BATMAN #51 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Batman #51 Cover

BATMAN #51/ Story by TOM KING/ Art by LEE WEEKS/ Colors by ELIZABETH BREITWISER/ Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

How do Tom King and company follow the epic event that was the Batman and Catwoman wedding? By sending Bruce Wayne off to serve jury duty!

Yeah. It’s a little more exciting that it sounds, but not by much. I found myself wondering more about the logistics of how the rule of law functions when a vigilante hands over evidence to the police who corroborate their findings than the actual plot of this issue, which sees Bruce Wayne assigned to the murder trial of Mr. Freeze. Just how the heck that was allowed given that I’m pretty sure Batman Incorporated is still in continuity and it’s public knowledge that Bruce Wayne finances Batman’s activities I have no idea. Maybe the defense attorney was allowed to add in one juror who really hated Batman in exchange?

Tom King may be building to something big, as is usually the case, but the “surprising end” of this issue is anything but and I’m not entirely comfortable with the image of a Batman who destroys public property in a fit of rage. I am, however, comfortable with the imagery crafted by Lee Weeks and Elizabeth Breitwiser, who give this story a suitably dark and disturbed aesthetic. It’s a good place to start reading if you’re curious about Batman after the wedding issue but beyond that it’s nothing special despite some fantastic artwork.

 

Ice Cream Man 5 Cover

ICE CREAM MAN #5/ Story by W. MAXWELL PRINCE/ Art by MARTIN MORAZZO/ Colors by CHRIS O’HALLORAN/ Letters by GOOD OLD NEON/ Published by IMAGE COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM

In the past four issues of The Ice Cream Man, we have dealt with subjects such as guilt, love, regret, teen curiosity and drug addiction through the lens of horror. This time, however, we take a detour into what appears to be an episode of The Twilight Zone on LSD. And I mean that as a complement.

We meet a woman, whose name the narrator cannot keep straight, running away from the strange events in her business office. Vultures are slowly eating her oddly sedate co-workers and horrific murders keep happening. Then there’s the people transforming into screaming chimpanzees or the man threatening to impregnate her with centipedes. All of this unfolds against the backdrop of a man who is confessing to all his wrong-doings after jumping to his death from the roof of the same office building.

While all this is going on, we once again meet the strange gunslinger who confronted The Ice Cream Man last issue. His purpose is still unclear but he appears to be a Man In Black of sorts that is here to battle….something. Is he here to battle the Ice Cream Man and his minions…if that is what the Ice Cream Man is? Is he here to just fight evil in general?

The mystery deepens with every passing issue and so does my interest in this comic. It has gotten to the point where I fear I’m addicted because getting it once a month is not enough. Not only is the storytelling phenomenal, but the artwork is grisly yet beautiful, drawing you deep into this nightmarish world. A must-read for all horror fans!

 

Injustice 2 #67 Cover

INJUSTICE 2 #67/ Story by TOM TAYLOR/ Pencils by DANIEL SAMPERE/ Inks by JUAN ALBARRAN/ Colors by REX LOKUS/ Letters by WES ABBOTT/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

As Brainiac advances upon the Earth, Alfred Pennyworth attempts to establish a peace between two mortal enemies for the sake of a teenage girl. And Harley Quinn is given a special mission…

Once again, I find myself unable to describe why this book is so amazing for fear of spoiling a wonderful story with fantastic artwork. Of course, by his point if you aren’t reading Injustice 2, you are probably beyond redemption. This is one of DC Comics’ best and most underrated titles and if you like Harley Quinn you should give this issue a shot.

 

Justice League #4 Cover

JUSTICE LEAGUE #4/ Story by SCOTT SNYDER/ Art by JORGE JIMENEZ/ Colors by ALEJANDRO SANCHEZ/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

With Sinestro raising a new Corps and most of the team held at bay by an old enemy with a new face, Superman, Martian Manhunter, Batman and Hawkgirl must contend with an entirely different enemy within!

This series continues to impress, with Scott Snyder throwing everything but the kitchen sink into this little epic. It’s fascinating for me as a long-time fan of DC Comics to see how Snyder is expanding and redeveloping various classic concepts, such as the reason behind Sinestro’s classic costume or the existence of a Still Force that is to inertia what The Speed Force is to motion. Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez’s style is a bit rough for my tastes and I think this series might benefit from an artist whose aesthetic is as big and bold as the story that Snyder is telling. That said, I can’t fault the quality of their work. This is a fantastic comic by any standard!

 

Weatherman #2 Cover

THE WEATHERMAN #2/ Story by JODY LEHEUP/ Art by NATHAN FOX/ Colors by DAVE STEWART/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by IMAGE COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM

What would you do if you suddenly had your perfect life disrupted and learned you are not you think you are?

No, this is not the plot to Total Recall. This is the second issue of the The Weatherman – an incredible new science-fiction series from Image Comics.

In the last issue, we saw our title character suddenly arrested for no apparent reason. Now, we have a reason. And it’s a mind-twisting reason. I have no idea where Jody Leheup and Nathan Fox came up with the idea for this comic, but all I can say is it is amazing. Not only is the story engaging and shocking (in a good way), but the art is incredible.

As in the first issue, the action scenes feel like they come alive through artwork that honestly I would not mind having framed on my walls. And just like the first issue, the story here ends on a massive cliffhanger that, like the old 1930’s movie serials like Flash Gordon, leaves you hanging in such suspense that you must return for the next installment to see what happens next. To me, that is a sign of masterful storytelling and I recommend this book without hesitation.

 

X-Men Red #6 Cover

X-MEN: RED #6/ Story by TOM TAYLOR/ Art by CARMEN CARNERO/ Colors by RAIN BEREDO/ Letters by VC’S CORY PETIT/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

From their new underwater base, Jean Grey’s X-Men team tests a new version of Cerebro as Jean tries to help Gentle master the pain caused by his powers. Meanwhile, the mysterious enemy behind the new nanite Sentinels gets ready to make their next move…

If you had told me six months ago that my favorite Marvel title would be an X-Men book, I would have been skeptical, even if you had told me Tom Taylor was writing it!  And yet, with the start of the second story arc, I find myself loving this series without reservation. The book is much improved by the art of Carmen Carnero, whose recent work on Detective Comics I’ve enjoyed immensely.

If you aren’t the sort of person who normally enjoys X-Men, you should give X-Men: Red a try. Between the amazing artwork by Carmen Carnero and a story by Tom Taylor that redefines the X-Men for the 21st century, this is a must-read!

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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