Writers & Artists: Fabian Nicieza, Steve Scott, Daniel Sampere, Andrei Bressan, Walden Wong, Rich Perrota, Rodney Ramos
This is the wrap-up issue leading into the DCnU reboot, and it’s written as a retelling of the Batman story. It opens with “This is the story of a boy who lost his parents, but through that loss gained a noble purpose in life. He grew up obsessed with fighting crime — with the idea of never letting any other innocents suffer as he had.” Our narrator describes Bruce first taking on the cowl, then working with Robin, and as the story progresses the artistic style changes to match the era depicted. Here’s a panel I really enjoyed, I haven’t seen Batman looking that cheerful in years.
As the tale continues we realize that the narrator isn’t Batman himself, and I started to wonder if it was Joker. He refers to the first Robin as “an incredibly annoying child”, after all. But, the level of detail and care for the characters showed it couldn’t possibly be Joker telling this story. Who else, then, would give only one brief mention of all of Jason Todd, as though the only important parts of his involvement with the Mission were when he showed up and then when he died?
And at the same time, criticize Tim’s Robin as a “mistake”? I was so upset by that! But once you read it and figure out who the narrator is, it makes sense. As a wrap-up story I did like this issue, especially the way it’s drawn and the suggestion at the end that the Bat-cave needs a Bat-pole – it really really does.
Justice League of America 60
Writers & Artists: James Robinson, Daniel Sampere, Wayne Faucher
This issue also tied up loose ends – specifically, the entire Justice League. Over the course of the story as they remember old battles and think about their own futures, everyone on the JLA decides to quit! It’s a pretty good way of opening up space for the new JLA, since at least nobody has to die.
They reminisce about a few huge fights, I had a hard time getting into that and understanding the impact of those battles on these heroes, possibly because of how it was written and possibly because those situations happened in books I haven’t read. There were also some great moments and beautiful art, like Supergirl killing an evil robot bare-handed:
I love that she wears super-shorts under her super-skirt! Helps protect the super-modesty. We also have a really interesting moment where Congorilla brings up Batman Inc and African superheroes in general (I stuck two pages together for ease of reading, it didnt look exactly like this in the book):
He makes a good point, I think — Africa is a big place and I’m not surprised that there are already superheroes working there. But why is that the only person who sees this is a Scottish man-turned-Gorilla? It reminded me of how white the JLA is, and the whole superhero world. One thing I really hope to see as the DCnU launches and then grows is more diversity, both in terms of creators working at DC comics and also in the characters portrayed. There was that great image showing other heroes posed like Wonder Woman (Batman’s awesome!), that’s such a prime example of how women are represented differently. I think the comic world in general, and DC within that, has a lot of room to grow and this relaunch is a great opportunity to bring in a wide range of characters. I hope they live up to the possibility.