Friday, December 26, 2014
Comic Shop Comic: December 24
As a result, Killer Croc gets a new job that I can't imagine he's too happy with (I certainly wouldn't be, if I had to dress like that), we're supposedly supposed to worry about Batman having to fight crime with dwindling explosives and such-like (although he did do okay with just batarangs, bat-rope and his fists for about 50 years didn't he?), and Jim Gordon gets offers of help from two very unlikely sources.
Mutti's art is pretty good. Not the best in the weekly series, but hardly the worst, either; I do wish someone would let Scarecrow start wearing hats again though...
I found the back-up by writter Jeff Parker and artist Richard Case much more appealing, as it was a Batgirl solo story, and pitted Gotham Public Library's Head Librarian Barbara Gordon against book-based criminal mastermind Bookworm. This time he's after a Necronomicon-like tome of ancient and evil magic. When he recites the magic words—all jokes that I confess took me way too long to get, as I tried reading them backwards and unscrambling them like they were anagrams, before realizing they were just phonetic spellings of various Batman '66 in-jokes—he transofrms his beatnik bodyguards into giant, book-eating, monster book-eating silverfish. There are more than enough library-related jokes in this to likely make it a favorite for any readers who work in a library and, personally, that is always something I liked about the original Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, who here even has a cool hideout hidden in the stacks.
The rest of the book is drawn by Patrick Zircher, and is more visually interesting, even if it's all just fighting and prepping to fight: The new Firestorm vs. The new Dr. Polaris, the new Stormwatch vs. the old SHADE, Batman 2019 spying on Batman 2049 and The Joker/Batman hybrid-bot from 2049 traveling back to 2019 to attack Plastique.
Guess who wins?
There's some really quite spectacular art in this issue, and Pulido really gets to show off how good he is at drawing action in interesting, fun and even innovative ways. Things are definitely winding down in this title, which, after all, has already been announced as canceled, and I definitely got the sense that Soule was forced to reveal some things about Angie and Hei Hei a lot sooner than he planned to based on having fewer issues than he might have originally planned when he started writing the book as an ongoing monthly series.