taking down Black Canary: a cunning enemy who knows her every weakness, both physical and psychological. The only things standing between Dinah and certain death are her friends and teammates: Batgirl, Katana and Starling. But will they still want to protect her after they learn the truth about what she was up to for the past three years?


BATWOMAN #8
Written by J.H. WILLIAMS III and W. HADEN BLACKMAN
Art by AMY REEDER and ROB HUNTER
Cover by AMY REEDER
1:25 B&W Variant cover by AMY REEDER
On sale APRIL 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Six lives moving through different points in time, all heading toward a crossroads.
Batwoman faces gnashing teeth, claws and otherworldly powers. But can she defeat the villains of Gotham Harbor?
Maro, an arcane wizard, harnesses violent magics to create the vile creature known as The Hook.
Kate Kane struggles with living multiple lives and how that affects her relationship with Maggie.
Detective Maggie Sawyer transports a double agent named Sune.
Jacob Kane still holds onto hope for a life that he so desperately needs in his.
DEO Agent Cameron Chase covertly aids Batwoman in abducting one of the villain Falchion’s inner circle.
The creative team’s unique take on spy stories continues!


BATGIRL #8
Written by GAIL SIMONE
Art and cover by ARDIAN SYAF and VICENTE CIFUENTES
On sale APRIL 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The metahuman thief and killer Grotesque has set his sights on the perfect woman to add to his collection: Batgirl! Also, we reveal the other traumatic incident in Barbara’s life – one you’ve never heard about before! It’s a Gordon family secret that has never been revealed! You must not miss this story!


RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #8
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art and cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
On sale APRIL 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Suzie Su is back, and she’s betting a hospital full of hostages will get Red Hood’s attention! If that isn’t enough to keep him and the Outlaws busy, there’s someone waiting in the wings! It’s Tim Drake knocking on Red Hood’s door with a very special package for his estranged “brother.” Don’t miss Red Robin’s cameo this issue, as it ties directly into next month’s “Night of the Owls” Batman event!


NIGHTWING #8
Written by KYLE HIGGINS
Art by EDDY BARROWS, RUY JOSE and EBER FERREIRA
Cover by EDDY BARROWS
On sale APRIL 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
A lead-in to next month’s thrilling “Night of the Owls” Batman event! With the Owls descending upon Gotham City, the fate of the city’s leader rests on the shoulders of Nightwing! But as our hero embarks on a mission to rescue Mayor Hady, just how do Cameron Kane and turn-ofthe-century Gotham City factor in? Plus: the untold story of William Cobb – the Talon who’s hunting Bruce Wayne!


CATWOMAN #8
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art by ADRIANA MELO and MARIAH BENES
Cover by GUILLEM MARCH
On sale APRIL 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Catwoman has a new running buddy named Spark, and together, they’re taking Gotham City – literally! And when these two thieves team up, it’s twice the haul and twice the trouble. Electricity is in the air…