Neil Gaiman + Andy Kubert = $$$$
I think this was really awesome. I like to make fun of Gaiman fans because they are annoying, but this really was great. The dude can write a comic (as long as it doesn't set Marvel characters in 1602). Plus, Kubert's art looked great.
Aaaand...a Catwoman-centric story? That will always win me over. Especially one where she ties Batman up for any reason.
When I was reading Alfred's story in this issue I was wondering how many casual Batman fans who are picking up this comic will be confused and take Alfred's word as bond re: The Joker. But I think the comic was pretty clear that nothing happening in it should be taken as canon.
Calling the story "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader" is a bit risky, as it compares it to one of the greatest comics ever written, but y'know...confidence in your product, I guess. It was a really entertaining read and I am looking forward to the next issue. Worth the extra dollar!
Plus I liked that line "I don't think Death is a person, Batman." Cute, Gaiman. Cute.
For some reason I always save Spider-Man for the end of my comic reading each week. This week I put it near the beginning. It was the only Marvel title I picked up this week, so I kinda felt sorry for it.
I know that I have mentioned this before, particularly in my Best of 2008 post, but I am just so frigging impressed by how great Spider-Man has been since the relaunch at the beginning of last year. And the fact that it is coming out three times a month makes it that much more impressive. I think that Marvel has actually found the perfect formula for creating comic books: have a rotating team who are all in on the same story-line, but are all telling their own short stories within the larger arc. Brilliant! The way they have it set up, it avoids several problems that plague almost every title on the stands today:
1. There are no "fill-in" issues because there is no one single creative team.
2. The comics come out on time.
3. Because it's a continually rotating team, the larger story is very fluid, and doesn't change drastically when a new creative team comes on board. For most comics, when a new team takes over a book they pretty much start over with the character and story, taking the elements that they liked from the last team's efforts, and dropping the rest. Many things never get resolved, or are just forgotten.
This issue, which follows-up last week's big reveal of who the mysterious new villain, Menace, really is, is a perfect example of what Spider-Man is doing right. Menace has been showing up in Spider-Man comics since the relaunch. There were many issues that the character wasn't there, but Menace was never forgotten about. Typically, the identity of a villain like Menace would be revealed within a 6-issue story arc in most comic series. The Spider-Man format allows for this long-lasting story to exist while lots of other stories are happening. And the Menace storyline is only one of many larger storylines existing in the Spider-Man world. It's great stuff, and it really creates a more complex and vibrant universe for Spider-Man. There's a lot going on, but the writers have a great handle on it all. I never expected the title to be this well-managed when they first announced that it would be coming out so frequently. Well done, Marvel!
How are the sales on this title? Good, I hope because I really love it and don't want it to go away. When Geoff Johns left the title I didn't think I would still be into it, but I still look forward to it ever month.
This was the final issue of Nightwing, and it was terrible.
Batman Confidential #26
This, on the other hand, was fantastic. Really, really great. It's the antidote to all this crazy, arthouse Batman that we have been getting lately. It's a straightforward story where a bizarre theme-based villain is terrorizing Gotham and Batman teams up with Jim Gordon to figure it out. Awesome right? Well add to that some AMAZING art by, wait for it, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and inked by Kevin Nowlan! Sometimes you just need a shot of Batman, straight up with no chaser. This is that comic.
New Mini Marvels digest!!! Everyone should buy three of these.