Batman: 100 Greatest Moments
October 7th, 2019 by diane92345

Batman is my favorite superhero so I had to read Batman: 100 Greatest Moments! What a great review or catch up on the entire Batman story.

From Batman’s origin to tales from the dark multiverse, all the important stories are here. Each has a short summary of the event and at least one comic page or cover. The time period covered is 1940 through 2011.

Some of the stories are familiar to this long-time Batman fan, but many were not. Now, I just have to find a copy of Gotham by Gaslight, where Batman takes on Gotham’s own Jack the Ripper in Victorian times!

My favorite part was the artwork. The styles vary widely—partly because of timing and partly due to different artists’ interpretations. Some style changes may be caused by modern painting and printing techniques making the images sharper and clearer. Regardless, I loved seeing them all in one book to make comparisons easy.

If you are a Batman fan, you must pick up Batman: 100 Greatest Moments! It is an excellent reminder of why you already, or soon will, love the Dark Knight. 5 stars!

Thanks to Chartwell Books, Quarto Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Graphic Novel, New Books Tagged with: ,

Batman Vol 8: Cold Days
December 24th, 2018 by diane92345

Batman is still feeling blue about his marriage plans going awry and his son’s death in Batman Vol 8: Cold Days.

Bruce Wayne is empaneled on a jury. The trial’s question is whether Mr. Freeze killed three woman in the vain hope to resurrect his dead wife. After both sides have rested their case, the jury takes a first vote. All but Bruce vote guilty. Bruce’s reasons are a complex philosophical rant about alternate explanations for the evidence.

In the second story Bruce and Dick reminisce through flashbacks to Dick’s arrival at the Wayne Mansion after his parent’s death.

The final story has the Russian assassin, KGBeast, having an existential moment with his father. Later, he battles Batman in a snowy landscape.

Batman Vol 8: Cold Days collects Batman #51-57. This volume has some thought-provoking introspection, which is what I love about the Dark Knight. He’s  a thinker. Even the third story has self-examination but this time by the villain.  It also has copious fighting. However, I think I liked the first story best, where Batman is obviously having difficult dealing with his recent history. It is like a Batman take on 12 Angry Men, the old black and white Henry Fonda movie from 1957. The art on all the stories is fabulous as usual.

I like a change so I am giving my highest recommendation to Batman Vol 8: Cold Days plus 5 stars!

Thanks to DC Comics and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Batman and the Justice League Vol 1
October 23rd, 2018 by diane92345

Batman and the Justice League Vol 1 has Batman, Superman, the Joker and Lex Luthor set in a Japanese manga-style plot.

A young Japanese man, Rui, goes to Gotham City to find his missing parents. His cab driver, in a VW bug (?), warns him of the city’s high crime rate and drops him off at the edge of the city. When beset with corrupt police, Rui uses his ninja-like skills to defend himself but refuses to kill. Batman rescues him. Commissioner Gordon tells Rui to leave town but he refuses. Run-ins with DC heroes and villains ensue.

Merging my two favorite graphic novel styles—manga and comics—was great fun! It took me a minute to realize that the book reads front to back (like comics) but each page reads right to left (like manga). In addition, the plot was altered slightly because it was originally written for a Japanese audience. The Joker’s new sidekick is a Japanese goddess/demon called Akurou. Using a Japanese hero, Rui, is brilliant. The fish out of water outsider viewpoint works well to emphasize new points of the Batman and Justice League’s story. The artwork also merges manga-style for Rui but only manga-style hair for the American characters though they all look much younger than they are usually portrayed in the comics.

The merging of the two styles makes Batman and the Justice League Vol 1 a great choice for both manga and comics readers. I loved it! 5 stars!

Thanks to DC Comics and NetGalley for an advance copy.

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Batman Catwoman The Wedding Album
September 11th, 2018 by diane92345

If art is why you love comics, Batman/Catwoman: The Wedding Album is a must have!

Including only three stories, this comic is shorter than most compilations. It contains the Engagement, the Dress and the Big Day. It also adds a Wedding cover variant gallery, a sketchbook and a look at the script for the Dress, which includes the original comics that make up the flashback scenes from 1940 until 2003. Catwoman’s face and figure change dramatically beginning with a Jane Russell lookalike.

For the wedding, Batman and Catwoman decide to invite only one witness each. However, DC has invited 31 guest artists to tell the wedding story. It’s rare to see such divergent styles in one comic. It is fascinating to see how each artist highlights different aspects of the characters.

Batman/Catwoman: The Wedding Album is highly recommended for its artwork and flashbacks. The plot and bang up action are not the focus here. For that, read Batman: Preludes to the Wedding. But for art fans or aspiring comic artists, this is a great choice. 5 stars!

Thanks to DC Comics and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

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Batman: Preludes to the Wedding
September 11th, 2018 by diane92345

Batman: Preludes to the Wedding includes six stories providing background to the events that occur in Batman and Catwoman: The Wedding Album.

The first and last story describe how the Joker receives his wedding invitation. The last also includes Harley Quinn. From This Day Forward includes a scene of Damien Wayne getting his wedding suit tailored where he describes his history to his soon-to-be stepmom, Catwoman. Later after returning from her bachelorette party, Catwoman and Damien have a serious talk. For Richer or Poorer makes the reader feel a part of Batman’s, anything but tranquil, bachelor party. For Better or Worse tells the Riddler’s tale. In Sickness and In Health, Red Hood crosses paths with an Anarky terrorist plot while watching over Catwoman’s bachelorette party.

This is a great entry point for those either just entering the DC multiverse or returning after a long absence. Most tales include a short history of the main character. Even for long-time fans, Batman: Preludes to the Wedding builds excitement for the wedding itself and foreshadows some complications. It is a worthwhile companion purchase.

I loved these simple short stories that were reminiscent of the comic books of my youth. 5 stars!

Thanks to DC Comics and NetGalley for an advance copy.

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Batman and the Signal
August 29th, 2018 by diane92345

Batman and the Signal was a little too focused on the Signal’s feelings and history to feel like a fully fleshed out plot.

Duke Thomas, formerly a Robin, is now the Signal, a daytime crimefighter in Gotham. In addition, Duke is one of the increasingly common metahumans, those whose superpowers are in their genes set off by a triggering event.

The brighter colors and clearer pictures are a nice change that emphasizes that Batman and the Signal is set in the daylight. Duke as the Signal has self doubts and confusion about his power and role as a Gotham protector. However, the underlying mystery of what or who is activating the metahumans is the star here.

By the end, I was exhausted by the sheer volume of teenage angst. It felt like I was reading a young adult book. While the art was beautiful, the story just didn’t pop for me. 3 stars.

Thanks to DC Comics and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

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Dark Nights: Metal
June 12th, 2018 by diane92345

Dark Nights: Metal was billed as the ultimate event from DC Comics.  Certainly, the book is filled with every hero and villain in their stable. In addition, there are a multitude of Easter eggs and call outs (literally—they are in little yellow boxes) to other DC Comics. Maybe the buildup made me expect too much…but I didn’t enjoy the plot very much.

It appears that 52 universes within the multiverse are not enough for DC. Underlying the multiverse is a dark multiverse ruled by Barbatos. There are also a bunch of metals that are not on the periodic table that will be used to create a door into it. Around that point in the book (25%), I decided that this was not the book for me but maybe a physicist that has also read every single DC Comic will like it.  I usually love Scott Snyder’s complex plots but this one was a bit much. I read the prequel first and I cannot imagine how confused I would have been if I had not.

Despite, or possibly because of, the crazy plot, the artwork was great!  I don’t want to give away any spoilers but some of the League are in for some sh*t and the art definitely goes there to illustrate it!  So 3 stars for the plot (and this big Scott Snyder fan has to cringe a bit to write it) and 5 for the art averages to 4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, DC Comics, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

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Dark Days Road to Metal
May 22nd, 2018 by diane92345

“It all started with a tooth. A metal tooth that could bring the dead back to life.”

Green Lantern senses an evil presence emanating from the deep recesses of the Batcave. The Joker escapes from his electronic cage. Batman is given a dagger by his ex, Talia, to help him in his search for the elusive 8th metal. Meanwhile, the Joker is playing his tricks. This time he says he is trying to help Batman by destroying a machine. You know you’re in for some bad sh*t when the Greek Gods go back to Olympius and bar the door.

The two Dark Days’ prelude stories, Forge 1 and Casting 1, are the best in this volume. Both the art and story are superb. The other stories vary in quality and relationship to Dark Nights Metal. All are interesting for showing how art and writing styles have changed over the years. Other stories included are:


  • Final Crisis 6-7,
  • Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne 1
  • Batman 38-39
  • Nightwing 17
  • Detective Comics 950
  • Multiverse Guidebook 1

If you plan to read Dark Nights: Metal when its collection is released June 12, Dark Days: Road to Metal is a great reminder of its backstory. Plus it’s a great value at 256 pages. The artwork, especially of the Joker and mecha-Batman from the cover, is beautiful and detailed. The dark multiverse plot forcing an epic war is great and continues down the recent dark path of Batman.

Dark Days: Road to Metal is highly recommended. 5 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, DC Comics, and NetGalley for an advanced copy. Now onto my ARC of Dark Nights Metal. I can’t wait! Review to be published on its June 12 publication date.

Posted in Diane's Favorites, Fantasy, Graphic Novel Tagged with: , , ,

Batman Detective Comics Vol 5
April 10th, 2018 by diane92345

Batman Detective Comics Vol 5: A Lonely Place of Living (Rebirth) mines the history of the Robins instead of including a straight-out mystery like the other volumes in this series.

Be prepared for Red Robin (Tim Drake) from two timelines and universes. The older Red Robin has come back to prevent damage done by Batwoman between the two timelines by killing her (shades of The Terminator). Nightwing (Dick the original Robin) also appears. To make matters more confusing, once arriving back in time older Red Robin dons his Batman costume so there are two Batmans with luckily slightly different costumes (check out the belt colors and slight differences in the bat chest emblem). Many DC heroes arrive to fight against older Tim. This arc is 2/3 of the book. The ending was anticlimactic and not a surprise if you have read Zero Hour or some of the websites about the DC multiverse.

The remaining third is set in Monstertown with Clayface, Anarky and Spoiler playing major roles. This volume collects Detective Comics #963-68.

Recommended for hard-core fans but those new to the DC universe or only familiar with the films may be completely lost.  Also having heroes fighting heroes through most of the book might be disturbing for some younger fans. Since I missed the mystery but the art was great, I give this 3.5 stars.

Thanks to the publisher, DC Comics, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

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All Star Batman Vol 3 First Ally
March 20th, 2018 by diane92345

Alfred’s backstory is surprisingly interesting! Plus the always great team of Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque makes this a beautiful addition to the Batman story.

All Star Batman Vol 3: The First Ally uses flashbacks effectively interspersed with the main Dark Knight plot line. The flashbacks tell Alfred’s origin story and how he starting working for the Batman. There is a great comparison between superhero and pirate stories that will make readers think. The main plot is Batman taking risks and fighting evil as usual. Penguin, Black Mask and Great White join in on the fun. The two plots intertwine in surprising ways. The ending is unexpected and shocking.

This book contains issues 10-14, which were published separately from July 2017 through November 2017. It can be read as a standalone. It also contains the five-part short story that was including in the original comics: Killers-in-Law. Rafael Albuquerque is credited as one of two writers along with Rafael Scofone. The art is done by Sebastian Fiumara. It is a slight tale of the Batman’s travel to Russia to prevent weapons being smuggled into Gotham City. While there, he is engulfed in a turf war between two rival gang families. Princess Vik is awesome but the rest was rather forgettable. Still the main story was very good and expanded the reader’s knowledge of the Bat universe. It is definitely worth picking up. 4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, DC Comics, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

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Murder Geniuses
December 1st, 2017 by diane92345

An imaginative noir comic thick with backstory and full of plot twists!

What villain is killing Gotham City’s philanthropists? The Shadow knows the evil in the hearts of men but is he a hero or a villain?

Mentioning almost any part of the plot of this great noir comic would be a heartbreaking spoiler. Most of the fun in reading this multilayered story is not understanding where it is heading in advance.

Usually I read comics and even graphic novels not expecting much from the plot. Action, and awesome illustrations, are my usual expectation. This comic definitely contains both but the focus is on the story. It explains who taught Batman to be Batman. Alfred’s background is also explored. While I had only seen one old black & white movie about The Shadow, his story, as shown in this book, is captivating.

Most comics take a few hours to read. This one took me days because I truly wanted it to last as long as possible. I can also see a re-read in my future. Batman/The Shadow: The Murder Geniuses is definitely my favorite comic from 2017. It is especially recommended for mystery readers who previously shunned comics as too simplistic in plotting. The plot is definitely the star here. 5 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, DC Comics, and NetGalley for an advanced review copy.

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