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Friday, November 12, 2010

My Week in Comics: November 12, 2010

Batman and Robin analogues and Batman himself in this week's comics! What's in store for me this week? Read on to find out!

I loved Paul Cornell during his stint as writer for Captain Britain and the MI:13, so when he was pegged as the writer for DC's Knight and Squire, I immediately jumped at the chance to read his stories again. The first issue of Knight and Squire was quirky and had a thick English accent, but it was a good enough first-issue set up. How does Knight and Squire #2 fare?

In this ish, our heroes find themselves going up against dastardly Morris Men, guys in black hats and bell sticks who want to revert England to a time when everyone was happy, hetero and white using magic. Cornell takes this opportunity to flesh out our heroes more, drawing parallels with Batman and Robin while making them unique at the same time with their own motivations and reasons for being Knight and Squire. They work as a sort of fun throwback to the superheroism of old, where secret bases, identities and being heroes weren't taken for granted. It helps that Jimmy Broxton's keeps up with their madcap adventures with his clean and stylized art.

While I certainly found it interesting, it's not as accessible as Cornell's other works. Most of the British slang and colloquialisms buzz over my head as quickly as they come. While Cornell does provide notes at the end of each issue (kinda like Brits for Dummies), the hook, the excitement that would keep a reader interested in what you have to say would have been gone by then. I wanted to like it, but the headaches won over this round. This is a 3 out of 5.


Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #6 came out this week, even though most of the payoff that happens because of this book have already been spoiled to hell and back. But still, it's a pretty epic send-off to the remaining loose ends of DC's previous mega event, Final Crisis.

So Darkseid used Batman as his one final revenge against the world, sending the Caped Crusader back in time and making him claw his way back to the present, building up Omega Sanction energy through the years and dooming us the moment he steps foot in our time...high concepts only Grant Morrison could have thought up. While most of it works, it's all just...there. Without proper build up, which most of the ideas in this series didn't have time to do, it's all fluff. And I'm not here to read fluff, I'm here to read a coherent story.

Still, the book does have its moments, like Batman trapping the evil within him long enough for the Justice League to come and stop it. "You were too powerful and dangerous to beat at time's end..." Bruce says, just as the JLA come bursting through time. "But right now, in an age of superheroes...you're just another monster for my friends to practice on." Cue awesome.

Morrison's ideas are bigger than the comic books they're published on. The most they can do with them is this stuttering, confusing mesh of concepts and ideas that sounded better when it was written on Morrison's notepad. I really wanted to like this series, but as epic as it sounds (and I have to admit, it is pretty epic), there's just too much in here for me to digest. This is a staggering 3 out of 5.


Two pretty okay books this week. Not the result I wanted, but there's still next week's comics! Agree? Disagree? Any Brits out there want to weigh in on what I read here? Drop me a comment below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading.

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