I know that I’ve been sucking about updates lately and last weeks post was my first in a long time, but this week I almost didn’t post AGAIN! What’s to blame? Batman: Arkham Asylum, that’s what. I finally got the game for my birthday last weekend and then truly didn’t start playing it until Wednesday. I finished it at 9pm Thursday and by 4am I had 239 of the 240 Riddler Challenges. I still can’t find 2 of the 10 teeth on Arkham West. Where are they!?! Where? Oh, Where?
Needless to say I was addicted. The game is flawless. It was everything I was dreaming a game about Batman (or any game for that matter) could be. Honestly, even when I was a small boy and I first played Batman for the NES in 1989 with it’s terrible game play and shitty graphics this was the game that I pictured in my head. Aside from my obvious bias towards this game it’s truly one of the best games I’ve ever played in life, hands down.
I could talk about the game for hours and might just do so in a future post. Perhaps a complete review? But on to this weeks Batman titles:
Batman and Robin# 4
Written by Grant Morrison and Penciled by Philip Tan
Trust me this title is well written. If you know anything about Grant Morrison then you know that. It sucks that Frank Quitely left the series but we will get by.
So I guess Red Hood is back. Again. Yeah, I know stupid. But it’s Grant Morrison so I’ll wait it out. Who is the new Red Hood? Who knows? The First Red Hood was the Joker and the second was Jason Todd. In the Battle for the Cowl story line that just wrapped up literally a few short months ago Jason Todd appeared to “die”. Of course he did just fall into water from a high altitude and even Richard Kimble survived that.
So who is he? I guess we’ll find out. He has shown up back on the scene with a new sidekick, Scarlett and the two of them are already making a name as murdering vigilantes. First they off a B-List Supervillain Lightning Bug, then they kill a Santo and some other villains that are having a “legitimate” business meeting with the Penguin. Batman and Robin show up in time to stop the Red Hood and Scarlett from killing the Penguin too. The Red Hood and Scarlett are video taping the whole thing and ask Batman if he is indeed aiding a “known felon”. The issue ends with Batman questioning the Red Hood if he is Jason Todd?
Batman: Streets of Gotham# 4
Written by Paul Dini and Penciled by Dustin Nguyen
This issue was a nice little self-contained tale. It was written by Paul Dini. How could it not be?
For those of you paying attention Tomas Elliot (a.k.a. Hush) had reconstructive surgery to look exactly like Bruce Wayne shortly before Bruce’s “death”. After Bruce “died” he began to go out of his way to attempt to blow the Wayne family fortune by donating billions to Gotham. Dick and Alfred got wise to his plan and have begun to keep him in check by having various DC Universe heroes babysit him. This way they can be in disguise as Wayne Enterprises Associates insuring that Tommy can only donate what is approved by Wayne Enterprises board of directors and that Bruce Wayne appears to be alive, throwing the trail off of anyone that would connect Bruce to Batman. This issue begins by showing him being monitored by The Creeper in disguise.
Then it shifts focus to the tale of The Broker, an individual that makes his money by selling the city’s Supervillains thier locations for hideouts. It’s interesting when you can see that The Broker is actually bothered by the horrors that he has helped facilitate , but he chooses to turn a blind eye. After all it’s just business right?
The issue ends with Batman asking The Broker for information on his clients. The Broker chooses not to give them up, even after an intense beating from Batman.
Written by Brian Q. Miller and Penciled by Lee Garbett
I know the cover to this issue is fucking awesome. Unfortunately, it’s not what Batgirl’s new uniform is going to look like. This is simply a snapshot of Barbra Gordon’s classic uniform. I know because at the end of this issue they have a picture of what the new Batgirl uniform will look like and it’s kinda disappointing, but still worlds better than the hand-me-down that Stephanie Brown inherited from Cassandra Cain, and has been wearing for the last two issues. That uniform just sucks. But this is the preview of her new uniform and look:
But other than that disappointment the issue was really good. I found myself enjoying this read more than any other of this week. I think it was the dynamic between Stephanie and Oracle. I love reading Oracle. I really like her in her current position. She has truly established herself as a powerful new character. I think this book is beginning to set up a working relationship between Oracle and the new Batgirl and I already love it.
The issue begins where the last left off with Oracle confronting Batgirl and trying to talk her out of taking up the mantle of Batgirl. Of course Stephanie ignores Barbara, but not after seriously thinking it over. Stephanie spends the rest of the issue fighting Drug-Dealers. Then when she attends a frat party at her new college she finds the punch has been spiked with a potent drug.
The Drugs at the party are tied to the same Drug-Dealers that Batgirl has been fighting. Stephanie comes across this information with the reluctant help of Oracle. There is even a touching scene in the Batcave when Stephanie is admiring the uniforms in the cave and Barbara reminds her that those costumes aren’t something to aspire to, as they belonged to fallen heroes.
Anyways, the trail of the Drug-Dealers eventually leads to a cliffhanger splash page that reveals the mastermind behind it all is none other than: The Scarecrow!
Tune in next week. Same Bat-time, same Bat-Channel.