Batman #8: "Night of the Owls" begins and it's not exactly a story I've made any secret about not loving the premise of. The execution has been good so far, it's more my immediate distaste for 'hidden threats from the past' and that always seeming like a lazy way to establish someone or something. Hell, I would have preferred it if this organisation had only been around for a couple of years and hadn't revealed itself, because it had been stalking Batman, learning Gotham's secrets, etc. A subtle change, but one that is less distasteful than the 'I never knew my city at all' melodrama we're forced to deal with. Ignore that and this is a fun, entertaining comic. I'm not sure what you do with a city whose major public figures have all been killed -- then again, people die in Gotham all of the time and it always returns to the same old place. The back-up piece was a nice addition to the story. [***1/4]
Batman: Odyssey #13: That was all kinds of fucked up. The pages of the Rogues Gallery reacting to Batman gunning someone down was worth the entire series. It was like Neal Adams showed the gunshot page to some hardcore Batman fans, took pictures of their faces, and used those to draw the bad guys. I need to reread this entire series. SWOOP![****]
The Defenders #5: "The ocean's too big for police." Okay, Namor doesn't say that, but... you suck, Namor. Also, where's my translation of the bottom of the page text? Internet, you owe me that! [***3/4]
The Manhattan Projects #2: I'm surprised at how much I just enjoy reading this series. Two issues in and I have had a blast with each issue. I love this shit. [****]
Prophet #24: Last week, I accidentally bought a second printing of issue 22 thinking that this issue had come out a week early (it was in my pull file!) and, this week, they also stuck a copy of the second printing of issue 23 in my file with this issue. I think my shop is trying to trick me... Anyway, an unexpected 'twist' for the story, but one that makes a lot of sense. I love the subtle aging of this John Prophet. Given that my major experience with Dalrymple's art is Omega the Unknown, it seems fitting he's drawing another comic with weird doppelgangers. [****]
The Shadow #1: Because I'll give almost anything Garth Ennis writes a try... (And because there were no rack copies of the new issue of Punisher, so I didn't feel like I was 'losing' money...) This was alright. Nothing special, but I did like the opening quite a bit. From there, I grew less engaged. If I see issue two in my shop next month, I may give it a shot.
Wonder Woman #8: Not that I wanted to see Diana shooting off those guns, but that cover is a total lie. A lying cover! I really enjoyed how this issue continued the idea of Diana learning that assumptions or things she thinks to be true aren't necessarily so -- this time with the role of those in the underworld. The end of the issue was one of those cliffhanger/twists that genuinely hit me. When that bullet goes through... jesus. [****]
As I said at the beginning, no timeline on this week's "Riding the Gravy Train." I'd expect it sometime during the weekend or Monday most likely.