This Week’s Ramblings

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The new Batman and Robin team continue to entertain in the DCU. Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen are also a great pair on their Streets of Gotham series. The third issue focuses on the man known as The Broker and his shady acquisitions of properties to be used as hideouts for Gotham’s criminals. This is a mature issue, as The Broker questions his morals and  mentions that the Mad Hatter is, “aside from the little girl thing, a prince.” He also shows a place to the new look Mr. Zsasz who buys the abandoned property and promptly wheels in tiny cages holding kidnapped children. All that, plus the Manhunter co-feature starring a skinless woman make this one gruesome issue. It also has a cameo by The Great White Shark bad guy seen in the excellent Batman: Arkham Asylum game.

Justice League of America #38 AdImage’s tale of eternal brothers Olympus series is finished, with #4 now out. I picked up the finally released TPB of Pax Romana this week, and the comparisons between Jonathan Hickman’s design sense and Olympus’ artist Christian Ward seem obvious to me. Go here to see some Olympus pages to know what I mean. Both men use the page as their own template for a new kind of approach to visual storytelling. They’re not afraid to be bold and use negative space to great effect. The last ish of Olympus is probably the best looking and I hope Ward has another outlet soon. Writer Nathan Edmondson is sure to be going places too.

So the new Justice League has been announced, as seen in this week’s DC releases. The roster has had more changes than ever in the last few years. Writer of the current mini-series Cry For Justice, James Robinson is teaming up with artist Mark Bagley (Trinity) but the character selection isn’t doing a lot for me. I miss the days of Grant Morrison and the Big Seven. At least, there’s still DC’s Trinity, or at least stand-ins for Superman (Mon-El while Supes is on New Krypton), Batman (Dick Grayson replacing the dead Bruce Wayne) and Wonder Woman (one-time Wonder Girl Donna Troy). Check out this informative Newsarama post that examines if the new members are worthy of being in the JLA.

The new 3 ish mini Anti-Venom: New Ways to Live is off to a rollicking start. Pure, hard-core entertainment with another ending 6 pages after the one you think it is. Focusing on the original Spider-Man foe Venom, Eddie Brock is now a good guy as the Anti-Venom and is dedicated to cleaning up the streets and the people in it. Writer Zeb Wells showed in the recent Dark Reign Elektra mini that he knows how to write full throttle action and does so again here. I’ve never seen anything by artist Paulo Siqueira but man, I’m very impressed. With superb pacing, fluid action and scenes of horror oozing darkness onto the pages I’m definitely picking up the next 2 issues.

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