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A DCnU view – Deciphering DC

16 Jul

by Aalok Joshi

Hey, Welcome back to another edition of deciphering DC. Today, I try to make sense of the reboot and actually tell you why the DC reboot is good for you. Yes, you heard that right. And I also stress on the parts that might go awry, or just be bad.

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Animal Man Vol 3: Deus Ex Machina

2 Jul

Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencillers: Chas Truog and Paris Cullins
Collects: Animal Man issues 18-26
Published under Vertigo

Review by Aalok Joshi

As promised, this is the review of the last of the three collections of Animal Man by Grant Morrison (you can catch previous reviews here and here) which is quite superior to the previous two volumes, in that much it presents a series of events without missing a beat. Most earlier stories seemed like collections of single issues (which worked pretty nicely, in fact) but here it’s nice to see Grant tackle a serial storyline, well until the last issue at least, but here we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

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Animal Man: Origin of the Species

25 Jun

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artist: Chas Truog, Tom Grummett

Published under VERTIGO

Collects: ANIMAL MAN issues 10-17, origin story from SECRET ORIGINS

(SPOILERS continue, though no interior pages this time around! )

And I continue into Vol 2 of the unbridled harrowing rollercoaster ride that is Animal Man. I think the only problem I’m going to have in this series is I’m going to hate to see it end. But end it must, eventually.

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Animal Man by Grant Morrison

18 Jun

ANIMAL MAN

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artist: Chas Truog

Published under VERTIGO

Collects: ANIMAL MAN issues 1-9

Reviewed by Aalok Joshi

Colossally MAJOR SPOILERS ahead…if you have decided to go and buy this book and read it, STOP RIGHT HERE! If not, well, this post gives you umpteen reasons to, including select samplings.

With the slowly and steadily growing mess that is my life pushing my insides out, I find far and few books that are as satisfying a read; driving me towards the fringes, far from the relative comfort zones of the standard Superman , Batman or Flash story and into the morass where the more seedy characters lurk…not all of them are seedy, just…odd. Places inhabited by THE QUESTION , GREEN ARROW, SWAMP THING & ANIMAL MAN.

In particular, when I was reading Batman under his current scribe Grant Morrison (I know that other people do write Batman currently, but the one Grant is writing, whichever it is becomes THE Batman book, just like there are starters, appetizers, desserts but there is always THE main course) I figured that Morrison has always brought some sort of interconnection between his titles, so his titles, whatever they are would always benefit from an individual comprehensive read, and later point out to where they fit into his whole picture. His first work for DC Comics was a portrayal of a lesser known character ANIMAL MAN.

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STEWART (AND LEE’S) SLATE: REVIEWS: BATMAN AND ROBIN VOLS 1-2, BATMAN/PUNISHER BOOKS, BATMAN/JUDGE DREDD BOOKS

6 May

This week guest writer Lee Roberts reviews Batman and Robin vols 1-2 by Grant Morrison and I’ve done some quick reviews of Batman’s cross-overs with Punisher and Judge Dredd.

That’s right I’ve still managed to write something Punisher related even though it’s Batman week! What are you gonna do about it?

BATMAN & ROBIN Vol 1: BATMAN REBORN (the deluxe edition)

grant morrison,frank quitely,philip tan

Review by Lee Roberts




The dark knight has fallen.Bruce wayne is dead and the Batman & Robin you know are no more instead Bruce waynes oldest allie Dick Grayson has taken on the mantle and chosen bruces assasin born wayward son as a new kind of deadlier Robin.a new evil has risen in Gotham more dangerous than before and it will take all the skills of our dynamic duo to stop them,but can they do it without killing each other? The 1st thing you notice when opening this book is how fresh it all seems,whether its the new,nastier villans,the story or the banter between our new protaganists.Also the art is outstanding with quitely outdoing himself on several splash pages my favorite being one of B&R dropping on to the roof of G.C.P.D from their FLYING BATMOBILE (Oh yeah they have 1 of those now too!) All in all this is a remarkably brave book which is brillantly done.i wasnt sure about a new batman but by the end i cant wait for volume 2. I would recommend to any comic fan not just fans of the bat

SCORE 9/10

BATMAN & ROBIN VOL 2: BATMAN vs ROBIN

Review by Lee Roberts

With the introductions and villans dealt with in vol 1 this book concentrates on our heroes and their english allies knight and squire taking Bruce Waynes corpse to an existing lazarus pit in the hope of ressurecting him and the mystery of wayne manor and the clues left inside. but who left them and why? morrisons writting really starts to click in this book with loose ends tying up and new dangers being hinted at. The patnership of Dick grayson and Damien wayne continues to get better and better,a real highlight being the exchanges between the two. I must admit to actually liking the new robin and the new dynamic he brings to the dynamic duo. the book finishes with batman discovering the real identity of the domino killer and i cant wait to read how its all resolved. Its sure to be a laugh riot!!!

SCORE 8/10


BATMAN PUNISHER: LAKE OF FIRE
Writer: Denis Oneil
Art: Barry Kitson/James Pascoe
Review by Stewart Loud
Punisher travels to Gotham in pursuit of his arch nemesis, Jigsaw and bumps into Batman.
A fairly disappointing book unfortunately. Uninspiring artwork, not Bruce Wayne as Batman (some, Azriel dude whoever he is) and Frank is written pretty poorly. Comes across as some sort of halfwit, murderous thug who thinks too much of himself. If this was the only Punisher comic I’d ever read, then I wouldn’t like him. Not much here for fans of either character.
Waste of a brilliant pairing.

SCORE 4/10



PUNISHER BATMAN: DEADLY KNIGHTS
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Art: John Romita Jr/Klaus Janson
Review by Stewart Loud
One of my all-time favourite comics. Carrying straight on from Lake Of Fire, Punisher is still in Gotham chasing Jigsaw, who has now teamed up with the Joker. Proper Batman, Bruce Wayne returns to briefly butt heads with Castle before they form an uneasy alliance to take down the bad guys. A fairly formulaic team-up plot but expertly scripted by Punisher veteran of the time Chuck Dixon with fantastic visuals from John Romita Jr. Short and sweet at less than 50 pages, I struggle to think of any way they could have made this brief story better.
This is a dazzling example that Marvel/DC crossovers don’t have to be printed for the sake of making money, bullshit. Great fun whichever character you read it for.
SCORE 10/10

THE BATMAN/JUDGE DREDD FILES
Writers: Alan Grant/John Wagner
Art: Simon Bisley/Carl Critchlow/Dermot Power/Glen Fabry/Jim Murray/Jason Brashill
Review by Stewart Loud
Collects vol 1-3 of the Batman/Judge Dredd books. You won’t find too many other books as beautifully illustrated as this one. Neither character has looked much better than they do in this trilogy of stories that take place in both Gotham and Mega City One (courtesy of a trans-dimensional device) that all tie in together as Batman and Dredd join forces to fight criminals, monsters and cyborgs with a few inevitable clashes of personality along the way.
Features the villains Scarecrow, Mean Machine, Riddler, Judge Death and The Joker.
Well written, gothic, violent, action packed and a decent sized read at over 200 pages this is definitely one book no fans of either character should be without.
SCORE 9/10

BATMAN JUDGE DREDD: VENDETTA IN GOTHAM
Writers: Alan Grant/John Wagner
Art:Cam Kennedy
Review by Stewart Loud
Batman and Dredd have a decent old fashioned punch up in a children’s playground as well as having to deal with the criminal ventriloquist dummy, Scarface in this short story set between vols 2 and 3 from the Batman/Judge Dredd graphic novel mentioned above.
Nice art and a good comedy brawl between the two characters. Not essential to the plot of the other book but certainly worth a look if you enjoy seeing the characters together.
Lastly, I don’t normally like to give things away in my reviews but Dredd beats the tights off of Bats! Seriously, he hits him in the balls with a kids see-saw at one point!

SCORE 6/10