KK’s Keen Comics, July 17th, 2013 Releases

Greetings, comics fans! This week, we’ve got a promising new arc from a perennial favorite, a sorta-final issue that introduces a nifty new character, and a new art team on a book that knocks it out of the park! I can’t wait to dive right in!

Batwoman #22

Batwoman #22Definitely my cover of the week, as well. The artwork on this book never disappoints, always creative and vivid. We get a lot of action scenes this week, and they’re handled deftly, with a good sense of how acrobatic and violent the superheroines are, which is not easy or always done well.

This is the start of a new arc, and a welcome one at that. For most of its run, this title has had Batwoman dealing with various supernatural threats, which is rather odd for a Bat-character, who tend to do better at street-level heroics. But now we’re moving back into stronger territory, with the DEO, who is pulling Batwoman’s strings, pushing her to go after the big prize – Batman himself. And She starts by interviewing various Bat-villains, primarily the only one who has ever really beaten Batman, Bane. (In the 90s, he broke Batman’s back and put him out of commission for a while.)

Meanwhile, her sidekick, Firebird, is training for a mission of her own. Which seems to be, to infiltrate DEO and extract… something. It’s a very effective heist training scene in its own right, but also sets up an interesting attempt to shake up the status quo. Will Batwoman break the shackles of the DEO, or just get in deeper? Both lead to potentially good stories, so I’m intrigued. A great time to jump in to this title!

Batman Beyond Unlimited #18

Batman Beyond Unlimited #28This title is a ‘digital first’ title, collected into print later. It’s #18 in the print version, which is what I get, and looks like #27-28 in the digital version. They make it hard for a poor comic reviewer girl!

Anyway, this is set in the continuity of the old Batman Beyond cartoon, and introduces a new Batgirl. The story is told from the point of view of Commissioner Gordon – Commissioner Barbara Gordon, that is, whom we all know is the original Batgirl. I’ve been pleased since the show first revealed it that her character follows in her father’s footsteps.

It’s an interesting new Batgirl, too. More physical and less detective-y than the original, she’s very concerned with the underclass, that the police do little to protect. It also turns out that she’s African American, which is about time. (Yes, I’m aware of Batwing. More, please.)

There’s a nice Batman-y story about corporate greed and conspiracy, and Barbara supplies a lot of the detective work to the new Batgirl’s brawn, and an understanding is reached. I’d very much like to see more.

This is the last issue, which would be a problem. Except it’s really just a rename, as the title becomes Batman Beyond Universe in the next issue. They’ve already been doing Justice League Beyond for a long time, so that’s fine. Next issue is a natural jumping on point, but there’s no reason you can’t jump on with this one – it’s a new character intro, which is one of the easiest premises for a new reader.

Nova #6

Nova #6Being a resident of Fairfax, Virginia, I’m excited to see a comic about Northern Virginia, aka Nova. Just outside of DC, we have a number of fascinating… wait, not that Nova.

This Nova is one of Marvel’s cosmic superheroes. The Cosmic Marvel Universe is where things like Guardians of the Galaxy, Galactus, Skrulls and Krees, the Brood, and all sorts of Space Adventures happen. With a Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming soon, this is a great time to nestle into these Big Adventures.

This issue is, however, a character building issue. Sam Alexander is the son of the previous Nova, having inherited his father’s special helmet and thus his powers in the previous issues. He went off to save the earth, like you do, and now is back home dealing with things like family and school.

And it’s a very nice character issue! I particularly love his mom, who shows understanding and compassion, while trying to establish some sort of boundaries. And largely failing. Grounding a larger than life character like this into a real world situation is really important, to keep him relateable and human, and make us care about them.

And there’s a new art team on this issue, and they’re really good. Some of the facial expressions in this book are fantastic. Normally it’s the big action that gets a reader’s attention in a comic, but this time I found myself drawn to the art in the hero-talks-with-mom pages, which is a great sign. I hope they keep this team together for a while, because they’re doing a terrific job.

That’s it for this week! Go back to trying to absorb all the industry news you missed from Comic Con, and see you next week for the latest in imaginary heroes!

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