Hey everyone, hope you like longer than usual articles because lots of stuff came out for me this week (only one issue shorter than my Giant-Size Special!). It’s weird having a Detective Comics without Action Comics, but there’s a short hiatus as we build up to #1000 so I don’t mind too much. Two of my limited series came out though, plus stay tuned after the credits for an indie book I forgot to order at the beginning of March and just got this week!
Detective Comics #977
In the wake of the last few arcs, things are a bit shaky in the Bat-family. This is highlighted by Tim being shown a possible future in which Batman is killed by Batwoman, due to events spiraling out of the break. After the cold open of this horrifying future, we get a bit more info on Ulysses, the weapons developer for the Colony (a paramilitary organization run by Batwoman’s dad, which she just agreed to join). He wants to play a role in shaping the future, and reaches out to Tim to do so. We also get a slice of what’s going on with Batwing being recruited by the Colony, which ties into Ulysses’s plan. He’s a pretty shifty guy, but I’m not sure if he has the making of a meaningful villain. However, he may just be adding fuel to the conflict between the segments of The Artist Formerly Known as Batman, Inc. I’m interested in that storyline, which I hope is tackled entirely within Detective Comics. The idea of securing the legacy of what Batman stands for is always worth examining, and this might have an interesting take.
Doomsday Clock #4
Doomsday Clock picks up approximately where it left off with a sort of strange issue. The issue focuses entirely on the new Rorschach, split between his current life in Arkham Asylum and flashbacks of how he came to take up Rorschach’s mantle. It’s actually a really good issue, even though it doesn’t drive the story forward in any meaningful way. The fact that there’s a new Rorschach is obviously pretty central to the plot, and getting an idea of who he is early on will most likely add to the experience. Like all of Doomsday Clock so far the issue is very dense, with a lot of small details in the art and a lot of small symbols and callbacks to both the world of Watchmen and the world of the main DC Universe. Regardless of how you feel about doing a sequel to Watchmen, it’s obvious that effort and care are being put in to make it a worthy successor. The amount of detail and symbolism is superb, and while there’s plenty of obvious surface level stuff I’m sure plenty of it is going over my head. The team on this book is really on to something, and so far I really like the character of Reggie (new Rorschach). He seems to have a similar goal and bearing to the original, but isn’t just an imitation. As the series continues I expect him to stand on his own, and look forward to it since he was already able to carry an entire issue with his story. In talking to my coworker I mentioned how sometimes the issues or episodes that focus on one character end up being the best (see The Leftovers Season 1 Episode 3), so I hope to see a similar focus on other characters at some point going forward.
Raven: Daughter of Darkness #3
Boy howdy this book sure does like being confusing. Raven fights off another faceless girl, Ash as opposed to Azure who died last issue. She also comes face to face with the mysterious man and giant cat behind the scenes, ends up in 1906 for some reason, learns more about her father and her past, and attends a funeral. So it’s all over the place. As scattered as this issue feels, it’s bridged together by Raven piecing together her connection to these faceless girls and the fact that she is being targeted. Despite meeting Baron Winters, she doesn’t figure out exactly why she is meant to die. I like the way the mystery is unfolding, but it’s still a bit messy to really dive into. We’re only a quarter of the way into the story, so I’m not surprised a lot is being kept intentionally confusing. All I can hope is that the payoff later is worth it.
Moon Knight #193
The end of “Crazy Runs in the Family” came around this week, and it was a decent enough ending. Pretty much the whole thing is spent on the fight between Moon Knight and Sun King. Sun King is attempting to sacrifice Marc in a ritual that will bring strength and power to Ra, the god giving him his powers. Marc just wants to see his daughter more and not die. For an arc that had so much psychological drama, an ending that plays to the more mental aspect is fitting. I have to say it feels a tiny bit anticlimactic, but it wasn’t a bad ending by any stretch. The arc as a whole stands together pretty well, and the start of Moon Knight’s Legacy series did a great job pulling me in. It looks like we might get a few one-shots or a short arc before Fresh Start, with the next episode being teased as a flashback to what made Marc as messed up as he is. We’ll see if after this arc it stays on my pull list, Fresh Start is a jumping on/off point for a lot of books. We don’t even know if there will be a Moon Knight book in Fresh Start (Marvel’s upcoming relaunch of books back at #1), as it isn’t among the announced titles yet. Time will tell on that one.
Old Man Logan #37
The story of Logan meddling in the Kingpin’s business ramps up with a pretty action packed issue. Logan is trying to get the USB drive decrypted, and Bullseye is out for blood. Like I hoped, Bullseye vs Logan is a good fight. Bullseye is known for strategy, and with a weakened and aged Logan it’s far more interesting than what would have happened if he went toe to toe with any of the proper healthy Wolverines (there’s a whole fucking truck of them running around these days). Additionally, the fight taking place in a hippie grocery store adds a few moments of humor into the battle. The “carrot” of what is on the drive is also pretty interesting. We already know so much bad shit the Kingpin has done, the reveal of the data should maybe be pretty big. This was very much a middle issue, with the fight taking up the bulk of it. The next issue is already being promoted in the back of the book as the conclusion, so this arc looks to be short and sweet. Pack in another good action scene and some answers and this could be strong entry in the Old Man Logan series.
Bloodborne is continuing to surprise me. The writing is pretty good, it has a lot of sort of eerie and spooky aspects which are played on even more by the way the panels are laid out. There are alternating panels of art and blackness, with separate dialogue streams in each that give the feeling of madness that the game radiates. While the journey still seems straightforward, seeing the same places in a different chronology than the game is fascinating. Bits of dialogue hint at small details that may or may not have been within the game, revealing shreds more of the world we love to piece together. I’ve always loved the Souls series, but Bloodborne’s world just has something about it that’s stayed with me more than anything else. The first time I read “The Paleblood Hunt”, a lore guide put together by fans, it awakened a love of this universe that has stuck for years. The comic does have some pretty major details from the game, especially in this issue, so I would strongly recommend staying away if you haven’t yet played Bloodborne. There is a moment, which is different for everyone, that is genuinely my favorite moment in any video game ever (I don’t want to get into game spoilers here, so feel free to contact me through Discord if you’re interested in a discussion of this). The comic manages to capture the feel of the game but to also have a more direct narrative and a character with actual dialogue and a little bit more backstory. The art nails the enemies and environments beautifully, and returns me to a world I love. After the apparent debacle of the Titan published Dark Souls comics, I’m happy this one seems to be much stronger an entry.
That’s it for this week! Come back next week for more comics, come back in a few weeks for an extra special Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman Pull Box, and come back two months from now for the next fucking Doomsday Clock. As always I encourage you to check out other wonderful articles from Skill Floor members, and to hop on the Discord to talk to me about comics or post memes.
Comic Wolf Post-Credit
As I mentioned up above, I missed the release of a book! Shocking I know. I went through the Previews book a while back to mention a few things I was looking forward to for a store newsletter. I picked Ballad of Sang #1, but failed to put it on my pull list. The store didn’t get any extras so I didn’t even notice I missed it until I saw an ad for it pop up on an anime streaming site. Now I have it, so you get to hear my thoughts!
Ballad of Sang #1
Sang is a kid. He likes comics and action figures. He’s also mute. He’s also a badass assassin working indirectly for a big shot crime family head. The issue starts with Sang being sent to threaten a low-level Yakuza member into paying what he owes by cutting off a finger. After some REALLY slick action sequences of Sang murdering Yakuza thugs with a machete, he delivers his message and cuts off all the guy’s fingers instead. That causes some problems, which spin out into what will become the main story of the book: Sang out on his own and on the run. Ballad of Sang is off to a good start. The story isn’t anything amazingly original, but I like the idea anyway. The art is very strange, got a weird mix of bright colors and a lot of heavy black ink. It surprised me a little bit, given the way the cover looks, but it works pretty well. The action is really well done, and actually everything is blocked out in panels in a symmetrical and satisfying way. The writing is also decent, it had a few humor beats but a lot of very straightforward stuff. I think there’s a lot of room for interesting interactions and growth for a mute kid assassin, so I hope that develops throughout. I don’t think this series is going to win a ton of awards, but it has my interest and I look forward to checking out a few more issues to see how it goes. Expect to see the next issue in the main body of CWPB in a few weeks!
Short and sweet post-credit to balance out the five issue long main part. Thanks for sticking around and for reading, if you made it this far you’re my hero. See you next week; same time, same place.