Review: Detective Comics, Vol. 5: Gothtopia by John Layman, Jason Fabok (Illustrations)

Detective Comics, Vol. 5: GothtopiaDetective Comics, Vol. 5: Gothtopia by John Layman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

Not all of the stories were stellar, but overall I liked Gothtopia.
Gordon gets his turn to tell his Zero Year story, and it’s one of the better issues in this thing. If you don’t feel like reading the whole volume, I’d still say check that one issue out. Very nicely done!

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The Man-Bat story is utterly forgettable. Kurt Langstrom has gone off the rails this time around to chase down his crazy ex-wife…Bat-Queen
*bangs head on desk*

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Moving on…
The Gothopia storyline finally gave me the answers to all of the questions I had about Batgirl’s alter ego Bluebell. I know I wasn’t the only one curious to find out why Babs was wearing white and living in Mayberry!

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For that alone I was excited to read those issues. Both Batgirl & Birds of Prey had crossovers with this…mysterious event, but you never really found out what exactly was going on.
Well, the bulk of the story happens here, people! And it’s not just Barbara Gordon who’s living an entirely different life…

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Review: Chew, Vol. 1: Taster’s Choice by John Layman

Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's ChoiceChew, Vol. 1: Taster’s Choice by John Layman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

 

Hmmmm.
After the first few pages I thought I was going to have to reach out and cyber-smack Mike, Gavin, and ‘kris for suggesting I read this…but it sort of grew on me.

Disclaimer:
I don’t mind violence or gore in the books I read, but I also have this thing about putting gross stuff in my mouth. Call it a phobia if you want, but just the thought of anything icky coming near my mouth makes me gag and heave.
Take food, for example.
I constantly sniff any food that I think might be even a little bit iffy. Then I make my husband sniff it. And usually even if he says it smells fine, I end up throwing it out. Because…who cares what he thinks? Once I think it it may be tainted, it’s got to go.
It’s Mentally Tainted Food, therefore, I can’t eat it.
Also, I thought Chew was just a clever title. I ordered it from my library on the above mentioned recommendations of FRIENDS, and didn’t bother reading the blurb. My bad.

So.
Bird Flu has made chicken into the new moonshine. Which, once I realized what was going on, was pretty darn funny.
I mean, bootleg poultry? That’s hilarious!
And the new FDA is like the FBI, CIA, and NSA all rolled into one. Forget Homeland Security, if you want to be where the action is, you join the Food and Drug Administration.
Bad-ass health inspectors? Bwahahahha!
And Tony Chu (get it, Chew? Har!) is one of the guys who puts his life on the line everyday to keep the world safe from contraband chicken.
His partner ends up getting hit in the head with a meat cleaver in the first few pages, and to catch the bad guy…Tony eats a portion of one of his minions.
Don’t worry, it makes more sense in the book.
When he’s found at the scene cannibalizing the guy who split his partner’s skull open, he gets fired and institutionalized.
Because that’s NASTY!
The End.

Ok, no.
That’s not what happened. That’s just how my gag reflex rationalized the scene.
What actually happened was that it put Tony on the radar of another government group that utilizes people with his skill.
His skill is to be able to get a clairvoyant reading off of anything he ingests.
Even veggies.
And if he had only eaten vegetables throughout the book, I and my stomach would have been much happier…thank you very much.
But he didn’t.
He ended up (reluctantly) eating all kinds of horrifying things in order to solve his cases.
That vacuum-sealed dog almost did me in…

*GAK GAK GAK*

Again. Thank you for that, guys.

Here the thing, I honestly got interested in what was happening to the entire cast of wacky characters. I was so nauseated, but I couldn’t stop reading!
And then they left me with a cliffhanger!
So. When I recuperate, I’ll read the next volume.

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Review: Detective Comics Vol. 4 – The Wrath, by John Layman

Batman Detective Comics, Volume 4: The WrathBatman Detective Comics, Volume 4: The Wrath by John Layman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


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I’d give this 3 and a 1/4 stars.

It’s called the Wrath, but that character isn’t really featured for most of the book. This is a very patchy collection of numerous stories.

There’s more about the Man-Bat, Kirk Langstrom, which is confusing, since Vol. 4 of The Dark Knight has a story arc about Abraham Langstrom (Kirk’s father) also Man-Bat! Hmm…turns out even Langstrom’s wife gets in on the act, as She-Man-Bat…though they don’t actually call her that.

Wrath is actually a super rich industrialist who comes back to Gotham and wants to change things for the better…Alfred makes some sly observations about this. Of course he wants to buy Wayne Enterprises, and Bruce doesn’t like him at all…in about 5 seconds, anyone with half a brain knows who he is…yup. It ain’t a spoiler unless you’re legally brain-dead. There’s a showdown, and Batman saves the day, but also lets the GCPD do things, and it repairs some of the bad feelings between the two (AWWW!!! Meh.)

There’s a story about Jane Doe, a psycho who has no skin, and can become anyone (sorta looks like a less weird Red Skull if she were a DC Girl) anyhoo, she’s killing tons of people and there’s a storyline with her and Harvey Bullock (nice to see Harvey finally getting used again!)

We see that Dick and Barbara are still not speaking to Bruce after the events of Death of the Family (though, having read it all, I’m still not entirely sure why…maybe someone would like to walk me through it? I have ideas, but…) though Batwoman shows up, but only to help the Langstroms try and stop all the Man-Bats who have been unleashed in the 900 Block by some bad serum (900 block story coincides with issue 900 of Detective Comics, or what would have been – clever eh?) given to everyone by Zsasz, who was given it by another uber baddy…the Emperor Penguin of Vol. 3…

It’s all to set something else up, and Batman has a showdown with him, which is actually a lot more taxing than the one with Wrath. I feel like Emperor Penguin got ripped off here, with the title going to Wrath…Not cool dude.
Batman gets help in the unlikeliest of places.

There’s a lot of Evil here, mostly from the uber baddies like Emperor Penguin and Wrath, and to some extent with Man-Bat, but he’s like the Curt Connors/Lizard of Gotham…trying to cure something with animals and fucking shit up along the way…sad storyline, but a bit confusing after how things end earlier in the book, and also no mention at all of his father’s actions as Man-Bat in TDK Vol. 4…hmmm…

Anyhoo, John Layman does the best he can, and there’s a bit more explanation of things that need it, and it is in no way bad, but it’s just very herky jerky, all over, and doesn’t flow much at all, it’s just a patchwork of interconnected Bat-Drama.

A decent read, but non-essential. Then there’s a story at the end about Bane, but not by Layman, and I barely read that…There’s also some very cool artwork by the 1000 artist who drew this volume…no joke, like 1000.

It’s good, and I’ll keep reading it, but Scott Snyder is on a whole other plain than everyone else in terms of Batman.


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Review: Mars Attacks – by John Layman, art by John McCrea

Mars Attacks, Volume 1: Attack from SpaceMars Attacks, Volume 1: Attack from Space by John Layman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

John Layman? Yes.
Mars Attacks? Usually good for a laugh.
Art by John McCrea? Superlative.

Anything other than just mildly entertaining? Yes, but not amazingly so. However, it was a nice change of pace from Tights and Capes.


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