Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week I take a look at addiction with Batman: Venom, Corrina looks at a sly fox and Batman’s search for his son’s body, Kelly gives us a look at Smallville: Lantern #1, and Helene gives us some insight into British Comics Month!
Dakster Sullivan — Batman: Venom by Dennis J. O’Neil and art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Batman: Venom is not something I would normally pick up, but because it was on the reading list for this month’s Social Issues through Comic Books module about addiction, I dove in hoping it wasn’t going to bring me too far down into the dumps.
With the title being Batman: Venom and the subject of this month’s module being addiction, I knew Batman was going to be dealing with some hard stuff. What I didn’t anticipate was that he would be one of the victims in this story.
The story begins as Batman tries to save a young girl from her kidnappers. It didn’t occur to me till the end that this was setting Batman up for what he would eventually become…some scientist’s guinea pig.
The entire story is an interesting look at addiction from the first stages of it being a habit, to the person’s want for the addicting substance turning into a life or death need for it. Thankfully, Batman has a happy ending. I wish I could say the same for the other innocents involved.
If you have a young reader (12 years old and up) who is learning the dangers of drugs and their effects on the body, Batman: Venom would be a good book for them to read. It doesn’t throw the “say no to drugs” in your face, but the message does get across.
Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.
A double-sized (and thus double-priced) issue that came out last night, this is the latest in the tale of Bruce Wayne’s “Zero Year” in Gotham, a retelling and updating of the Dark Knight’s origin. I can’t complain about the story, as the Riddler takes over the power grid during a horrific hurricane that’s doing its own damage to Gotham. But as someone who’s been reading Batman since the 1970s and has seen two versions of Batman movies, not to mention several television series, I’m just not finding anything new with this storytelling. A full-page homage to a famous panel in the The Dark Knight Returns just reminded me of how ground-breaking that series was when it was released over 30 years ago. This is good, solid action adventure. I’m simply not in the mood.
Batman is on the trail of Ra’s Al Ghul, who has stolen the corpses of his daughter Talia and grandson Damian. Damian’s father, Batman, is not about to let this happen and in this issue, he pursues Ra’s to an undersea base with the help of Aquaman. I haven’t been reading this series so I was surprised how much I enjoyed the issue, though I could’ve done without the graphic depiction of several murdered whales. Tomasi’s action sequences move the story nicely and there are some great panels, particularly when Batman jumps on the canopy of Ra’s escaping jet. But it’s the last page that hooked me—Batman goes to one Amazon princess for help in finding Paradise Island, as that’s where Ra’s is also headed. Now, that’s a Wonder Woman team-up I want to see.
I’d no idea what to expect from The Fox, a superhero series from Red Circle Comics, starring a character who’s existed since 1940, though the current Fox is his son. I also jumped in at the end of a story arc which had the Fox fighting a demon with heroes and villains from the World War II era. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is good old-school storytelling with some snark, lots of heroism, and hope that even enemies might eventually find some common ground. I may have to check out some more Red Circle books and I’d certainly recommend this series to parents as all-ages, as many current DC and Marvel superheroes are not.
Kelly Knox — Smallville: Lantern #1 by Bryan Q. Miller and Marcio Takara
Smallville Season 11 kicked off the latest arc last Friday with Smallville: Lantern #1. Not only does the new arc feature a gorgeous cover by Cat Staggs and interior art by one of my favorite artists, Marcio Takara, writer Bryan Q. Miller tackles a question that made me yell, “Brilliant!”—What if Kal-El was the Green Lantern for Krypton’s space sector?
The first issue in the arc is mostly setup. We get a look at Chloe and Oliver (awwwww), and find Clark and Lois having a much-needed, relaxing moment chatting on the blockbuster superhero team-up movie they just saw. (Way to get me re-thinking everything about The Avengers, BQM!) Thanks to a handy flashback, we see why the ring for space sector 2813 has been activated, and why it heads for Clark.
What kind of Lantern will Clark make? Does this mean Hal Jordan is coming to Smallville? If there’s a green power ring, will there be a yellow one? So many questions to be answered in what’s sure to be another memorable arc! If you want to be spoiled, here’s the answer to the yellow power ring question.
After falling behind in Smallville after the phenomenal Olympus arc, I’m going to be impatiently waiting for Fridays once again to see what unfolds in Smallville: Lantern.
Helen Barker — British Comics Month
I’ve really been enjoying the artists featured in the Gosh! British Comics Month Spotlight. Gosh!, a fantastic comic store in the heart of London, is featuring an artist or press each day. I really don’t know a lot about comics, so this is like a crash course to all that’s new and exciting at the moment for me. I’ve particularly liked that there are many female artists featured, which shows just how vibrant the scene is.
Two which really stuck out for me were Kristyna Baczynski and Philippa Rice. Kristyna has a lovely illustrative style with a muted color palette. Philippa has a more quirky style, using paper cut outs as well as more traditional methods. I shall certainly be looking to pick up some of their work next time I’m passing Gosh!, as well as a copy of Tiny Pencil, which also looks really interesting.
Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:
|American Vampire Second Cycle #1|
Animal Man #29
Batman ’66 #9
Batman And Aquaman #29
Batman Beyond Universe #8
Batman Bruce Wayne Murderer TP
Batman By Doug Moench And Kelley Jones Vol. 1 HC
Birds Of Prey #29
Deathblow Deluxe Edition HC
Green Arrow Vol. 4 The Kill Machine TP
Green Lantern New Guardians #29
Green Lantern Rise Of The Third Army TP
Harley Quinn #4 GM
Justice League Beyond In Gods We Trust TP
Masters Of The Universe Vol. 2 Origins Of Eternia TP
Red Hood And The Outlaws #29
Scribblenauts Unmasked A Crisis Of Imagination #3
Showcase Presents Jonah Hex Vol. 2 TP
Smallville Season 11 Vol. 4 Argo TP
Suicide Squad #29
Superman Unchained #6
Trinity Of Sin Pandora #9
Trinity Of Sin Pandora Vol. 1 The Curse TP
Unwritten Vol. 2 Apocalypse #3
Wonder Woman #29
|All-New Ghost Rider #1 New Series|
All-New Invaders #3
Avengers World #4
Daredevil #1 Renumbered Series
Dexter Down Under #2 (Of 5)
Disney Kingdoms Seekers Of The Weird #3 (Of 5)
Iron Man Epic Collection Vol. 16 War Games TP
Marvel Knights Hulk #4 (Of 4)
Marvel Masterworks Captain America Vol. 7 HC
Mighty Avengers Vol. 1 No Single Hero TP
Ms Marvel #2
New Avengers #15
New Avengers Vol. 1 Everything Dies TP
Revolutionary War Warheads #1 New Series
Superior Foes Of Spider-Man #10
Superior Spider-Man Annual #2
Thor God Of Thunder #20
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man By Brian Michael Bendis Vol. 4 TP
Uncanny X-Men #19.NOW
Winter Soldier The Bitter March #2 (Of 5)
Wolverine And The X-Men #2
Wolverine Japan’s Most Wanted HC
Wolverine MAX Vol. 3 Vegas TP
Young Avengers Vol. 3 Mic-Drop At The Edge Of Time And Space TP
|Artful Daggers Fifty Years Later HC|
Danger Girl The Chase TP
Dreamer Vol. 3 The Battle Of Harlem Heights TP
Edison Rex Vol. 2 Heir Apparent TP
Felix The Cat Paintings HC
G.I. JOE #14
Illegitimates #4 (Of 6)
Judge Dredd Big Drokkin’ Treasury Edition
Magic The Gathering Theros #5 (Of 5)
Maxx Maxximized #5
Mean Streets A Crime Anthology TP
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #17 Kid Friendly
Other Dead #6 (Of 6)
Popeye Classics #20 Kid Friendly
Samurai Jack #6 Kid Friendly
Star Trek Vol. 7 TP
Steve Canyon Vol. 4 1953-1954 HC
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Utrom Empire #3 (Of 3)
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Vol. 2 TP Kid Friendly
Transformers Regeneration One #100
Transformers Robots In Disguise #27 (Dark Cybertron Part 11 Of 12)
|Archie Archives Vol. 9 HC|
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth #117
Blood Brothers TP
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10 #1
Dark Horse Presents #34
Hellboy 20th Anniversary Sampler Comic
Hellboy The First 20 Years HC
Skyman #3 (Of 4)
Star Wars Darth Vader And The Cry Of Shadows #4 (Of 5)
Star Wars Dawn Of The Jedi Force War #5 (Of 5) Last Issue
Strain The Fall #9
Terminator Enemy Of My Enemy #2 (Of 6)
White Suits #2 (Of 4)
Witcher #1 (Of 5)
Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback / GM = GeekMom Recommended Reading