Saturday, 25 August 2012

Weekly Round-Up 25/08/2012


After the brief respite of Talia's origin last issue, we're back, knee-deep in Wayne family affairs. It's quickly revealed that Damian is alive and well, hiding out from his mother's Leviathan army in the safety of the Batcave. But as anyone who's known Damian for more than five minutes will tell you, he's not likely to stay there! The majority of this issue falls to long-time Batman alter-ego, Matches Malone. It's been a while since Bruce donned this disguise, so it's good to see him take the wannabe-mobster out of mothballs. He puts so much gusto into his performance, it's hard to believe Bruce isn't having just a smidge of fun in the role. However, when coming to the aid of a hassled club singer, he gets himself into more trouble than he bargained for. Ultimately, a fantastic read with fantastic art. Why aren't you reading this already? 9/10


Continuing the trend of the past year, the adventures of this New 52 Superman have been spotty at best. No true drive or overarching storyline, they're simply random fights against forgettable foes. This issue is no different, opening on Superman held captive by an aggressive alien race (who bare an uncanny resemblance to Predators) and he's unable to communicate with them. Little more actually happens, besides a bizarre B-plot that bookends the issue, with Lucy Lane wanting to go bungee jumping. These don't feel like essential Superman tales that someone has been waiting a lifetime to tell. If anything, it's pure filler material. No one will remember this issue, no one will quote it in the future, it exists purely to have a Superman series on the racks. 2/10


As this volume of The Punisher enters the home stretch, the reasons behind the upcoming War Zone mini-series become a little clearer. This issue opens on Frank surrounded by discarded Marvel Universe tech. Iron Man's helmet, Cyclops' visor, Spider-Man's webshooter, one of Doc Ock's mechanical arms, etc. How could he not draw the Avengers' scorn amassing an armory like that. But until then, he still has plenty of mobsters left to kill. To this end, he and his protege set up a buy for pieces of said technology, in an otherwise impenetrable location. Little do the criminals know, that's exactly where Frank wants them! The evolution of Rachel Cole-Alves over the past 13 issues has been fantastic and this installment provides yet another important piece of the puzzle. It'll be a wonder if this character isn't a permanent addition to the Punisher status quo going forward. 8/10


While the idea of a Spike solo mini-series is a no-brainer, this book is so steeped in recent continuity, it's sure to confuse alot of casual readers. To clarify, in a recent issue of Buffy Season 9, Spike decided he could no longer be Buffy's consolation prize, the dark place she runs to when things don't go her way. As such, our favourite English vampire has taken his spaceship (that's right, he has a spaceship now) and retreated to the dark side of the Moon for the purposes of excessive drinking and all-around moping. His insectoid crew don't take kindly to their captain's new melancholy attitude and verge on mutiny. While being a fun issue in and of itself, I can't help but feel the character is so far out of his (and our) comfort zone, the point of this series is entirely lost. Take William the Bloody back to Earth and have him carve out a niche where it really counts. 6/10

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