Monday, October 29, 2012

EXTRA! EXTRA! (OCT 24-30, 2012)

Batman: The Dark Knight #13
(w) Gregg Hurwitz
(p) David Finch

Batman: The Dark Knight #13 continues Gregg Hurwitz's phenomenal Scarecrow arc that reintroduces Doctor Jonathan Crane to the 'New 52' in a much more frightening scope than he's ever been before. Hurwitz has been parsing out Scarecrow's horrid past over each issue instead of dumping it on readers all at once, a decision that's been paying off in spades as Crane becomes more and more terrifying with each subsequent issue. On top of that, Scarecrow's new super toxin is forcing Bruce to face his actual fear - that of actually ascending into the light and being able to live a normal life. It's a poignant perspective to take on Batman, that he indeed had a choice about how to live his life and deliberately chose to chase after the darkness and envelop himself in shadows.

GRADE: 8.5/10  

I, Vampire #13
(w) Joshua Hale Fialkov
(p) Andrea Sorrentino

I, Vampire sits rather comfortably outside the main DC universe - though there are crossovers from time to time, a majority of what happens doesn't directly affect much of the other characters DC has at it's disposal. That being said, Joshua Hal Fialkov succeeds every month in bringing a new chapter to his fascinating story of Andrew Bennett, his rise into glory and his current fall into darkness. I, Vampire #13 sees Mary Seward - formerly 'Queen of Blood' - teaming up with Bennett's professor friend to find Andrew's maker, while Andrew and his new prodigy, Tig, track down Deborah Dancer - a woman from Andrew's past who is only half-vampire. Fialkov is taking big risks in sending his main character down such a twisted and violent path, but such risks can lead to daring results and amazing narratives - I, Vampire easily falls into that category month after month.

GRADE: 8/10

X-Treme X-Men #5
(w) Greg Pak
(p) Paco Diaz

X-Treme X-Men is the weird step-sibling of the X-Men canon of series Marvel produces - it's events are spun out of an arc from Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen, only one character from Earth-616 is present, and the team travels across various dimensions hunting down evil versions of Charles Xavier. On one hand, it's a rather limiting premise -  one that doesn't allow for much diversion - while on the other hand, it has the potential for a literal infinite amount of stories due to the nature of the multiverse. So far, Greg Pak has done a great job bringing short, action-packed arcs that take advantage of a infinite multiverse with cool, alternate versions of the X-Men hanging around. X-Treme X-Men #5 finishes up a two-part tale of evil Xavier in the wild west.

GRADE: 8.3/10

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