As we ready for new comic book day on Wednesday, The Week In Geekery looks at last week’s highlights. It was a relatively light week for me last week, with relatively few real “highlights.” For the first round of reviews, let’s focus on two of the oldest heroes out there, and wildly different storytelling qualities.
Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray
It’s the first issue of Superman since the events of last month’s 4-issue REBORN crossover, and the Kent family is starting to deal with the fallout. Namely, their neighbors in Hamilton County now know them as the Kents and everything seems to be going back to the pre-Flashpoint normal for them – just in more youthful New 52 bodies. Can we figure out a continuity reboot for our Earth to give us all a redo?
Everything seems to be going great for Clark, Lois and Jon… and then Batman shows up to ruin everyone’s fun. Clark catches the Dark Knight and his son skulking around the barn and instead of yelling at each other outside, like they would in Gotham City or Metropolis, Lois and Clark bring Batman and Robin inside for some coffee and pie. Batman tells Clark and Lois that because their son is a Krypto-Human hybrid, he should be even stronger than Superman – which seems to be a reversal from decades of continuity, but whatever – but Batman believes that something in the area of the farm is weakening him.
Of course, Batman follows his gut and it doesn’t go well for him. At all. This is a recurring theme for the Rebirth Batman – come visit Superman in Hamilton County and he ends up being captured or disabled by some manner of villain. I don’t want to give away what happens to Batman here, because you should really see it for yourself, but it involves a cow’s milk and black goo.
Even with the embarrassing moments that Batman is put through, the best part of this issue is the way Superman is represented. He’s smiling. He’s HAPPY and Tomasi and Gleason show that the people look up to him. It’s the way Superman should be written. I hope this continues to be the standard.
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch, Danny Miki, John Trevor Scott and Jordie Bellaire
What a disappointment.
The latest issue of Batman was the end of the “I AM BANE” story, which was the third and final chapter in the “I AM” trilogy that kicked off Batman’s DC Rebirth. For most of the last 10 months, we’ve been building to what was supposed to be an epic confrontation between Batman and Bane, as the Dark Knight took away the Psycho Pirate, who gave Bane some semblance of peace, in order to save Gotham Girl.
That confrontation concludes here, but it’s not really all that epic. In between a series of panels where Bane and Batman pummel each other, we get an unnecessary Ocean’s 11-style recap of the story so far which is being narrated by Martha Wayne, Batman’s dead mother, as she lectures Bruce to join his parents.
As a story’s finale, it left a lot to be desired. And since Batman is moving on next issue for a crossover with The Flash to address some Rebirth mysteries, I’m not sure there will be much more follow-up.
The three arcs that Tom King has written so far – “I AM GOTHAM,” “I AM SUICIDE” and “I AM BANE” – will absolutely make for great collected editions, but as an issue-by-issue story, it didn’t provide what I wanted out of a comic.
It might be time to switch to collected editions for Batman.
The Flintstones 10
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Steve Pugh
Mark Russell dances around a few different topics here, weaving in a story about incompetent leadership, artistic expression and how Bedrock reacts to the introduction of movies. It all weaves together perfectly, as Russell does with every issue.
Months after the people elected Clod the Destroyer to be mayor, everyone is having a little bit of voter’s remorse. In order to finance his mission to destroy the Lizard People – who have mysteriously disappeared – Clod trades in the people’s retirement funds for sandwich vouchers, after he’s already stopped funding the hospital. The sandwich vouchers are a bridge too far and the people are finally sick of Clod’s rule.
I really wonder where Russell’s Flintstones story would have gone had Donald Trump lost the election, but at least something good has come out of the 2016 vote…
Meanwhile, Fred and Barney discover the cinema, going to see a series of prehistoric movies based on chick flicks to see the women involved “bare it all.” And Wilma gets discovered by a movie director who needs an artist to help build sets.
Russell ties it all together in the most appropriate way, probably the way many would like to see things resolved here in the U.S. But the highlight of the issue is the tragic death of one of my favorite characters in the book: the vacuum cleaner. The poor little guy just wanted to see a movie, and ended up working after a showing, doing the most disgusting thing possible: cleaning the floor of a movie theater. It’s maybe the saddest thing I’ve read all year. We’ll have to see how his friend bowling ball gets by after losing the vacuum cleaner.
That’s it for the inaugural edition. Business definitely picks up next week, with a much larger slate of releases.
Steven Ferrari is the Head Geek at The Casual Geekery, which offers a regular slate of comics reviews, TV views and other geeky goings-on. For more, visit thecasualgeekery.com.