From Gotham with Love

Its Sunday, February 13, 2011, love is in the air, and this is The Side. I'm pretty sure love is in the air. Something's in the air around here. Might be Frebreeze. Maybe Lysol. Ah hell, as stopped up as my nose is it could possibly be Raid.

All I do know is that being out of commission the week before Valentine's Day puts a fella behind the eightball. Kinda hard to go and grab a nice little gift for the Missus. Its even trickery now that Comic Kings has moved because they used to next door to a nice flower shop. And really that's about all I need. Some pretty flowers and a nice card. I'm admittedly not the best dude in the romance department. Its definitely gone downhill over the years as I'm pretty sure I'm getting stupider by the year. Doggone kids done made my brain rot.

Well, I've got a little time, and I've just got to hustle. It won't be a terribly extravagant holiday, but these aren't the most extravagant times. At least the couch is comfy if this goes Tango Uniform on me.


Let's start this party with BATMAN AND ROBIN #20 which kicks off Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's run on the title. There's been speculation as to whether or not Tomasi could match and tone Morrison previously had with the title. What I've noticed about Tomasi in relation to Morrison is that he understands what Morrison does and plays off of it beautifully while still making the story distinctly a Tomasi story. The story itself here is nicely weird but overly so. You can follow it very easily and its got nice little bits here and there like Jim Gordon not putting up with Damien's mouth or Alfred tying Dick's bowtie over his shoulder while driving. We do have nifty little mystery with glowing bats going on. I'm all in. I do want to touch on the opening scene, because its so very good. Back in Tomasi's NIGHTWING run there was a tie-in to Morrison's "R.I.P." Bat-story. Pretty much a bunch of books were to tie into it for sales reasons and it was mostly really stupid and awkward as Batman was supposed to be missing and possibly dead, but really he was gone for a couple hours. Editorial mandates just made it all so dumb. However, Tomasi's tie-in was brilliant in that the part that tied into his disappearance was down without an dialogue whatsoever and consisted of Dick, Tim, and Alfred making popcorn and milkshakes and settling in to watch a movie while they waited for Bruce to get home. Tomasi knew that the disappearance wasn't a big deal. Here he does a very similar scene with all the fellas settling in to "The Mark of Zorro" with Bruce right in the center surrounded by his family with his milkshake. Again, Tomasi absolutely nails where Morrison is at with the character of Bruce Wayne fully embracing the "Miracle of Crime Alley" concept in a perfectly unassuming, elegant manner. Its so good to have him back on a Bat-book.

RED ROBIN #20 starts off our crossover with TEEN TITANS and as expected is a lot of fun. Calculator has been getting a whole lot of mileage lately and this week he's up to no good sending Catman to take on Tim. Catman's definitely gotten to be a major leaguer over the last couple years and Nicieza definitely gives him his due. Things really get good when Tim calls in the Titans for help. Nicieza used to really shine back in the 90s on titles like X-FORCE and NEW WARRIORS. He obviously still has the touch for handling teams in comics and having Tim back with his old team was handled beautifully. J.T. Krul has been doing a great job with TEEN TITANS and I'm not eager to hurry him off the title, but when the time does come I'd love to see Nicieza have a run with it.

Calculator is definitely a busy guy since he's busy trying to kill Oracle over in BIRDS OF PREY #9. Gail Simone as always does a great job with this book, but the artwork really leaves something to be desired. This book is damn popular! Why, oh WHY can't they get a decent artist on board to really push this book. The art serviceable certainly, but needs some extra oomph. As it is it just lays on the page. The story itself is humming along proper. There's a certain symmetry to the helicopter blowing up that makes me smile.

Its team-up time once again for our gal Steph in BATGIRL #18 as this issue she meets Klarion the Witch Boy! Now, there is a distinct lack of "bum bum buuuum" here, but there is some "dun, dun... dun". It should be noted that "dun, dun... dun" is no substitute for "bum bum buuum", but really "bum bum buuum" is in such short supply nowadays that I'll take what I can get. There's this whole thing with were-cat copulation and magic snow globes. Steph and Klarion spend Valentine's Day together. Its all very weird, but in such a good way.

In KNIGHT AND SQUIRE #5 the British Joker is dying. Jarvis Poker is nearing the end. Unlike Batman's nemesis Jarvis is really a pretty harmless fellow and quite likable. Unfortunately the media start turning him into a laughing stock, and not the good kind, so Knight and Squire give him one last hurrah by warning everyone that he's up to something huge! A pleasant parting gift to their old friend, that takes a sudden nasty turn. Also, something horrible happens to Shrike in this issue, and of that I am oh so glad.

Wrapping things up this week is R.E.B.E.L.S. #25. Starro the Conqueror is back and he's building a new army. This time he's doing so with cloned Czarinas! And to make matters worse he captures Vril Dox! Adam Strange rallies the forces to save their bastard genius leader and Lobo's looking to put a hurtin' on something. Last go around with Starro went down before Dox had recruited Lobo. This should make for a damn good fight coming up.


A mushy love song for Valentine's Day? Not so much...

That's a wrap for today. See y'all Wednesday. Have a happy Valentine's Day, and guys, good luck out there. Represent!

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