By Stefania Rudd and Brandy Dykhuizen. Our Week In Review collects our thoughts on the comics that demand attention. Do you have a deep-rooted desire to know what we think about all your favorite books? Well. This is where you need to be.
Written by Tom King.
Art by David Finch, Matt Banning, and Danny Miki.
Colors by Jordie Bellaire.
Letters by John Workman.
SR: Time is decidedly the central theme to “I am Gotham”, and Batman #2 wastes none of it. Delving further into the action, the second issue of DC Comics’ latest era for the Caped Crusader begins with an immediate takedown of another time-centric villain. This time it’s Solomon Grundy, and while I’m not sure if it was a Saturday when Batman and his new mysterious crime-fighting duo pals, Gotham and Gotham Girl, took him down, but it ends his campaign of terror all the same.
And that is just the beginning. Tom King advances the story with familiar Batman tropes — Bruce Wayne’s obligations and the Batman’s responsibilities have trouble aligning, the key relationship he has with Commissioner Gordon is as wily as ever — all while planting seeds for new challenges along the way. We still don’t have much information on Gotham and Gotham Girl, and that doesn’t appear to bother Batman; he has expressed a certain level of trust with them, even though others around him are still leery (and I don’t blame them).
Visually the art team of David Finch, Matt Banning, and Danny Miki are doing wonderfully in providing grittiness you would want out of a Batman book. I enjoy how the art gives it a feel of classic comic book, but the sharpness and realistic details (like Commissioner Gordon’s tobacco falling out of his pipe and Alfred’s reflection in the hallway clock) make it modern. Facial expressions, especially in the eyes, provide the weight of each character’s tone. Overall, Batman #2 good second issue that dutifully continues the new direction this series has taken. Even though there is less wham-bam action than the debut issue, its new reveals pack just as much of a punch.
8 out of 10
Written by Caitlin Kittredge.
Art by Steven Sanders.
Letters by Rachel Deering.
BD: It’s not necessarily a new concept – two seemingly unconnected characters are pursued by the same mysterious, possibly government-affiliated agency. A little down the line we learn that both targets share equally harrowing pasts and both seem to possess mysterious powers. Abby has been turned into a Jason Bourne-esque weapon, while Dean is capable of harnessing the mental power and energy to telekinetically turn scrap metal and glass into agent-killing shrapnel. There are certain types of genre conventions that have enough ammunition for countless retellings — the paranoid political thriller, say — and Throwaways #1 is a prime example of that.
The imagination with which this story is told, coupled with quick-flowing dialogue renders Throwaways as an immediate page-turner. The narrative is familiar, but it remains completely relevant. Abby struggles with PTSD, borne of fleeing a bombed-out village as a child and of her military service in Afghanistan. Dean is still attempting to piece together why his father dragged his family into the woods and shot several FBI agents twenty years ago. Together, all they seem to be sure of is knowing how to choose between fight or flight, and that trusting anyone else would be a deadly mistake.
Steven Sanders’ art is incredibly clear, focusing on facial expressions and clever symbols to guide us through the chaos. In one layout, bullets line up flatly against agonizing clips of facial features as a PTSD support group is systematically taken out, execution style. In another, chat dialogue boxes are pushed to the side, to show us that, while the plot may hinge on the conversation within, the world keeps turning and you never really know what sort of business the stranger next to you might be working on. Throughout the book, close-ups of eyeballs punctuate the pages and illustrate the terror and uncertainty in those last frozen moments facing death. You still might not know what the hell is going on or even who to root for by the end of the book, but Kittredge and Sanders make it so easy to get drawn into the action that the last page will definitely leave you dying for Throwaways #2.
8 out of 10
From earlier this week —
Agree? Disagree? What books are YOU reading this week? We want to know! Tell us about those feelings of yours in the comments section below.