FISTFUL of COMICS [Mini-Reviews]: Evil Batmen & The Return of Jack.
Hey geeks and geekettes! Welcome to GHG’s renewed Fistful of Comics, where — rather than focusing at length on a mere handful of drops for the week — we’ll be giving quick thoughts on the majority of important funnybooks released.
Hopefully our swift blurbs will give you a swifter idea whether the book is worth the trip to your Local Comic Shizzop or not. Let us know what you think of this new, rapid-fire feature at GodHatesGeeks on Facebook and on Twitter @GodHatesGeeks.com !
A wise(ass) once said “it’s all in the reflexes.” But what do you do when your (questionable) reflexes have dulled? It’s now 2020 and OLD MAN JACK is living the retired life in Florida. Not a care in the world. Plenty of greasy foods to eat, cheap booze and dirty magazines that any single bachelor in his 60’s could ever want or need. There’s a reason Florida is called “God’s Waiting Room”. Yep, ol Jack has not a care in the world. Just as long as he stays in his own little slice of heaven inside the wall of fire. Wall of fire? Is this Heaven or Hell?
It’s Hell Jack. The Hellocalypse to be exact. The God of the East CHING DAI has merged the many MANY levels of Chinese Hell with Earth itself. Jack Burton may, or may not — mostly like may — have had a hand in this event a decade ago. But Jack is content in his lot in life. That is until a disembodied cry for help comes across the ol’ CB radio (disconnected from anything, and most likely reality itself ) looking for a knight in shining armor to save a beautiful damsel in distress! So what’s a hero to do? I’ll tell you what Jack Burton does: he does what he always does – moves fasts, never ever thinks things through, and trusts that it’s all in the reflexes. Yeah, that always works out swimmingly for the owner of the Porkchop Express!
With a story blessed by John Carpenter himself, this is Anthony (Borderlands 2) Burch’s comicbook writing debut where he’s successfully captured Burton’s voice while keeping the world’s greatest sidekick (nobody tell him) the star of his own story. A fantastic fun animated style by Jorge (Feathers/Goners) Corona & colorist Gabriel Cassata keeps pace with the insanity that is Hell on Earth (which does, on a good day look like South Florida). All of this wrapped in a pink flamingo filled cover by Stephane (Zatanna) Roux! BOOM ! 4/5 Porkchop Express’ Mudflaps.
The great thing about these “dark universe” Batman stories is cause we get to see Batman in a whole new light. In this case, Dan (Horus Rising) Abnett, Philip (The Savage Hawkman) Tan and Tyler (Green Lantern) Kirkman give us a gender swapped Batman –so, Batwoman? — avenging the death of her beloved Sylvester Kyle. While it was an interesting issue, and yes, her wanting to drown the whole world in intriguing (like, seriously, how would you do that?!), this issue doesn’t get really good until Abnett brings in “The Man Who Laughs” because after this issue, I am dying to see how Batman becomes the Joker in ‘hellraiser-esque’ leather. 2/5 Dead Fish Bibles.
While it has been fun seeing these dark versions of Bruce Wayne, Batman: The Merciless is tied to your favorite Dark Universe Batman. This isn’t one where “he’s lost everything”, this is one where he has become corrupted. After a battle against Ares, Bruce Wayne becomes Ares and kills Wonder Woman! Then he makes General Lane, Amanda Waller and Steven Trevor bow to him. Peter J. (Batman and Robin) Tomasi and Francis (The Flash) Manapul give us an amazing story that has a wonderful 180 in the story. They also did a great job of putting everything in one issue and really, I don’t need another issue. This is the perfect example of a stand-alone. 4/5 Ares inspired Bat Bibles.
Award winning Lit writer Ta-Nehisi (The Beautiful Struggle) Coates kicks off the latest issue of Black Panther not with T’Challa, but with the return of Klaw. In fact, the entire book is about Klaw and his return to wage war on Wakanda—the titular character doesn’t even appear until the last page of the story. Coates weaves words spoken by Klaw to his lobotomized sister with visuals of attacks on Azania’s rebels — and the occasional flashback — from new artist Leonard (Captain Britain and M13) Kirk. It’s a move designed to make Klaw more sympathetic to the reader, but it ain’t working. 2/5 Chunks of Reverbium.
Boom Studios’ WWE series continues, at #10, with Roman Reigns deciding to finally let go of two-year-old Shield drama—despite still wearing the tactical vest and complaining about Seth and Dean both stealing his thunder by cashing in their Money in the Bank briefcases. The “Big Dog” spends most of the issue behaving like a spoiled brat and Papa Hunter is as annoyed at him as I am reading it. The back-up story features Becky Lynch trying to out-pun some loan sharks. I laughed more than I should’ve. 2.5/5 “Stupid-man” Punches.
More comic reviews coming this weekend in our all-new Sunday Stash!