I didn't really find this all that compelling but that's because I'm not really a fan of mob dramas. The Godfather makes me want to snooze. I do, howevI didn't really find this all that compelling but that's because I'm not really a fan of mob dramas. The Godfather makes me want to snooze. I do, however, think that Valentine did a stellar job at making Selina the strong, ruthless leader that she is in this issue. She was always in Batman's shadow as his sexy lover, as the one whom he always tries to save. But here, she shows Bruce that she doesn't need saving, that she can handle her own problems. This is a huge change from the very first issue of the New 52 Catwoman, where the first thing we saw of Selina was her tits, where her first interaction was fucking Bruce. I love seeing Selina be in such a position of power, and I can't wait to see more of her. One thing that disappointed me was that we only see Selina donning the Catwoman suit on the second-last page of the last issue in this trade. While I do love how Selina's taken charge as herself, I want to see her as Catwoman, too....more
This review isn't much of a review, but more a series of thoughts that are haphazardly put together. I don't have the energy to deal with DC anymore.This review isn't much of a review, but more a series of thoughts that are haphazardly put together. I don't have the energy to deal with DC anymore. I used to be able to talk coherently about all the things they ruin with their grubby little fingers, but they've fudged so much up that I just give up.
This is not the Barbara Gordon I knew. But then again, most people reading this aren't used to Babs. Most people who are reading this are new to comics, and new to Batgirl. If so, that's great. I'm glad people are getting into comics. But I'm disappointed with how far from the mark they made Babs. She's completely unrecognisable. Barbara Gordon wouldn't wear a leather jacket to a fight, even if all her gadgets were destroyed. She wouldn't leave her thesis saved onto only one source. etc etc
What really gets me is that this reads like someone young and juvenile. If they wanted to use Babs so much, the least they could do was make this a pre52/pre Killing Joke, post-Zero Year Babs. But no, this is after she's been batgirl for years, after she was shot and paralysed for a few years, and after the several years that she was the N52 Batgirl. Which brings me to ask: why is she 21 years old? I thought she was meant to be 23 years old? If she's 21, how old does that make Dick (since he's canonically younger than her), and Jason for that matter? How does her timeline make sense with all that? Does DC even know how old their characters are anymore?
I'm just sick of bad writing in comics. And I'm sick of DC 'rebooting' characters and forgetting their importance to the world. Barbara is one of the most important characters in the DCU because she was paralysed, because she was Oracle. But once again, we see the erasure of this iconic character. I thought it was bad during the N52 reboot, but this is an all new low. ...more
In this series, Wayne Manor has been turned into Arkham Manor after the asylum's collapse. Why this has happened isa bit of a mystery, since there areIn this series, Wayne Manor has been turned into Arkham Manor after the asylum's collapse. Why this has happened isa bit of a mystery, since there are surely better places to hold inmates, instead of raiding someone's home.
Someone has been killing inmates, so what does Bruce do? Disguise himself as a John Doe of course. Because that's logical. The writing wasn't to my liking. It was too detective noir, which I agree was the right tone for the story, but just didn't sit well with me. It's not too original a story, and the while the bad guy was unique and a fresh face, the build up, while purposely misleading, was shoddily done. I wasn't a fan of the way it was handled.
The writing is amateurish--too much telling: "I feel this", "I feel that". Makes for some pretty cheap and dull writing. All this could have easily been conveyed in the art, as is done in most good comics.
I'm not a fan of the art. It feels too gritty for me, even though I suppose it fits with the gritty tone of the story. I think the one thing I did enjoy was the interactions with Victor Fries. It was kind of cute the way he acted, especially once he gets released from the manor. His first action is to lie in the snow and make snow angels, which is just adorable. Fries is one of those characters I jut adore, and this comic just intensified it.
Overall, I'm not too impressed. I just want them to rebuild Arkham Asylum and go back to having good old family time in Wayne Manor....more
Well, for the most part this is all about a catfight between Harley Quinn and Joker's Daughter over the Joker's face. Har Originally posted on my blog
Well, for the most part this is all about a catfight between Harley Quinn and Joker's Daughter over the Joker's face. Hardly any attention is being focused on anyone else, and it's horribly annoying. And the way they're sexualising this cat fight is just plain awful. Give Harley a freaking bra, for god's sake. Her corset keeps slipping down, barely covering her nips, whereas Joker's Daughter--who was originally about 16 when she first showed up--is suddenly aged up and in a skimpy skirt and crop top. As for their characterisations, they might as well be the same person, the way they're written. After 3 issues of this, it gets tedious
The story is sporadic and hectic, with no real purpose. The first three issues were, as I mentioned earlier, mainly about the cat-fight between Harley and Joker's daughter. The rest of the story--their entire reason for being in Russia in the first place--is often pushed to the side to make room for those two characters. Beyond the fourth issue, once they wrote Joker's Daughter out of the story, things start to make sense, but it's still a rushed and poorly written mess. For the most part it's just regular espionage stuff, going to other countries and accidentally fucking things up and accidentally saving America from communist superheroes. Nothing really special about it.
The art is inconsistent, constantly changing artists and styles... and woof, there are some bad artists in the mix. Faces are badly drawn, anatomy is impossible, and the girls' outfits are as booby as possible.
It really feels like no effort was being put into this when they decided to slap this together after the failure of the last Suicide Squad. Fans of the movie are going to be very disappointed when they turn to the comics to get more of their Suicide Squad fix. ...more
Last time on Batman Eternal: Hush has finally made an entrance, at the cost of Alfred Pennyworth. It's up to Alfred's daugh Originally posted on my blog
Last time on Batman Eternal: Hush has finally made an entrance, at the cost of Alfred Pennyworth. It's up to Alfred's daughter to take his place before the bat-computer. Now, as much as I like Hush, I prefer him in the Heart of Hush and Hush Money. Here, it feels forced. Once again, Tommy is the bad guy, looking to destroy Gotham for no real reason except to make Bruce's life a living hell (as usual). I'm still trying to figure out what Hush's motive is, beyond wanting to be like Bruce--which is overused and lacking the depth is once had.
All the other plot threads from the last volume have been pushed to the side, and we don't see the rest of the bat-family, which is disappointing. The last volume felt rich because of the celebration of family, whereas, the most this volume has in terms of family is the strained relationship between Alfred and his daughter, and even then it's barely touched upon. The clear difference between this volume and the previous is the plot. Very little happened.
Selina has turned out to be the daughter of Leo Calebresi, ex crime lord of Gotham city. And she's been given the mantle of crime lord of Gotham, whether she likes it or not. This isn't expanded in the comic, but it's promised in her own comic series. Which disappoints me. I was hoping to see more of her mob boss action, since the last volume was full of gang war politics. But I suppose we'd be seeing more of that in Catwoman's own series.
Waylon Jones, aka Killer Croc, plays another vital role in the comic. It's important to note that he isn't a villain, no matter how many crimes he may have committed. He is an anti-hero, the world pitted against him because of the way he was born and is constantly perceived. His role as Selina's bodyguard makes him have reason, after having been demonised in the last volume by Commissioner Bard.
Look, I'm basically very disappointed in this volume. Most of it was filler, and after reading the last hundred pages twice, I still can't remember what happened apart from Arkham Asylum blowing up for some reason, making way for Arkham Manor (review of that to come soon). I'm hoping that this is just a low point in the series, because the first volume built up some heavy shit. Eagerly awaiting the final volume....more
Before I begin this review, I must add that I haven't read volume 5 of this series, mainly because I had a time limit oRead the review on my blog here
Before I begin this review, I must add that I haven't read volume 5 of this series, mainly because I had a time limit on this copy of the comic. As such, I felt confused at the beginning, but I know the gist of it, being a continuation of vol 4, searching of Damian's body.
Here, it feels like R'as ahl Ghul is hinting at the fact that Talia didn't kill Damian, that someone else put the half a billion dollar bounty on his head. I hope this prediction is true, because I adore Talia, and refuse to acknowledge the versions where she rapes Bruce (in fact, in this volume alone, Bruce consents to sex with her, though doesn't exactly consent to his sperm being used to make a baby clone)
Bruce hunts R'as all across the globe, until they finally reach the Himalayas, and finds in his possession are the deformed bodies of unsuccessful Damian clones. The fatherly love he has for Damian makes it difficult for him to injure these malformed versions of his sons.
I'm not a fan that they recognise Clark and Diana as a couple--but that's a rant for another day. But once again, on their travels to Themyscira, they are attacked by Amazons who hate men with a bleeding passion, and paints them as murderous women who fuck and kill for procreation.I hated it when I read it in one of the early volumes of the N52 Wonder Woman, and I hate it now.
My biggest complaint came from the opening of the portal to Apokolips. I cannot begin to tell you how sick to death I am of Darkseid and Apokolips. And here, it made it feel cheap and convenient. I pretty much give up on any comic that mentions Darkseid/Apokolips, so I'm not sure I'll be reading the rest of this series, just keeping up with the story.
I found this to be the weakest of the Batman and Robin series, and I think it's because it's trying too hard to connect strings between all the JLA members and this narrative, when it's unnecessary. And the way he turns back everyone who offers to help him, while I understand it, it makes for a long and arduous journey to slog through. ...more
There's about 3 plot lines that are created and dropped all in the space of half a dozen issues. I don't particularly blame all this on Nocenti, thougThere's about 3 plot lines that are created and dropped all in the space of half a dozen issues. I don't particularly blame all this on Nocenti, though. Gothtopia wasn't her idea. No one could have made Gothtopia work. It was just awful. Then there's Zero Year, which, while it's decently written, it is jarring when placed within this bundle. The problem with this volume isn't the fault of the writer. It is the fault of the editorial, who decide that crossover events like Gothtopia and Zero Year are a good idea. It's such a huge shame, because I really liked Nocenti's run on Joker's daughter and Death of the Family. It sucks to see her talent being squandered away like this....more
~TRIGGER WARNING: date rape, sexual assault, transphobia, rape, violence against women, queer baiting
I can't begin to describe my love for Harley Quin~TRIGGER WARNING: date rape, sexual assault, transphobia, rape, violence against women, queer baiting
I can't begin to describe my love for Harley Quinn. As one third of the Gotham City Sirens, she already has a long history of being an incredibly smart woman, who interned at Arkham Asylum, and began falling in love with the Joker. The Joker then Manipulates then Harleen Quinzel into setting him free.There are differing ways that she is introduced as a villain--my favourite being, funnily enough, the New 52 origin, where we are shown the Joker throwing Harleen into a vat of acid. The reason why I like the New 52 version is because it shows that Harley begins her new life as a battered woman. After this, ever encounter she has with the Joker from thereon, he hurts her, mentally and physically, and manipulates her. It creates the building blocks for what could be the beginning of a story that discusses the violence within relationships. After all, Gotham City Sirens deals with the her best friends, Selina and Ivy, helping Harleen through the break up, and who talk her out of getting back with him, reminding her that he has tried to kill her several times, often for no reason. In the New 52 series, I volume 3 of Suicide Squad, we are shown a very grim scene where Joker is mentally playing with her feelings, knowing very well how much she dotes on him. Any romance that has ever been between Harley and Joker has now turned into an abusive relationship, and I'll never be able to stomach the people who ship the two of them. In fact, we re also shown that Harleen isn't the first 'Harley Quinn'. There are other girls that he has tortured and left to die. Harley is forced to break her wrists and bite her forearm to lubricate the shackles that he has imprisoning her. Thus begins the start of a discussion on how Harley is a victim of abuse, and could be the potential catalyst that DC can use to start being progressive, by showing a battered woman overcome her abuser, and still be a super funny, super cute--and a bit kooky--super villain.
Now, after two paragraphs of info dumping and digressing, let's talk about this new version of Harley Quinn. I was so fucking excited to read this book. I read each issue religiously as it came out each month. But the more I read, the less I began to like this new Harley. Ignoring the ridiculous over-sexualisation of her costume, her entire character has been drastically changed. Everything written in the New 52, where she promises herself to get over Joker, when she finally realises that he's an abuser--all of this doesn't exist in Ammanda Connor's and Jimmy Palmiotti's world. None of her character progression exists any more in this comic. This is a brand new Harley Quinn, and this is a Harley that actually makes me feel sick because of the blatant triggering.
I'm going to focus on a single issue to show just how awful this series is. In #3, the Valentine issue, I came across something that triggered me into panic attacks and depression, that caused me to be mentally comatose for about a week.
The issue features Harley eating a berry from a plant that Ivy leaves her, and the berry makes her amazingly attractive to everyone. Sounds like some silly hijinks could happen, right? Apparently not. A bus carrying convicts crashes, and that’s where the shit has hit the fan. They start falling in love with her. They tell her how they want to do sexual things with her. And hurt her at the same time. And this whole scene is supposed to be funny, because Harley is running around saying “oh crap oh crap”, and runs to a hardware store to fight them off with some crazy tools.
This last panel shows extreme violence towards women, and it's all very uncomfortable, and brings up bad thoughts. I had to stop during the scene to start crying, because just the sexual violence was too much, and added to the the light comedic edge… well, it just felt like they were making a joke about it. But I read on, because I was hoping that these criminals get their comeuppance. Thankfully, they do. Quite violently, which I approve of. But then, a cop comes up to Harley and makes out with her. Just out of the blue. That’s sexual harassment, by the way. Harley didn’t consent to it. Just because the cop was a woman, I’ve seen people squee about the sapphic tones of the comic as a whole, but I think this makes for bad representation for lesbians. And finally, just when I think that things couldn’t get any worse—by this point I’ve already thrown up on myself, I’m already shaking and having flashbacks, but I read on, hoping that there are consequences—and Harley gives her friend, Big Tony, the very same berry that caused her to almost be raped, that almost caused her to be tortured. She gives him the berry because he thinks that he has a chance with a girl that he likes. Which means, that she’ll be falling in “love” with him against her will. If they have sex, which I’m sure they will, it will be RAPE. She might as well have been administered the date rape drug and forced into it. And if you don’t even take that into consideration, her male friend is also in danger of being raped by randoms that he comes across.
And at the very end, Harley pats herself on the back for playing Cupid? What the fuck? No. After everything that she’d been through, and she’s fine with making her friend go through with it? Right now, I feel like I’m dying. I feel like I’m being raped all over again. I can feel it. I can see it happening. My brain is making me see things that I can’t possibly be remembering, since I was heavily unconscious at the time. Everything about this comic is awful and harmful, and so ridiculously callous and unfeeling in how they make their jokes.
If that one issue doesn't put you off the entire comic, then there are plenty of other issues that are just as tasteless and offensive towards women and transpeople, and there are instances of queer baiting--trying to put Harley and Ivy into sort of romantic positions, but told very loudly by Palmiotti that they're just friends.
I came into Harley Quinn because I was amazed that DC was going to have another female leading her own series, and written by a woman. She was essentially a girl written by a girl for girls, and that's so rare in DC. It felt so amazing hearing that DC was finally starting to acknowledge that they have a HUGE female fanbase, and this comic shows how little they care for this fanbase. Each joke is misogynistic. Harley joins a roller derby team--which, yes, is at its heart a violent game--but all the jokes are about how bitchy the other team is, so it's Harley's job to beat them up so violently while making jokes about it. Using violent techniques that are technically not allowed in derby.
Basically, enter at your own risk. Since it's aimed at women, and women are more sensitive to this sort of thing because violence and date rape is something we have to worry about, I just want everyone to be aware of what they're getting into, so that no one ends up violently triggered like I was
TL;DR: a comic aimed at women, written by a woman, but reads like a misogynist's journal. A mess of psycho cuteness that we're supposed to laugh at how 'kooky' she is. In the end, all she comes down to is a light version of Deadpool, if Deadpool was a woman....more
This is a wonderful book, and has made its way onto my favourite's list. Kerschl is such an amazing writer. Every word is so carefully thought out, andThis is a wonderful book, and has made its way onto my favourite's list. Kerschl is such an amazing writer. Every word is so carefully thought out, and he never overwrites and info-dumps like some web comics do. With just a few words, he made me laugh madly, and then bawl my eyes out over a broken heart on the next page. And sometimes he doesn't even use words. Sometimes he conveys such a strong message just by a few panels of art alone. This book is amazing. It really is. It hurt so wonderfully. You can read his series for free online, but I'd recommend going the extra step and supporting him by buying the book. I promise you won't regret it. ...more