Jim Lee goes Batty
See, I knew this was going to happen. I started picking up the G.I Joe books a few months ago and I swore I wouldn't start collecting comics again. But I saw Uber-Artist Jim Lee's name and unmistakably cool artwork on the cover of Batman and couldn't resist. And Loeb's a decent writer, too (he did some cool Batman bookshelfs with Tim Sale back when I was in it hardcore. The Long Holloween, etc)
The story was a little thin ( I bet you could have squeezed the entire issue into five pages in the olden days), but the artwork was killer.
(sigh) so now I may be collecting three titles a month....
Same here. As much as I love Batman, I'd stayed away from the title until I saw Jim Lee pop up there. Now I collect 2 GIJoe comics, however many Transformers comics there are in a month (though I plan on giving anything without Simon Furman involved only one more issue before dropping it), He-Man, and Thundercats. And now Batman. Comics are slowly drawing me back. Thankfully Marvel completely invalidated all the stories I cared about from way back when, so it's doubtful they'll get me back to the thin mockeries of classic characters they're churning out now. Unless, of course, there's a new Sleepwalker title in the works. :crazed:
Picked up the 2nd issue (#609). More story this time. The cover was misleading, as Catwoman and Poison Ivy showed up for about one panel between the two of them. I like how Batman's uniform has morphed into the Frank Miller version from way back in the Dark Knight books. The big, clunky utility belt, the thick treads on the boots, the smaller streamlined ears. Since I've been away, I don't know how long Bats look has been like this, but I like it. It's like the present has caught up with the future.
I get the feeling Loeb is going to write just about every major character into this story arc, just to give Lee an excuse to draw them. I wonder when, Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Bane will show up?
I wonder what the ramifications of Batman having major brain surgery will be down the road. Probably nothing. It's quaint how they wrapped it up in one issue. :) Eagerly anticipating next issue.
As far as Marvel goes, I've flipped thru some of the recent collected works for Daredevil and the Hulk and was impressed with the writing, but it's been a decade away from the most convuluted continuity in comics history (the collective Marvel Universe) and I just wouldn't know where to dip my toes back in.
The Ultimate Alterniverse looks kind of appealing. I really liked the collected Ultimate Spidey books I flipped thru, and the Ultimates (a much cooler name than the Avengers, don't you think?) looked interesting. Maybe I'll just start picking up the TPBs every six months.
In fact, that might be the way to go. They only put out the really good stories in TPB format, so you could skip all the filler issues that were the bane of my existence during my collecting years. I would wait an entire month to find out what happened to Iron man or Daredevil, only to get a crappy fill in artist telling me "an exciting story from our heroes past!" Screw YOU! Now I have to wait another month to find out what happened? Way to kill my interest in your book, buddy.
I got 609 and 610 last week. I see what you mean about the brain surgery. Pretty silly if you ask me. I really liked chapter one, but the next two chapters are, well, lacking. The writing isn't good enough to captivate me (though to be honest, I'll probably get the rest of the story just for Jim Lee's art and the story has several months to pick up again).
My guess is this brain surgeon is somehow the main baddie, but that remains to be seen. . . .
What's with the Huntress' new costume? I thought female heroes were getting more practical costumes. This new set of threads would only be practical for soliciting business that's illegal in most states.
And one thing really shocked me. Batman makes a reference to President Luthor. As in Lex? As in convicted felon Luthor? As in a clone of the dead original and supposedly an illegitimate son who was born out of the country and is presumably younger than 35? Not sure I like that idea, and I hope DC as a whole has plans for this aside from the occasional inconvenience to the heroes for four years. I mean, come on. That's bloody ridiculous.
Yep, Lex has been pres. since 2000. It happened in a bunch of Superman titles. There's a side story running through the Superman titles now on how Clark Kent and Perry White are working to get him impeached. It's interesting to say the least. I personally think he got some villian with mind control to get so many American's to vote for him. :happy:
I just reread the first three issues in a row and I think the brain surgeon is the main baddie, too.
I did a double take when I saw "President Luthor" but then said "meh. It's a Superman thing. Who cares..." and went about my day.
Huntress' outfit is probably a Jim Lee thing. I'd like to see it tear some time. ;) I find it hard to believe these scantily clad super chickas never "pop out" while they are beating up street thugs. That'd be a pleasant change of pace. :)
I agree - The Huntress' new costume is godawful! I like Jim Lee (although I think he'd have been more suited to drawing a character like Superman), but what was he thinking?! I absolutely loved the Huntress' previous costume, and I even think it happened to be one of the best designs in comics; aside from looking pretty practical as well (I could even imagine a real life Huntress wearing that costume - it was that good! Which also makes me wonder why they didn't use a closer design for the Birds of Prey TV show - I always thought the costume was quite cinematic as it was, and certainly loads more practical than what they actually went with on the show!). Basically, it wasn't broke, so why did Jim Lee decide to fix it?!
...and don't even get me started on Killer Croc!!! Maybe he'd work better as a Superman villain now...
What the hell?!?? Bruce Wayne owns the Daily Planet? I stop reading comics for ten years and all this craziness goes down.
By the way, I heard a nasty rumor that Commisioner Gordon died sometime back. Would anyone like to confirm/deny and maybe some details and an issue # or two?
I more or less stopped with comics altogether a little after you did, EP, but occasionally I'd pick up an issue or two in the store and look through them. (I also read the entire year-long Batman: No Man's Land series, which was surprisingly good.) I vaguely remember something about Luthor buying the Planet and trying to destroy it, and Wayne bought it out to keep it from going under.
As for Gordon, I don't know about him dying. During NML, he thought Batman had abandoned the city and Bats tried to reveal his identity to him to restore his trust. "I don't need to know that," said Gordon, "and what makes you so sure I don't already?" Sarah Essen-Gordon was killed by the Joker at the end of the storyline, but that's the only dead Gordon I'm aware of.
Gordon was shot and left for dead in the excellent "Officer Down " storyline from sometime in the last couple years. He did survive the shooting, and he decided to retire short thereafter. The current police commissioner is a man named Michael Akins who seems quite capable in spite of a rather glaring lack of character development since his introduction.
The story on the Daily Planet, as near as I can recall (a lot has happened in the Superman books since then), is as follows:
Lex bought out the Planet some time ago in a hostile takeover as part of a revenge scheme against his old friend, Planet editor Perry White (the reasons of which, I'm a bit hazy on at the moment). Lex had intended to cause the paper to go under and cease publication. Lois intervened and offered to kill any one story of Lex's choosing at any time in the future in exchange for Lex selling the Planet to Perry for the nominal fee of one dollar. At some point Perry and the Planet came upon hard times (I may have to go back and reread this one). This time Clark came to the rescue, convincing his old pal Bruce Wayne to bail Perry out. Bruce remains the official owner of the Daily Planet, though he has taken the role of a silent benefactor and has allowed Perry complete control of the newspaper. At least, that's the story based on my recollections.