Review: Detective Comics, Vol. 6: Icarus (Detective Comics Vol. II #6) by Francis Manapul

Detective Comics, Vol. 6: IcarusDetective Comics, Vol. 6: Icarus by Francis Manapul

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

Icarus is basically where we learn that Drugs are bad, M’kay…

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Honestly, I’m just not a big fan of the Batman fights Drug Dealers stories, so right away this one lost big points with me. And it’s not because I think a crack pipe make you looks more distinguished, or that giving $5 blowjobs behind a dumpster is classy.
It’s just… Well, I was a child during the 80’s, and I was literally saturated with cheesy anti-drug propaganda.
I’m full! Seriously.
No thank you, Nana. I don’t want another helping. Please, for the love of God, don’t put any more on my plate, woman!

But for some reason, it seems like it’s mandated that superheroes fight the evil drug lords every now and then. And who knows? Maybe Manapul is the sacrificial lamb who drew the short straw a few months ago?
*sigh*
Or perhaps he really thought this was a groundbreaking story…

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But.
Unbelievably, once you scrape all of the cheese off of the top, this has a decent Batman story underneath it.
Icarus ain’t what your granny used to get high, kids (so you can stop rummaging around in her medicine cabinet), ’cause this shit is da bomb!
Literally.
Like, your insides will catch on fire, and you’ll explode.

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A woman who wants to help change Gotham is found dead of an overdoes on Bruce Wayne’s front steps. Naturally, he becomes a prime suspect in her death, and Harvey Bullock is determined to bring him down. Of course, he also wants a piece of Batman, and with Gordon behind bars, there’s no one to reign in Bullock’s distrust of the Dark Knight.
Believe it or not, the Harvey/Batman showdown was actually pretty good!

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This is a Bullock-heavy volume, and you kind of get a better peek at the man who was constantly at Gordon’s side for all of these years. Manapul does an excellent job with this character, and I enjoyed reading more about the different aspects of his personality.

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Ok, now let’s talk about the real star of the show.
The art.
It is honestly one of the best things about this volume. Beautiful!

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The colors, the expressions, and even the page layouts were just fantastic. I can’t say enough how much I visually loved the way this was put together.

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There’s an issue at the end called Chaos Theory that ties together random events from the volume, and puts everything in a new light. It was very well done, and centers on Batman helping a young mentally challenged boy who is being abused & neglected by his father. Unbeknownst to Bruce, this ends up being a pivot point for the entire plot.

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In the end, I’d say this is not required reading, but it turned out to be an impressively decent Batman story. I waffled between 3 and 4 stars for quite a while, and I’m leaning closer to 4 the more I think about it.
However, I’m just so biased against the anti-drug stuff that I don’t think I can actually stomach giving a full 4 to anything with that as the underlying plot.

Thanks to NetGalley & the publishers for a digital copy to review.

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Review: Flash Vol. 4 – Reverse, by Francis Manapul

The Flash, Vol. 4: ReverseThe Flash, Vol. 4: Reverse by Francis Manapul
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


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Reverse Flash is a bad guy, in the Flash Rogues Gallery, but this version of Reverse Flash is actually more of a tragic story.

You know, it seems obvious to me that Flash just isn’t on Geoff Johns’ list of important New 52 characters. I mean he’s got a competent writer, but the storylines are shit.

So people who got stuck in the Speed Force with Barry all got some powers…and now someone kills them all off, until only Iris is left…Barry sees a slowed down video that shows his reverse symbol, and goes after Kid Flash…cue some stupid running together and making stupid conversation scenes as they burn across the world, and Bart shows what a moron he is here…saved by the Teen Titans again.

So oops, not him, well he thinks it is the rich guy who helped him save the city but turns out to have different aims…nope.

Of course, it’s DANIEL WEST! Iris’ brother, who Flash caught in issue one and sent to prison for bank robbery. Daniel, who was out of prison just long enough to make it back for the Gorilla invasion (what? ya I try to forget that too…) and saved by the Rogues…of course no, they rob everyone, and Daniel don’t like that, so he acts like a dummy, and gets blowed up real good like with all the Speed Force stuff and a monorail car…

Instead of dying, why no, it bonds to him and he discovers he can go back in time! But it is hard on him…
Then we see he killed all the others, and used them like batteries, to go back in time…

What does he go back to do? Rob a bank? Kill Flash? Ace his SATs? Escape prison? No, actually he goes back to murder his and Iris’ abusive father…who we see beat both of them and was a real asshole. We also see that Iris was one of those dumb “oh he only hit me because he was drinking, it’s not his fault!” type of victims who makes excuses. Instead, Daniel/Reverse Flash (how clever indeed) wants to kill him so his sister, who he loves, will never have to be hit again…yes it will mean Daniel escapes it too, but we see that he loves her more.

Flash stops him and gives him a lecture about not changing the past, and learning from it, stopping him by taking the Speed Force energy from him? In fact, the writer even has Flash say “I have no idea how that worked, I couldn’t explain it again if I tried” WOW. What a cop-out and lazy writing.

So back in the present, Daniel is back to normal-ish, but I’m sure he’ll return. He goes to prison, and we see flashbacks of how Iris was to him as they grew up, and she’s kinda a self-absorbed cunt…no time for her little brother…maybe he should have just been like her and embraced the punches?

Anyhow, I was really bothered that Iris doesn’t forgive him or buy his story at all, and pretty much says that her brother is dead to her, and died when he was a kid. WOW, that’s harsh…he turned into a supervillain and killer because he wanted to save you from getting beat up your whole childhood by your father…hmmm ya, I agree, what a horrible younger brother that is…

So if this is who Iris West is in the New 52, I’m glad Barry is with Penny.

Then we get a stupid tacked on story about Iris and Barry’s meet cute in Gotham right before Zero Year (because how much more can we advertise Batman???) Barry is helping out, riding alongside Harvey Bullock and his partner…there’s some shenanigans, Barry saves Iris, Iris saves Barry, and Bullock has to do something dark. Then Barry gets all goody goody on Bullock about how that wasn’t right, and Bullock puts him in his place and pretty much tells him to fuck off and grow up a little. It made me love Bullock just that little bit more.

So here’s the thing; I want to like this. I do, the art is a bit childish, but it’s not bad. It is consistent, which isn’t something you can say for a lot of books…but the plots are stupid, and Barry comes across as very naive and a little too black and white. I mean I guess he’s a cop by choice, so that tells us something…but I wish he’d show some more personality? He’s just too much wet blanket for me…

I just hope we see Wally West soon, and that Daniel West isn’t the character they used instead…ugh.

So this might not be a 2, it might be 2.5-3, but I couldn’t get over the feeling of really not liking Iris after her treatment of her brother, and I feel like they’re just in a holding pattern waiting to push Patty out of the picture.

Flash, you need to make shit interesting, because even if there’s no actual problem, you’re BORING, and I don’t feel like going out of my way to read you anymore.


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