Memories Leave their Mark in Batgirl 20

By Drew Baumgartner

Batgirl 20

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Batgirl’s eidetic memory has long been one of her most valuable assets as a crime fighter. Remembering crime scenes in intricate detail or the face of every suspect she encounters makes detective work almost a natural extension of her being. Indeed, her eidetic memory has proven so essential to her detective work, it’s easy to forget that it has dramatic possibilities beyond that. Or, at least, other creative teams have made it easy to forget — not so with Hope Larson’s run, which has found countless inventive ways to use Batgirl’s eidetic memory. With issue 20, Larson finds yet another great use for it, as Batgirl takes a drive down some literal memory lanes. Continue reading

Surprise Morals in Batgirl 18

By Drew Baumgartner

Batgirl 18

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There’s a certain type of pat morality we expect of a Christmas special. Even the most cynical characters and series might find comfort and joy in the season. Indeed, the insistence on moral lessons at the end of Christmas stories seems to supersede the typical tone and characterization of the series as a whole, giving “Christmas specials” more in common with one another than they have with their own series. It’s a common enough phenomenon that we both expect and accept it right from the jump, but that’s exactly the expectation Hope Larson and Sami Basri thwart in Batgirl 18. Continue reading

The Flash Annual 2

flash annual 2Today, Spencer and Mikyzptlk are discussing the Flash Annual 2, originally released July 31st, 2013.

Spencer: Way back at the beginning of the New 52 initiative, Justice League turned the clock back five years to show us how DC’s most iconic heroes first met. Yet, even at this early stage, two of these heroes had already met and formed one of DC’s most enduring friendships: The Flash and the Green Lantern. Now, nearly two years later, The Flash Annual 2 has arrived to finally show us their momentous first team-up. It may not be a necessary story or even the most original one, but thanks to Barry Allen and Hal Jordan’s infectiously fun relationship, it’s well worth reading.

Continue reading

Voodoo 0

Alternating Currents: Voodoo 0, Drew and ShelbyToday, Drew and Shelby are discussing Voodoo 0, originally released September 26th, 2012. Voodoo 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.

Drew: September marks the one year anniversary of the launch of the New 52, and, by extension, the anniversary of when I first decided to get into monthly comic books. My initial pull list was seven titles, and while this month has been exceptional, a typical month sees me following about 40 titles. Suffice it to say, I’m no longer daunted by the cost of admission to comics. A year ago, even a small crossover might have put me off for the time and money involved, but now my reaction to the likes of the Rise of the Third Army, Rotworld, and Death of the Family is one of excitement. And yet, this month has revealed that there are corners of DC’s universe that I still find daunting. The thought that there are titles that are bonding over Daemonites or secret government agencies in the same way titles I like are bonding over Owls or Rot makes me hesitant to step into those worlds. I know noting about those elements, and the fear of wanting to know all about them is pretty effective at keeping me away. Or is it that those elements just don’t interest me? Whatever the reason, Voodoo 0, fits right in that pocket, yet somehow manages to transcend the space opera trappings to deliver an intriguing origin that may just find a way of living on beyond the series. Continue reading