March Surprises

Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1This month has been pretty good, comic book wise. Image’s Killer of Demons by Christopher Yost (New X-Men) and artist Scott Wegener (Atomic Robo) had me laughing. It’s about an office worker who discovers his calling, as indicated by the title and follows, or tries to, the angel on his shoulder.┬áIrreverent, with great timing, it reminded me of the current Super Human Resources mini-series by Ape Entertianment. If you want a laugh, pick it up.

DC has wowed me a few times this month, mainly thanks to the Bat. Batman Confidential started a new arc last issue, advertised as the paged debut of King Tut from the campy Batman TV show. Never a good idea to use that as a selling point DC! Anyway, the second part of the 3 parter continues the good work by writers Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, with gorgeous art by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. Lopez’s art isn’t seen enough on a monthly book, and Kevin Nowlan’s inks turn it into a winning combo. The story is filled with great menace and pace, and with Riddler on board as Batman’s ‘partner’ attempting to deduce the identity of the Egyptian themed killer, this series which looks at Batman’s early days has never been so inviting.

Superman/Batman #56 is another issue of a recent story arc that’s been wowing me. The team of Michael Green and Mike Johnson, with art by Rags Morales is the best team this book has had since its inception when Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness brought us the team-up title. The conclusion to the Super/Bat arc, which has the two heroes swapping powers courtesy of Silver Banshee’s magic shows their understanding of the characters very well. Batman, amped up on super powers is more driven than ever, using his new abilities to eradicate crime world-wide, while involved in the obligatory face off with the JLA.

Lastly, Tony Daniel has exceeded my (low) expectations and made Batman: Battle for the Cowl a book worth reading. Pretty much everyone in cyberspace scoffed when Daniel was announced as the writer and artist of this extremely important 3 issue mini that sets up the new Baman, after his ‘death’ in Final Crisis. Daniel’s art was very below average in his issues with Grant Morrison in Batman: R.I.P. However, he’s stepped up to the plate with far better skills this time around. He’s still not my fave artist, but his work has vastly improved. Following Morrison and Neil Gaiman as a writer is no mean feat and I’m shocked DC would give Daniel, who is still fresh-faced in the DCU, the keys to the Bat kingdom. However, maybe Dan DiDio knows what he’s doing after all. Daniel shows promise as a scribe here I must say. He handles the characters well,from Robin to Damian to Nightwing to Alfred (though his brief ‘fight’ with Dick is a little far fetched). The gun toting Batman wannabe on the last page must surely be Hush or Two-Face, but Daniel does a grand job of putting all the pieces of the puzzle in plain view, leaving no question answered. For a preview of this issue, go here.

Daredevil Noir #1 Preview

Out on April 8 is the latest series in Marvel’s re-imagining of some of their greatest characters. Daredevil Noir is a new 4 issue mini-series by writer Alexander Irvine and artist Tomm Coker, which takes familiar faces from Matt Murdock’s life and takes them back a few decades. The first issue has a variant cover from artist Dennis Calero.