Today, Spencer and Scott are discussing Batman 20, originally released May 8th, 2013.
Spencer: As a kid, Clayface was always one of my favorite Batman villains. Some of that has to do with the fact that he starred in one of the first cartoons that ever made me cry (Batman: The Animated Series’ excellent final season episode “Growing Pains”), but mostly it was just my young self finding this giant shapeshifting puddle of mud that could sprout blades out of his chest to be totally wicked awesome. I won’t even try to hide it, I still find those facets of the character just as fun as an adult, but I’ve come to realize that, beyond the standard shapeshifter tricks, there isn’t much to Clayface’s personality; usually he’s just treated as a device to serve some other villain’s master plan. Scott Snyder manages to wring a surprising amount of personality out of Clayface, but if the walking mud puddle isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry: there’s plenty of other stuff going on too.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Batwing 19 and 20, originally released April 3rd and May 1st, 2013.
Patrick: We’ve seen a lot of creatives shifts in the DC line-up in the last couple of months — and there are a few more up-coming — but none have been quite so bold as Batwing to explicitly toss out the old version of the character for a new one. Not only does the Batwing costume change, but the man behind the costume changes, and there’s nothing to connect one Batwing to the next. And that’s the real problem: the concept of Batwing is one that require justification and understanding. Through this transition, new series writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray do nothing to explore that for either the venerable David Zavimbe or the newbie Luke Fox. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Scott are discussing Nightwing 17, originally released February 20th 2013.
Drew: Our discussions of Nightwing often find us exploring Dick’s identity. As a former-sidekick turned full-fledged superhero turned replacement-for-hero-he-sidekicked-for turned his own superhero again, it’s understandable that he might have some identity issues to work out, but what is identity in the first place? Is it fixed or dynamic? Does it stem from the person in question, or is it a series of expectations held in the world around them? In Nightwing 17, Kyle Higgins takes up these questions, yielding some rather unexpected results. Continue reading →
Today, Peter and Patrick are discussing Nightwing 12, originally released August 15th, 2012.
Peter: I feel like I’ve been let down a lot by comics lately. Most of the books I’ve read recently have left me feeling unfulfilled. Stories just don’t seem to be going interesting places, or aren’t very thought provoking. Nightwing has become one of these offenders recently. Dick is a great character that is capable of exploring so much. During the Night of Owls, he played a major role in the story and I loved it. There are some nice moments and a few redeeming factors, but overall, I am feeling very whelmed about this issue. Continue reading →
Drew: Last month, we took Batwing to task for its bat-family cameos; when the hero is still winning over an audience, placing him alongside one of comicbookdom’s biggest draws will necessarily divert our interest. As I looked ahead to reading this issue, I wondered how removing Batman from the equation would work. Batwing is still in Batman’s city, and is now fighting one of Batman’s villains, but without Batman’s presence, would the issue feel lacking? Continue reading →