Today, Shelby leads a discussion on Batman Eternal 10, originally released June 11th, 2014.
Shelby: I have some friends who are legitimate circus performers, one a pole dancer and the other a trapeze artist, and so I naturally have attended a cabaret-style circus performance held in an old warehouse. It was exactly as awesome as it sounds, with acrobats of every flavor, a hoop dancer, clowns, and a juggler. This guy was incredible, he used a rainbow array of balls that lit up, and they shut off all the lights in the place so all we could see were the glowing orbs and the trails they left behind. Comic books aren’t totally dissimilar; we don’t see the creators specifically, just the art they leave for us. Also, sometimes it feels like a team is juggling waaaaaaay too many ideas, and it’s only a matter of time before things fall apart. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer leads a discussion on Batman Eternal 8, originally released May 28th, 2014.
Spencer: Last time I wrote about Batman EternalI praised how quickly the plot seemed to be coming together, but in the five issues since, things have slowed down dramatically. The end of issue three saw the genesis of a brutal gang war that threatened to rock Batman’s city down to its core, but the resulting conflicts haven’t looked all that more dangerous than any typical Gotham evening. There’s a lot of fun stuff going on in Batman Eternal 8, but these pacing issues sap much of the tension from the developments, leaving a final product that’s not quite as awesome as it should be. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and guest writer Gino are discussing Batman and Robin 23.1: Two-Face, originally released September 4th, 2013. This issue is part of the Villain’s Month event. Click here for our Villains Month coverage.
Patrick: Duality is the name of the game in Gotham City. You can be a hilarious clown, but you also have to be able to murder in cold blood on a whim. You can be an agent of justice, but you also have to be an overly violent vigilante. Two-Face encapsulates this idea directly, literally letting his moral alignment shift with the impartial flipping of a coin. He’s a villain, but only until he flips that coin one more time – then: who knows? Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Spencer are discussing Talon 9 originally released June 26th, 2013.
Shelby: I’m a total sucker for magic tricks. As a kid, I obsessed over David Copperfield specials; as an adult, I understand it’s all a matter of misdirection and slight of hand, but I still fall for it every time. The magic of expecting one thing, but finding something else never grows stale for me. “Misdirection” is a label that can be applied to both this issue of Talon, and the title as a whole. James Tynion IV has continued to subvert our expectations with this title, making us think we’re reading one kind of story when it turns out to be another entirely. And, just like any slight of hand, the smallest little hiccup can knock the whole illusion askew. Continue reading →
DC has staked their claim on the month of September. Two years ago saw the relaunch of the entire publishing line, and last year saw special “zero” issues for every series. This year, DC is releasing 52 issues featuring villains, old and new, from the DC Universe. There’s no one-for-one correspondence to existing series, and DC hasn’t been the most forthcoming with information about what exactly they’re putting out. There’s a lot to sort through here and no easy answers for what’s going to be worth our time and money. Welcome to the Chat Cave. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Talon 7-8, originally released April 24th and May 22nd, 2013.
Shelby: We need to remember that the Talons are bad guys. I know, we’ve got Calvin here fighting the good fight against the Court, and we’ve got Mary working with the rest of the Birds; that makes it easy to forget that we first met the Talons as a sweeping wave of indestructible killing machines, hellbent on assassinating whomever they were pointed at. This title started out with Calvin’s unique position of being a Talon on the lam, a man with all the training needed, but unable to go through with the final process that would truly transform him into the Talon he was meant to be. In issues 7 and 8, all that is going to change; hold on to your butts, because things are getting complicated. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Talon 6, originally released March 27th, 2013.
Patrick: The Empire Strikes Back came out two years before I was even born. That means I never lived in a world where “No, Luke, I am your father” was a surprise. It’s not even like there was a specific moment that it was spoiled for me: these character relationships were communicated to me through osmosis. But shock-value be damned, I still think it’s a killer scene. The lightsaber fight, the screaming, the music — it’s a powerful conclusion to the best Star Wars movie, no matter how many times you see it. Whenever I encounter these Big Reveal scenes now, I always wonder how I’ll feel about them when the shock wears off. In case my musings don’t make it obvious: spoilers ahead. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and guest writer Suzanne are discussing Saga 11, originally released March 20th, 2013.
Shelby: How am I supposed to speak intelligently about this title? In all my write-ups, I strive to find that deeper meaning, that thread of something more that runs through the book. That’s what we do here, and we do it because we believe whole-heartedly that comic books are a form of literature and deserve to be treated as such. But then I get a title like Saga, and I don’t know what to say. Brian K. Vaughn is masterfully juggling broad themes like family, love, and sacrifice, tying it all together with strongly-developed characters and moments of emotional nuance. Fiona Staples work is beyond compare; she animates the men and women (and cats) Vaughn has already breathed life into. To be frank, sometimes this book just leaves me kind of speechless it’s so good. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Mikyzptlk are discussing Talon 5, originally released February 27th, 2013.
Shelby: Anytime there’s some sort of big upheaval, you usually here the phrase “a return to normalcy” bandied about. When some serious shit goes down, we the people just want things to go back to the way they were before everything went wrong. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s just no going back, as proven by the history of the phrase itself; it was first used by Warren Harding in reference to World War I. Instead of the return to normalcy he was looking for, we got the Great Depression and World War II. So, what do you do when, try as you might, there’s just no going back to normalcy? Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Talon 4, originally released January 30th, 2013.
Shelby: Starting a new comic book has got to be a tricky affair. Your story, your character, could potentially end up part of cannon forever and ever; there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. As a creator, you have to balance between giving the book the time it needs to grow roots and keeping the readers interested long enough to have that kind of time. Take too long getting to the point of the book, you’re gonna lose your audience: slap something together, and you don’t have a character with any sticking power. With all that in mind, is it a problem for Scott Snyder and James Tynion that I’m still not sure where this book is going? More importantly, does it matter if I’m enjoying the ride?