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The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #7-9 Review

It has been a while since I had covered the remainder of this series and boy have I forgotten about this story. The last time in the series we saw Batman and Superman teaming up to take down an evil Kryptonian cult by giving them a help through the dispersal of Kryptonian laced rain as well as them both being decked out in power armour, with Superman’s being more designed to protect him from the rain. However not everything was going well for them as Baal managed to get a heat beam off on Batman leaving him in a critical state.

We open up on Superman flying through the sky, holding a dying Batman trying to get him off somewhere hoping that he can hang in and stay alive for the time being, but it doesn’t seem that it could be likely. Back over in Gotham we see the destruction that has happened with narration from news outlets and text messages about how they are now free from the Kryptonians and we see one of the things that I do really hate about and that being the Trump analogy. I know that this is a Frank Miller penned story and he is accustom to do crap like this but really having a Trump analogy is just a waste of time, from me personally because a) I am British and b) it does also date the story as well which I wish creators wouldn’t do especially when this is a story that is set in the future crap like this won’t end up happening. Anyway back to the story, Carrie is observing the damage that has happened and is trying to contact Batman but he isn’t responding, that is when Yindel and a few members of the GCPD approach her holding Batman’s helmet which causes Carrie to break down crying.

Back over with Superman, he is still flying to save Batman, and we see Hal Jordon walking through the desert feeling remorseful about the power that he once had and that he misses flying. On the next page we find Ray Palmer, at a sub-atomic level, where he is working on a plan to get back at the Kryptonians for what they have done. Over with Lara she is trying to find out what had happened to Baal and he reveals the damage that the Kryptonite had done to his face and she asks him why he ran instead of getting vengeance when the arise above the cloud line to find the remaining cultist there with Quar. He says that they are going to have their revenge on what had happened, that being their plan to take Lara’s baby brother, Johnathan. Lara does warn him that they are protected by the Amazons and Quar turns around backhands her with his fist asking her if she is siding with them or the Amazons and says that they are going to take Kal-El’s son the same way that they took Lara.

Back over in Gotham, Yindel and Carrie are talking about the destruction that has happened and wonder if it was all worth it, Carrie says that it was worth it since that they stood up for what they had believed in, but Yindel gives her a bit of a reality check. She says that heroes like her just don’t inspire others, but they also expose the problems as well with they’re pretty much being a high casualty rate with what has happened. Carrie says to her that this isn’t the time to get into semantics and says that they need to bury the dead and also says that they will be getting a new Batsignal fixed so that the two of them can stay in touch. Superman arrives at the location where he wanted to be, and it turns out to be a Lazarus Pit where he drops Batman into.

The micro issue is a bit better than some of the previous issues and it also ties a lot more into the current story as we see Hal Jordon continuing to walk through the desert and we see Hawkboy and Hawkgirl and they guide Hal to a city. One of the down things that I do have to say is that for some reason Hal covers up his face and there aren’t only two different designs to it with one showing that it looks more like a hood covering him and the second being wrapping around his head and mouth. But it also reminds me of one of the more infamous Frank Miller penned stories that being Holy Terror and it reminds me how the terrorist looked like on the cover. He arrives in the city where he is pulled aside by people where an old guy knows what he is after patting down the stump of his arm. It turns out the guy knows who has his hand, along with the Power Ring and he tries to exchange it with a bar of gold but the person says that it isn’t for sale and this causes Hal to take it by force and somehow the hand has gained sentience and is helping Hal take out the people with the help of the Hawk kids and he somehow manages to get into costume with what appears to also be a Bat-Mite appearing ending the issue.

Back over in the Lazarus Pit we see Superman waiting to see if Batman is going to emerge from the pit and he does, managing to take down Superman and the two of them wrestle with Superman trying to get him to realise where he is and who he is. Elsewhere, Lara has arrived to take Johnathan away and back to the Kryptonians but she is stopped by Wonder Woman who holds a sword up to her, but Lara says that she isn’t alone and we see the cultists flying through the jungle, but Wonder Woman says that neither is she and we see an army of armed Amazonians aimed to defend from the attacking Kryptonians, ending the issue.

Issue eight opens up of Carrie watching the footage of Batman being killed by Baal and it seems that she doesn’t know what to make of the footage, but Flash tries to reassure her that it may not be all doom and gloom and that he may not be actually did die. But it appears to them that Batman isn’t dead yet as he and Superman appear in the cave and we are getting to a bit that I really do think is a misstep of the series, and that is de-aging Batman and making him younger. I think that this was a really stupid thing to do for the series since that the whole reason why this was the Dark Knight Returns was dealing with an older Batman in an aged world and him having to deal with newer threats at an old age makes it seem more of an interesting story as well as him training a new ward in the from of Carrie, this does have similar sounds to Batman Beyond with the Old Bruce and Terry. But with this it defeats a purpose and it just gives Miller another reason to continue writing any more Dark Knight stories, which I personally wish that he would stop doing because this isn’t the eighties anymore and times have changed, a lot of people do like the idea of change. Hell, I was rather intrigued by DC 5G plan but with current climate being what it has been it looks like that is going to be pushed back to a very later date. Back to the story, over with the Amazons, the wives of Quar come to bargain with Wonder Woman saying that if they give up her son, they would let them live but a spear is thrown at them leading them to start a war with Wonder Woman giving off a rather creepy smile.

Back over in the Batcave, Batman is annoyed with what Superman had done, resurrecting him in a pit, but they say they are going to talk about that later and he complains next, more light-heartedly towards Carrie about destroying the Batmobile and reveals that he still has a fleet of older versions. Flash calls in saying that Wonder Woman is calling, and she says that the Kryptonians are attacking them, with Superman heading off, and that they are going to be there as soon as they can. Back over in Amazonia, Wonder Woman is asking Lara to hand over her brother, with Lara asking if she trusts her, which she doesn’t answer, and we then see the first wave of attacking Kryptonians who attack them with heat blast. However they hold up their shields and they are able to withstand the attack with the realisation that they are using magic shields to the shock of the Kryptonians and Wonder Woman comes out, with Johnathan strapped to her back and comes out wielding dual swords which is rather bad ass and she leads them into war against the Kryptonians. The micro issue is rather boring, it deals with Yindel dealing with an old DK villain called Bruno who is most infamous for having swastika pasties on her breasts.

Back to the fighting, it seems to be going well for the Amazonians and even more so when they have their own battalion of warriors on Pegasus. Inside, Lara is confronted by the wives of Quar who are disappointed by the fact that she doesn’t have the baby with her, and they fly off telling her to follow them. At the entrance there is a knock at the door and the Amazons open it revealing that it is Superman and we see Wonder Woman walking towards him covered in blood after decimating several Kryptonians and embracing with him. But before they can say anymore, Flash contacts them informing them on Quar and his children that have absorbed power from nukes and they have gathered together, Superman heads off and Wonder Woman says that catch up with him later, ending the issue.

Issue nine opens with Quar talking about how disappointed in the Earth on how they haven’t accepted him as their God and that he is going to make them pay for it. Lara is surrounded by Quar’s wives who seem to be upset with her not bringing them the child and having her doubt herself as a Kryptonian, however a blinding green light appears and Green Lantern tells her to get out of there and to leave him with the wives who think that they might have a upper hand, however GL believes he can take them on. Carrie and Batman are talking in the Batmobile and she asks him what it is like to feel young again, and he says that it feels wrong but she doesn’t believe him and he says that with this he now has a second chance. This is something that I do like about the story and is something that I will credit to the writing, when this started out it seemed that this version of Batman had made more problems for himself and with him now being rejuvenated thanks to the Lazarus Pit, he wants to write the wrongs that had happened. Quar keeps on with his preaching and then we see something weird, he is being broadcasted to the world, so does that mean that one of the Kryptonians has a camera or a media crew following them to broadcast it or what. Batman flicks a switch on the Batmobile that sends out a wave towards the caverns that Quar and his forces are flying by and we see a swarm of bats attacking them.

They start to try and defend themselves from the swarm, however in the process they end up hitting each other with heat blasts and the majority of them fall to the ground. But it looks like there seems to be trouble in paradise as a majority of the Kryptonians are wanting to leave the Earth for the humans to destroy, but Quar seems to be not having it and he and his followers end up killing the people that are wanting to leave. Batman goes to confront Quar, but Superman intervenes asking him to leave Quar to him because he gave him a second chance and he doesn’t want him to die again and that the world needs a Batman. He confronts Quar, who he and his remaining followers surrounded Lara, and they end up taking turns beating him up but Baal can punch him, Superman blocks it and we get a small breakdown moments in a similar vain to Guy Pierces Sherlock Holmes film, in which he focuses on specific parts of his followers and he just goes all out on them and Batman saying that this is Superman not holding back and he manages to take everybody out, leaving Quar to last.

Quar has them to self-detonate and they start glowing and Batman notes on the destruction that one exploding Kryptonian did to Moscow they don’t want to see what happens when six detonate on a fault line. But neither Superman or Batman and Carrie stop them, but it is Atom who manages to enlarge himself and shrink the detonators and them detonating them without having to worry about any major fallout. Quar goes to make the detonation himself, however that is stopped thanks to Lara who manages to take down Quar and sends him into the Sun to detonate. Two months later it appears that Superman has fallen off the face of the Earth and even Batman can’t seem to find him, and he hopes to see him one more time somewhere. Carrie walks in and she asks if he is ready to go out of patrol and he is ready and we see that Carrie has a new costume, this one being a newer version of her old costume and a new colour scheme and an inverse colour scheme of Batman’s which I do like, they head out and the last panel that we get is the classic reimagining with Batman and Batwoman going through the city in silhouette with the lightning bolt in the background.

Now for this issue I am going to talk about the micro issue here and instead of where it was inserted since that it is more of an epilogue to the story so it makes sense for me to talk about it here. The story is basically Lara and Superman talking along with panels other heroes dealing with things that are happening with Flash helping out Yindel with a bank robber, apparently, and Wonder Woman taking out a Hydra. To sum up the story it is pretty much Superman deciding to become more human and hanging up the tights and he is wanting Lara to also experience the same even for a short time.

Overall, this series is a mixed bag for me and there seems to be a rather mix to the story, for instance the Kryptonians have been released from the bottle to only then being rebottled. The villain for the story is rather interesting but I wish that there were more of a backstory to him that could flush him out even more, like his practises and the reasons why preaches the way that he does. But the biggest miss step that the was the death and resurrection of Batman and I don’t think that they should have brought him back to life since they could have still had Superman standing up to take down Quar and then having him go off the radar and having Carrie teaming up with Flash and Yindel to protect Gotham City from future threats. There is a part of me that wonders what The Golden Child is going to be like but that could be something for the future.

First Appearance: Batman :The Cult #3-4 Review

Continuing on from the last post, we are continuing the look into the first appearance of one of the characters that had managed to mentally take down Batman, that being Deacon Blackfire.

Issue three opens with Blackfire’s followers attacking the deputy mayor because of his stance and supporting Gordon and the police in this situation. They manage to separate the mayor from his security and drag him down to the sewer where his head them comes shooting out, only for it to then turn into Batman’s own and him screaming no over and over again with him still trying to overcome the effects of the drugs that he was on. Robin slaps him in the face and manages to get Batman to refocus and also gets the chains that he was bound in off, he asks Batman what they are going to do now and Batman says for the time being they’re just going to try and get out of here and think of a plan on the way. Robin informs him what has been happening when Batman was controlled by Blackfire and says that the city is spilt between pro and against what Blackfire has done and asks Batman if they are going to be able to stop him and Batman ponders the answer wondering if they would be able to beat him.

Over in the GCPD, Gordon and Deleon are going over the files from Blackfire and they discover things that to them don’t make a lot of sense since the first case that they have on him dates all the way back to the early twenties where he was charged for armed robbery and also bootlegging and his crimes even continued on to day with him during the seventies and eighties as well. Gordon says that he had met Blackfire once and he appeared to be just in his thirties so Deleon believes that the previous crimes might have been caused by his father, but Gordon is starting to believe that Blackfire is the real deal. He then says that they need to try and get person on the inside of Blackfire’s operation and Deleon volunteers do be the one.

During another news briefing, we discover that there people coming in from out of town to join up with Blackfire and that with the influx that has been coming in, it would tip the power balance in favour of Blackfire and out of the police. Blackfire turns off the television to the annoyance of what the reporter is saying and that the new devotees will help increase their numbers, but in his mind he already has control of Gotham. Blackfire goes on to talk to Jake about what his life was like before his current standing saying that he has seen what civilisation has done to the wilderness and that when he came back he didn’t seem to fit in and found himself to be an outcast and that with he being sequester too long he couldn’t seem to get away with the current society. So take make him seem life more common for him he ended up going down a life of crime but that didn’t seem to work for him as he discovers that criminals can’t be trusted and then after his imprisonment he ended up going into politics but ended up giving that up because it was too fickle, and then went onto covering different enterprises before settling down for one, that being religion and that he is a messenger for God. Jake asks him what the blood has to do with this, and he reveals that the blood gives him time to learn lessons.

Back over with Batman and Robin, they continue working their way through the sewer system and Batman feels a sense of déjà vu and Robin discovers a room that contains the totem of Blackfire and to Batman’s shock it is rather small, with him believing that the size change and that talking had to be down to the hallucination. Over with Gordon, he is giving a press conference from him coming from a phone call from the governor and has declared that there is only for one of solution for them to do and that was declaring a state of martial law over Gotham City. Gordon is then shot by a sniper from the sewer. Back in the tunnel, the dynamic duo continues heading around and hear a whistling tune where the slowly approach and find Blackfire showering in a pool of blood, with two people hung up. Robin accidentally steps on a bottle and that alerts them to their presence and this causes Jake to contact the followers to come and get attack them, as they are running away Robin throws a smoke grenade towards the running group and he picks up Batman to make sure that he is okay and the two keep running.

Over in a news studio, a news anchor who is talking about Deacon Blackfire and how he is against him and that they need make sure that he doesn’t take over the city, this is also spliced with some of Blackfire’s followers in a section of the sewer where they add a cable to an ongoing line and say that their inside man can start to make their move. In the studio, the producer on the floor notices a person walking up to the anchor with a gun and he pulls the trigger, live on television and then the feed cuts over to Blackfire where he starts to preach to the viewers and says that there is a conspiracy thrown into the city and he says that the current administration has proved inadequate with dealing with the problems that have been happening. He continues saying that they have no choice but to take his crusade against crime and take over the city and says that he will be the one to protect his followers.

Batman and Robin are still running through the tunnels, but there luck seems to be running low as they run out of smoke and gas capsules so he decides to throw a grenade to collapse the tunnel so they don’t have to deal with anymore followers. However that proves to be pretty much useless as they end up getting surrounded by them and Robin gives a quick speech saying that what they have been through has been fun and if he is going to go down, he’s going to go down swinging. The numbers seem to be too much for them and Batman doesn’t seem to be fighting them off and it’s only Robin getting through to him that causes him to go into a blind rage and manages to take down all of the followers to the shock of Robin and the two of them continue to find a way out. The army is also deployed into the city and they send out a squad to go and find them in the sewers, however when they go underground they are taken out by the followers and this causes the Governor to declare Gotham as a disaster area and has called in the Federal Government for assistance and says that residents should evacuate the city. Blackfire, hearing the news rejoices and we see the city starting to fall.

Batman and Robin finally manage to make their way out of the sewer through a subway tunnel and Batman notes that it should be busier and when they realise what has happened, Gotham has fallen. Robin points over to a bar that they could try and get some refuge in, and saying that he will phone Alfred to pick them up, but when they get in the bar they find some of the followers and Robin charges in to attack them, but he gets overwhelmed when Batman steps in and throws two of them against a wall. As Robin goes off to make a phone call, Batman stays in the bar area and discovers more about what has happened during the time that they were in the sewers and that being the city evacuated, the Underworlders looting and rioting through the streets and that a General has arrived in the city, but his orders are the to observe the situation before making any actions. Meanwhile the remaining people that have stayed in the city think that what Blackfire has done is perfectly okay saying that they have gotten rid of the corrupt people by making them flee the city. Alfred arrives to pick them up and Batman says that they need to leave Gotham and Robin saying that they are leaving to get reinforcements to deal with the problem, but Batman says that they aren’t going to be returning and that the city now belongs to Blackfire to the shock and awe to both Alfred and Robin and says that it is over, the have lost and he tells Alfred to get moving ending the issue.

Issue four opens up Batman’s continual delusions and this time he is confronted by his parents in a zombified state and they are upset with the way that he had just let Gotham to the hands of Blackfire and we get a pretty hilarious panels of Batman. He says that he has changed his mind and that he is going back to Gotham to face off against Blackfire and save Gotham in the process as well. Alfred asks if he is alright since it pretty much looks like that he woke up from a reoccurring nightmare and he says that he is and asks Alfred what is up. He says that Jason is overseeing the delivery that they had got, Bruce says that he is going to be down shortly saying that he wants to go over the weapons system so that they can be ready before the sun sets and Alfred is happy to see him finally getting around to doing something about Blackfire. Bruce then goes into a narration segment where he talks about how Blackfire had been the first person to break him down mentally and spiritually and it is something that is still bothering him but he says that the fire of battle will help him defeat Blackfire and that the Batman is coming for him.

A news report covers what has happened in the past week and it is revealed that Blackfire has sealed off the city from the rest of the world but the most shocking thing. Apparently only half of residents of Gotham were still left in the city, mainly because they decided to ignore the evacuation order, and that a majority of them are being forced into labour camps where they are working on fortifications for his city and that anyone who had resisted have met with rather horrific way that being lynched. There was also a report that the military had tries to make their way into the city, but when they touched down they were fired upon by snipers and they were all killed in action. Back over with Bruce and Jason, they are training with tranquiliser guns and they seem to be getting the hang of it and then Jason spots a bat flying around thinking it to be a good omen for them, however it then causes Bruce to have a flashback of what I believe is his parents getting shot and apparently he reveals to Jason that he didn’t become Batman to fight crime, but to overcome his fear.

Continuing on with the report from the General, he goes onto say that there isn’t a lot that they can do since no matter which option that they choose they are looking at mass casualties on both side and one of the people that they are talking to says that they should go with a nuclear option, which is just stupid since the fallout for that would be a thousand times worse than a military assault, but a third person says that should try and take a diplomatic approach. Back with the dynamic duo, they are testing out their new weapon system and they destroy an old tree on the property and we see that what they are using is firing a missile, happy with what they have tested they suit up. Back with the news report a new story has emerged that a group of people tried to make an escape through a bridge, but they were gunned down in the process. They then cut over to one of the people that were one of his followers and he reveals what Blackfire was like and at first he seemed to be an okay person, but once the siege had started he turned into another person, that and also he was sick of all the death that was happening so he decided to hand himself to the proper authorities and calls Blackfire insane and as if he was on a death trip.

Blackfire says that martyrdom is how he is going to be going out since he has nothing left to do and his followers think that he has gone crazy and ask Jake on what they are going to be doing. He says that he is just going to let Blackfire do what he wants to do and that the three of them are going to continue on the legacy of Blackfire once this is all over and that they are going to be the ones that are going to be running Gotham. The news portion of the story ends on more of a lighter note as Commissioner Gordon is on his way to make a full recovery in hospital after being shot in the previous issue and we see that Batman has made his way there. He informs Gordon that he is going to take back the city for the both of them and he asks Batman to punch Blackfire for him.

At the Lincoln Bridge, some of the followers are patrolling when they notice a large vehicle approaching them at a fast speed and we find it to be one of the most strangest Batmobile designs I have seen in a while and the being a freaking monster truck. The truck seems to be the upper hand for the duo as they have a machine gun that is equipped with tranquilisers and uses the rockets to take out any heavy ordinance that they have. They continue to mow down the followers and one of them stops right in front of the truck and begs him not to kill him, in which Batman lowers a panel and gives him a message to tell Blackfire, that being Batman is coming for him. Over with Blackfire he is ecstatic about Batman coming to try and reclaim the city and tells his followers to bring him to the arena unharmed but Jake and his compatriots says to each other they need to make sure that Batman doesn’t make it there. Back up top, Robin asks Batman how they are doing and he says that there isn’t any resistance around coming to the conclusion that they have all fallen back to where Blackfire’s base is located, he then asks how he is doing and he says he’ll tell him when they reach Gotham Square. Back over with Blackfire, he keeps talking about becoming a martyr so that his works can be carried on throughout his followers and that he also plans on taking Batman along with him when he makes his way to the promised land.

Back with the duo, they’re progressing towards Gotham Square where they drive past the lynching site and see signs on each of the saying what they were, the arrive closer and they notice that the place is pretty much deserted, almost like it was some sort of ambush and it is. They come out of every direction and they start climbing the Bat Monster Truck and they start to get overrun by them, so Batman and Robin decide to evacuate the vehicle and then gas the attackers in and around the vicinity of the truck. They make there way down through the sewers and start taking down the followers with the use of the tranq guns as well as more gas and minor explosives. Further along the tunnel, Robin is shot in the leg and the gun that Batman uses jams on him making him rely less of the gun and goes in whacks him with the butt of the gun to take him down. Robin says that he should head on to take on Blackfire by himself and leave him with the unjammed gun to defend himself. Batman makes his way through the tunnels and discovers what happens when Blackfire’s followers end up dying and they are hung up in front of the room that Batman ends up smashing a door to get into.

Blackfire welcomes Batman to his fighting pit and we get another freaky panel scene where Batman see’s him in two different forms, the first being his own regular form and then the second that being a horned demon. Blackfire keeps egging Batman on to kill him with the gun, but Batman is even considering pulling the trigger, but he throws the gun away to Blackfire’s annoyance. He lunges towards Batman with a knife and the two of them get into a scuffle in which Batman manages to get a hold of the knife and impales it in the ground, not giving him the satisfaction of a martyred death. Batman then starts to beat him up and he starts to break down begging Batman to stop and he looks weak in the face of his followers. Jake tries to shoot Batman, but Robin comes along and shoots him in the neck with a shot and Blackfire orders his followers, but they don’t listen to him and they drop down to the pit. They start to surround Blackfire and it doesn’t go well for him here on out as now he has shown weakness it looks like that his influence has started to wain and all of them end up eviscerating Blackfire.

Later during another news brief, it is reported that everything starting to go back to normal, well normal for Gotham City standards, as the police are returning to their regular patrols and that army is going to be pulling out. Most of Blackfire’s associates have also been arrested with murder and other charges and that all of the bodies that were found were going to be put into a mass burial plot. Citizens are returning and the people that flocked to follow Blackfire are leaving the city plus the homeless are returning to the streets not knowing why they followed him. Batman narrates on what has ben happening and there are a few loose ends that he has to deal with. He says that the kill group apparently didn’t leave that much to identify any remains of Blackfire but he thinks he is dead this time and he doesn’t know whether or not to think of him as a con man or the actual mystical shaman that he was, but there is one last thing that he needed to take care of and that is destroying the totem and not wanting to take any chances just in case he is an immortal being.

Overall, this story is good however it is also rather weird when you stand back and look at it. The idea that Batman being mentally broken by a character is something that we still see today, most recently in Tom King’s run on Batman. But this felt rather different than what that did since that this was one of the first times that he was broken down so it was something to try and work with and what is a better way of trying to break somebody down with the use of drugs and chicanery. Deacon Blackfire as a villain is, to me at least, a rather interesting concept that unfortunately never got to see in any of the additional media that came out of Batman until Arkham Knight came along. I think the character would have been rather interesting he was used in Gotham and you had the role reversed with Gordon being the one that was tortured and brainwashed by Blackfire, but alas we didn’t. I do also know that he has made an appearance or two in the New 52 series as well as in the Rebirth stories so I am rather interesting to see what they have done with him in that continuity.

First Appearances: Batman The Cult #1-2 Review

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to start to cover a few origins for characters that you really don’t get to see in current stories or maybe even down the line I might cover origins for characters that have had a lot of success in one media than another. So for the first one I decided to stick with a subject that I am rather versed in that being the Caped Crusader, Batman, and if I had rescheduled things around I would have managed to make the past two week worth of blogs being all dedicated to Batman. But instead of focusing on one of the more famous villains from Batman’s infamous rouges gallery, I have decided to go with one that is one of the most minor villains that Batman has faced that being Deacon Blackfire and the only time that I had ever heard from him is from Arkham Knight, so lets find out about his first story.

Issue one opens up with child Bruce Wayne noticing a mysterious house that is on the Wayne Estate but instead of going to tell his father about this, but there is something that is attracting him further and further in. He continues to follow down the corridor to a door which he goes through to an underground area where he discovers a trap door and he doesn’t know whether or not to open it and choose not to. The door opens up and reveals The Joker springing up on a platform, like he’s Rey Mysterio, who is also strapped up with sticks of dynamite and he ends up lighting them and holds up Bruce to blow them both up but it ends up being a joke and instead of an explosion of chunks of clown, it ends up being flowers. Bruce gets annoyed with what Joker has done and then we get a really good/weird transformation scene where he ends up getting older and we see him metamorphosing into Batman now wielding an axe and he ends up having enough of Joker and goes to town on him. He goes on to narrate saying that he if this felt so great, he wishes that he could have done it sooner, but he also knows that it is only a dream and that he has been having the same dream all week and that it might be an omen for things to come but he doesn’t believe in omens and we see Batman waking up from his dream and he has been beaten up and handcuffed to a pipe and surrounded by people.

One of the people that has Batman caught up, that he dubs Ratface gives a bit of backstory on Deacon Blackfire and it dates back over 1000 years and has do to with the Native Americans that lived there and they were called the Miagani, something that I also heard in Arkham Knight before this story thanks to Riddler’s spewing it out every few minutes during the game. He goes onto say that Blackfire had arrived to the settlement in which he was there to be the saviour for them, but there appears to be a lot of discontent between him and the chief in which Blackfire proceeds to kill him with a club. The remaining tribesman manage to overpower Blackfire, impaling him with arrows and bound him to a stone pillar and buried him alive in a cave and even carving a totem as a warning to others. Batman doesn’t seem to be buying about the legend of Blackfire and Ratface punches him and a voice off panel tells him that he just needs time to see the light and we see Blackfire arrive in the room. He starts to play the peacekeeper between his group and Batman saying that he will end up becoming part of his underground movement and Batman starts to narrate on how Blackfire is trying to weaken him and that is through making himself doubt himself.

Batman then takes us back to when he first heard about Blackfire showing up in Gotham and that he had set up a mission in Crime Alley and noted that he was pretty ballsy to set up shop there since it is a nefarious part of the city. But Batman realised that it didn’t seem that Blackfire or his mission needed any help so he decided not to put much focus on it, until a bodies start appearing across town and some people are believing that Batman is behind the attacks, which he says to Gordon that he isn’t. Batman also is able to deduce something more as well about, at least this case, there wasn’t one attacker but multiple. Back underground, Ratface opens up on how he was pretty much down trodden and that it was thanks to Blackfire that he is on the up and we see Batman starting to fade more and more and points out what Blackfire’s technique is by having his marks being put into a place that they aren’t familiar with and are held back with the power of suggestion.

In another flashback, Batman is watching a news piece where it is apparent that there seems to be a dip in the homeless population living on the streets on a night time, but there still being a homeless people still around Gotham, which questions him on where they were going on a night. Back underground we get more backstory on tribe that had imprisoned Blackfire and it turns out that they had to move from there home to find another land since the crops that they grew kept withering and that there was no game to hunt, but the more tragic about it was that they were then wiped out by another tribe. Back in another flashback, seriously this first issue seems to have more flashbacks and what Frank Miller’s All Star Batman had, we see a group of individuals killing a guard and rummaging through a truck where they then are beseeched by a group of homeless wielding weapons and then we see in the morning, Batman and the police at the crime scene and it is quite bloody. Most of the bodies are missing heads and arms, but Batman also discovers a trail of blood that he follows to a manhole cover and he does go down to investigate and believes that this is where the homeless populous goes on a night. Back in the present, a different member of Blackfire’s group talks to Batman on how the Dutch that had landed in the bay had separated into two groups and the latter had taken over the land of the Miagani tribe, and had unearthed Blackfire’s tomb, where it is lead for us to believe that he had dealt with them in his own way and we also see Batman being force fed food that he believes to have some sort of agent inside of it to help weaken him mentally.

Back in a flashback, this time closer to Batman’s current situation, he’s out on patrol and he hears a gunshot and discovers two teenagers attacking a vendor and he manages to save the vendor, but Batman gets a bit sloppy and doesn’t realised a thing person there with another gun and he manages to get a shot off at Batman that goes straight through him. The shooter goes for a killing blow on him however he doesn’t pull the trigger as he is struck in the back by somebody throwing a knife and killing him. The person drags Batman away into the sewers and we see where he currently is, hung up by his hands and we see that Blackfire says that Batman has come to them as a sign from God and he welcomes him. Over at the GCPD, Gordon has discovered that Batman has been missing for days now, which asks me why nobody has heard anything from Bruce Wayne during this time, unless Alfred has made up some elaborate ruse to fool people that he is away somewhere. Robin says that he has disappeared like this before, but not for such a long time without a word and Gordon says that they’re in a epidemic as there appears to be a lot of people disappearing in the city and we then see two cops driving around and the city in pretty much deserted.  We continue the tale of Blackfire and discover that he ended up killing the settlers in the village and was spotted by a trapper walking away from there. Batman starts to disrespect the notion that the person was Blackfire, so Ratface picks up a piece of firewood that’s lit and burns him with Blackfire just listening to the screams in the distance and Batman is starting to fade more and more but mentally still trying to hold on.

Elsewhere in Gotham, a guy called Isidro waiting for a woman where he is asked by an old guy walking up to him if he knows a person called Sally. He does and asks what she wants in which the guy says righteous vengeance and two more guys appear behind him with handheld weapons drawn and murder him in the street. Back at the GCPD an officer brings in more case files and shines a large light about the missing people, the first is that there is over 500 missing person cases and the majority of the people that have went missing have police records and that the people that have been reporting them as missing also have a records as well, so you know something is up when people that have had ties to crimes are reporting missing people that have crimes. Back with Blackfire, a woman comes up to Batman and tells him about herself and it’s revealed that she used to be pimped out by Isidro and that one night he thought that she was holding back on him, so he decided to take a straight razor to her face and we see the cuts across her face, and it is pretty ghastly to look at. Blackfire comes up to Batman and says that Isidro won’t be hurting anymore people and Batman says that he had him murdered whereas Blackfire uses the more apt term of execution instead. Batman says what he did was wrong and that instead he should have been left in the charge of the police, but Blackfire states that nothing will happen to them since they would have a higher chance of just getting a slap on the wrist and end up doing the same to somebody else later on down the road. He says that the city above is ‘cesspool’ filled with scum and villainy and that the only thing that can help deal with this problem is God and that is the reasoning why Blackfire is here. He then stabs Batman in the back of the neck with some sort of pin and creates a really freaky looking hallucination for Batman where he sees Blackfire transforming into a weird creature and then we see Batman being turned into a weird green vapour like form. This causes Blackfire and his group to get Batman to walk along the tunnel to an open room where we discover the totem that the Miagani had placed of Blackfire and it seems to be giving off some sort of strange power as when Batman stares at it and starts to turn and says to Blackfire that he sees and collapses with Blackfire telling to take him away and creepily smiling.

Somewhere in Gotham we see a person walking down a street and we get a bit of a backstory for him, basically saying that he grew up on the streets and that he knows how to survive on the streets and that is by bending the rules to his own doing. That being he is a base man for drug running and he doesn’t think that this makes him a criminal, so clearly nothing bad is going to happen to him right, but no. He accidently drops some of his sketches on the sidewalk and when he picks them back up, he is surrounded by several people and murdered. Back over with Blackfire, he is talking with his partner in this escapade called Jake and it is revealed that he is the one that is behind the chemical that is used to keep the people under check. Jake congratulates him on being able on being able to convert Batman and he is happy to have mentally broken the Bat. The two of them head topside with Blackfire that he has watched this city grow from the settlement and he believes that he pretty much owns the town, but to him that was a fantasy but he is about to make that a reality ending the first issue.

Issue two opens another Batman hallucination, but this time it is Two-Face that he is taking on and we see that Batman is also wielding machine gun and guns him down in the process. But that’s not the only weird thing that is happening with Batman in this state, the body of Two-Face actually starts to change into Commissioner Gordon. Batman starts to snap out of the trance-like state that he is in and finds himself with a bunch of Blackfire’s followers where they are killing a bunch of Mafia soldiers. We also get a really cool page of Batman witnessing the acts happening and he looks powerless to do anything and when he does, almost like he is having an out of body experience and doesn’t really know what to do. He tries to interject himself into trying to stop anything more from happening, but it fails, and Jake tells them that it is all over and they are to gather up the dead and then get out of there. Batman then realises what has happened and that he has converted over to Blackfire’s cause and just as they head out, he spots a chicken on a table and he goes over and eats it like he hasn’t seen proper food in years. Jake tells him to drop it and get out and Batman narrates saying that he doesn’t like him, but he has to trust him since he is pretty much Blackfire’s right hand man.

Underground, Jake tells Batman where to sit and he asks him where Blackfire is and he says that he is in his ‘Inner Chamber’ even pointing to it and says that tells him to sit down after punching him in the gut. Batman starts narrating to himself on saying that he wants to strike out against what is happening but for some reason he can’t and that is down to what Blackfire had said to him and then we get even more weirdly designed with Batman sitting around thinking that what has been happening to him is that he has been drugged. Ratface manages to break the trance like state that he is in and tells him that they have a job to do from Blackfire and the strangest thing about this is that Ratface appears to change costumes as when he tells him he is wearing a marching band outfit and when they spot the person he is wearing an angel costume. They spot the target that Blackfire wants taken out all that Ratface knows is that he is supposed to be a pimp, but looking at the person in question to Batman the guy looks like a normal person, however to Ratface he looks like a pimp in a rather elaborate costume. Ratface decides to take things into action and lunges towards the victim with a knife and kills him with Batman too late to react to what had happened, but things start to take a bit of a turn when a police officer appears and tries to apprehend Ratface. Batman manages to stir from where he was getting the attention of the officer, which gives Ratface time to try and attack him with the knife, but Batman this time manages to intercept and takes down Ratface. The officer thanks Batman for the save and also tries to inform him that they have been looking for him for a while and he tries to take him to Gordon to find out what happened, Batman punches him out and goes to find something to eat.

Back in the sewers, Blackfire is informed by Jake on what has happened saying that Batman and Ratface had headed up top so that he could go and kill a neighbour that he hated. He then asks how Batman is holding up, to which Jake says that he is doing okay, but he due a booster on the treatment that they give them and Blackfire is getting anxious about how long it is taking Ratface to get back believing that he could be arrested by police and may spill things about the operation as he was a willing devotee and not a drugged one. Back over with Batman, we find him smashing through the window of a deli to eat at the food there and also narrates on his current state and says that he needs to get somewhere quiet. Over with Ratface he is spilling his guts to the GCPD and reveals the plan that Blackfire is planning on for running in politics since he has his followers going out and killing low life’s and crooks to make Gotham a safer place. Back with Batman, he ends up in a park, where he starts tripping even more and it seems that he is dealing with withdrawal symptoms from whatever drug Blackfire and Jake had him on and when he tries to walk away, he them starts to erode away into a gloop.

Over with Blackfire, he finds out that Ratface has ratted him out and there is now warrant out for his arrest, Blackfire is rather seemingly taking this well as he is now planning on moving the timescale of his plan up further than before. We get more new splices with people being all for what the Blackfire has been doing and also that Gordon’s office is now going to be under investigation after it had been discovered that Batman had joined Blackfire’s group. This is a good cut through to another scene and we are now in Gordon’s office and he thinks that what they are reporting about Batman is pretty bull, but Robin still thinks that he is still that he is being held captive by Blackfire and is going to head down to find him, to Gordon’s distain. Back over with Batman he scares off a couple that is having a picnic in the park and eats their eggs, the weirdest thing that I don’t understand about this is that you have Batman punching a cop, breaking into a deli and scaring people and nobody EVEN THE OFFICER goes to the police to say that Batman is doing this. Yes I would understand if it was during the morning when Batman broke into the deli, but for people to be out and about in the morning in a park wouldn’t they have noticed something up with a guy that was heavily beaten up wondering around the park or are the residents of Gotham just that ignorant to not notice things like that. He starts to contemplate more about what has happened and he is ashamed to let what has happened to him. He knows that returning home with his tail between his legs isn’t the way to go, but going for a full on collision with Blackfire will be his only way to get him back to what he used to be and we see him transform into this weird looking golden warrior.

Back over with Blackfire he is preaching to his followers and says that the administration doesn’t care about their citizens and only focuses on the criminals. He says that he has the numbers to pretty much help take over and that they must get control of the city and the congregation rejoices as we see Batman is there within the ranks. He manages to make his way through the group and makes his way into Blackfire’s inner sanctum where it is decorated rather lavishly and rather expensive with Batman coming to the conclusion that Blackfire was getting money out of people as well so that he could afford this life style of his. He makes his way out of the room however he is whacked in the back of the head with a slap-jack and Blackfire is disappointed to see that the drug has worn off and has him taken away to be killed with Robin, in disguise who had made his way down earlier, watching from a distance.

Over with Gordon, he is talking with the Mayor about what has been happening and he has faith in Gordon that he can get the case solved before anything worse can happen, however as he drives away his car explodes, then over with another member of the city council he gets killed by a runaway garbage truck. A news report address what else has happened and it is revealed that the entire city council had been taken out by Blackfire’s followers and that representative of Blackfire has addressed them saying that they hadn’t committed the previous attacks and are willing to volunteer what they can with the chaos that they have created, but Commissioner Gordon turns that down and he claims Blackfire is the one that is responsible for what has happened, but he doesn’t have any proof to back up. Batman is continued walking through the sewers as it is starting to help him get his mind back on the correct path and he manages to take on quite a few of them, even with being bound with a chain. He falls into the running water and they shoot at him and only stop when they start to see blood rising to the top and they wonder what had happened to the body, with one of them noting that Blackfire is going to be annoyed at them since he wanted the body for the bathing room. They head back to Blackfire and unbeknownst to them, Robin was there, and he jumps into the water to try and rescue Batman.

Back over at the GCPD, Gordon and another officer are waiting on Blackfire’s file and they believe that they aren’t going to get much since that it seems that it is going to either be small or on microfilm due to his age, but they get rather shocked when it comes in a small mail dumpster and they discover that the first report for him comes from the turn of the century to their shock. Back over with Robin he tries to find where Batman had drifted off too where he gets shocked by a pack of rats and it causes Robin to get caught in a current in which he discovers an old off shoot tunnel. The tunnel to Robin seemed to be rather off with it being pitch black and some sort of strange aroma. He calls out for Batman who responds to him saying that they are in hell and that he is there since he needed to be punished because he had lost his faith in Blackfire, Robin tries to walk closer to Batman trying to find him with his voice and he manages to trip over something. He calls out to Robin and he says that he is okay, but the smell seems to be getting stronger and he says that the smell is due to the damned. Robin panics and reaches for his flashlight and he discovers the grim sight of dozens of dried up corpses and Batman announcing welcome to hell. One thing that I don’t understand is this, why didn’t Robin bring out his flashlight when he was able to get is footing before proceeding further into the pitch black tunnel that had a disgusting aroma when your searching for your friend and mentor that has been missing for multiple days. It is one of the less dumb things that I have read in comics, but it does seem more of a common-sense thing to do than anything else. The issue ends with Batman just repeating the same phrasing over and over again.

Overall, the first two issue are okay. I do find the writing to be rather okay in points and I find it rather passible, but the thing that does it for me is the artwork and in several places it is fantastic. The first that I like is the exterior design of the house that the young Bruce heads to, it is very gothic looking and is something that is really eye catching. But the thing that I like even more is the delusions that Batman keeps happening since it is something that is rather trippy and that it has Batman going through some crazy situations. Next time we are going to continue on with this story as we see know Batman can redeem himself and what will become of Deacon Blackfire and his cult.

My Thoughts On: The Mandalorian

When it was announced that Disney would be bringing out a new on demand streaming service, along with brand new series and films to boot. This was one of the shows that caught my interest so much, I did not go into the series being spoiled or pirating it, since the service was not able to view in the UK until March. One of the things that I liked about the Clone Wars and a couple of notable characters from the franchises was that of the Mandalorians, a fierce warrior race that had went through a lot of turmoil throughout the different eras from times before the Clone Wars and through to the end of the Galactic Empire. But let us get focused on what this is about that being The Mandalorian.

The story for the series is rather intriguing as it focuses around our main that is self-titled Mandalorian that just gets called Mando by the people that he works for, the people that he knows and the people that are out to kill him. The journey that he goes through is rather interesting it just starts out as a mission to find a person for a remnant of the Galactic Empire that is after for some sort of project, that I do not even think that we got to find out in the series, he ends up changing his mind about it and decides to take charge of the infant Yoda and protects him from the Empire’s forces. Mando is a pretty badass character, he is good with his weapons as well as being able to improvise when weapon-less with one good scene in episode six where he has been turned on by a crew that he was helping, since they all had beef with him, and imprisoned him in one of the cells. To get out he managed to get the attention of a security droid and use it to escape by ripping off its arm.

The other characters in the show are pretty cool as well and a lot of them are really interesting with the first being Cara Dune, a former Rebel Shock Trooper turned merc. She is rather badass in a lot of the scenes that she is in and she can pull her weight in a fire fight rather well, since she was ex New Republic. Another rather interesting thing is that there is still quite a bit of backstory that they can get out with her in later series as well since we do not know a whole lot about her, since her apparent reason of her leaving was that her role ended up being more of a peacekeeper but what if there was actually more to it. What if there was a reason for her leaving that was just more than a role change and she does not want to say what it is because it created a problem for her. Plus. it was also a rather good role for Gina Carano to play since it is a rather better portrayal than what I saw her in the Fast & Furious films and also when she was in Deadpool. IG-11 was also another good character for the show mainly because he was freaking hilarious and it also helps when he is voiced by Taika Waititi and he pretty much owns that role through the entire series, and I even find him more hilarious when he is reprogrammed to become more of a protector and becomes a guardian for Baby Yoda. It is a shame that he died at the end of the series, but it was a rather noble sacrifice to make and it was also a good call back to the first episode as well, that he would have to self-detonate to make sure his schematics would not fall into enemy hands.

The rouges gallery for the series is also rather interesting since that it seems to focus, like other shows to it an over arcing villain that has minor villains throughout it. The main villains of the show are the remains of the Empire, who we see the most of through several scenes in the first two episodes and then the majority of the last two episodes which really does help book end the show. The only time I can think that there was not that good of a villain for the show would have been the episode that Dune had debuted in since it was more of a group of raiders that had apprehended munitions for the Empire that use to be on the planet and they were using it to attack a village with a AT-ST, which Mando and Dune managed to take down with great tactics, that making it fall over and then blowing it up. Another villain that I thought was rather cool were both in the same episode the first being Fennec Shand an assassin that has a bounty on her head and a bounty hunter called Toro Calican since he was a bait and switch character who was out to prove himself to the guild by bringing in Shand, but he finds out some information from her and then ends up killing her and this does lead to a rather well built story on when where you expecting him to turn on Mando. However, I wish that they had cast somebody better to play Calican because the actor that played him was rather bad and it reminded me of some of the bad acting from the prequel trilogy. But let us end the villains with possibly one of the most interesting characters I have seen in Star Wars for a while and I really hope that they do not screw him over and that is Moff Gideon. We do not know much about him except that he was apart of the ISB and that he has something to do with the downfall of the Mandalorians and he also knows what Mando is actually called Din Djarin. But that is not the only thing that makes him rather interesting, that being after his fight between Mando where he was defeated, he emerges from his destroyed TIE wielding the Darksaber, which has me rather intrigued since that the last time that we saw it was during Rebels with it being in the hands of Bo-Katan as a symbol to unite the clans of Mandalor and to lead them. I am rather intrigued to see what they do with him for the next series since he is a rather interesting character and that there could be a chance that there could be more interesting stories that could come from him since he does seem to be a rather dangerous character.

I am wondering if the latest series is going to run the same as what this series did or are they going to serialise it more with one episode going into another since there did seem to be quite a bit of time that passed between the episodes. But there is something that I wonder if they are ever going to address and this has bothered me ever since I saw him and that is what race is The Child? We have seen Yoda many a time throughout the films and Clone Wars (plus that few cameos from Rebels) and we never knew what his race was, and I do hope that we can figure out what it is. Another thing that I am hoping to see is more about what had happened to Mandalor since that we do not know what happened except for an attack by the Empire with them also acquiring Beskar for some reasoning and also if there were any more surviving people from the attack. I am also curious about what they are going to be doing with Boba Fett since that at the beginning of Return of the Jedi his fate was rather left up in the air since he was supposed to be dead after being killed by the Sarlacc, however I even think that EU stories he managed to survive the attack. Another thing that is interesting is that they also have cast Temuera Morrison as Boba since he did portray Jango in the prequels.

I am looking forward to seeing what they are going to do with the series, with the casting that they have done for established characters and also seeing what new characters that they are going to debut.

Batman/ Elmer Fudd #1 Review

Back in 2017, DC and Warner Bros did a collaboration of one-shot series featuring DC characters in stories with Looney Toon characters. Some of them really did make sense for example Marvin the Martian/ Martian Manhunter and Harley Quinn/Gossamer however there were a few that I though did not seem that it could mix well such as Lex Luthor/Porky Pig and Lobo/Roadrunner. But this was a one that I thought was a rather mix since that Elmer Fudd was more renowned for being pretty much a joke and usually getting one-upped by Bugs Bunny on several occasions. So, let us see what happens when he goes up against Batman.

Our story opens up in a rainy Gotham City, a usual thing, and we have Elmer Fudd narrating in the same way that he normally does in the cartoons in which he says that he is hunting rabbits and is heading off to Porky’s, in Gotham which is a bar. There he discovers Bugs, who in this version along with the rest on the animalistic versions of the Looney Toon characters are humanised with elements in which you notice who they are supposed to be and with Bugs it comes to the face and his liking of carrots. Bugs asks him if he is there to kill him and he says that he is, and he tries to persuade Elmer that he did not do what he apparently did but he still wants to shoot him. We also get a page where we see the bar is also filled with other Looney Toon characters including Yosemite Sam who looks like a biker and Taz who looks like a thug that is beating up somebody. Bugs says to him that he does have something to trade in exchange for not killing him and that is revealing the name of the person that did the actual murder, Bruce Wayne.

We then find out what had happened, and it is revealed that Elmer Fudd was apparently dating Silver St Cloud and she reveals that she cannot love Elmer the same because she apparently still loves Bruce Wayne, who she has had an on/off relationship for years in the comics. Elmer drives up to Wayne Manor under the intention of giving back the phone of a rider in his car, but it was a bit of a ruse so he can get in, confronting Bruce Wayne and shooting him with his concealed shotgun and killing him, leaving him for dead. Elmer heads off and we see Batman following him back to his apartment and we see bits of a flashback where he is with Silver and a pool of blood with a carrot. There is a knock at his door but when he checks there is nobody there, but then we see Batman standing behind him and then we get a few cool pages of a fight between the two of them with Elmer showing how capable he is with a gun and also being able to stay even hand-to-hand well with Batman as well. He says that Wayne deserved to die for what he had apparently did to Silver and Batman gets right in his face and ask what the connection is between Wayne and Silver, which Elmer explains saying that he loved Silver and when Bruce found out he killed her, which led him to kill Wayne.

Elmer and Batman head back to Porky’s where we discover through narration that the two of them shared information first with Elmer telling what Bug’s had knew and Batman saying that Wayne survived the attack and that he did not send anybody to kill Silver. The two head into the bar where they manage to get into a fight with everybody in the bar and manage to take everyone down with out that much of a sweat to get to Bugs and Batman asks why he had killed Silver for the big reveal to come that Silver was not dead and it was just a ruse, leading to Batman and Elmer shocked by the reveal. Silver reveals the reasoning behind her apparent death and that being Wayne was becoming dangerous and when she went to Fudd the same thing ended up happening. She said that she wanted to leave and that was when she decided to make up with Bugs to help cover her tracks by saying if Elmer came asking what had happened to her to blame it on Wayne since they both like danger. Silver then leaves Porky’s with the two of them looking rather dumbfounded and them all drinking carrot juice ending on Porky saying his famous catchphrase.

Overall, the story is rather okay and that is all I can say. The writing for it is okay I just wish that it had went on a little bit longer instead of adding on a back story that was pretty much just a reworked version of Rabbit Fire, but with Batman being replace by Daffy Duck. I think that more of it could have been expanded on and also seeing what could happen in another story. The thing that I do praise well for the story is the art work, it is well done and seeing the humanistic version of the Loony Toon characters is also really well done for this story and I hope that the other stories do it well. That being said just from the cover of the Lex Luthor/Porky Pig story it may go for a review in the future.

Batman: Arkham Knight Volume 1 Review

A few years ago, I did a review of the prequel comic to Batman Arkham City, in which it helped fill the backstory a bit for the videogame in which it showed how Joker and Penguin pretty much got into power of their areas that they control. It was a rather good comic book, the pacing was good, the story was interesting, and the art was also passible, so let us see what happens in the prequel to Batman Arkham Knight.

The story opens up right after the events of the ending of Arkham City with Batman bringing out the corpse of The Joker, who had died in the battle that Batman had with Clayface. Gordon asks Batman what had happened, but he says nothing placing him on the hood of a police car and then just grapples away. As he is gliding back to the Batcave he gets zapped out of the sky revealing it to be a new Electrocutioner, but this is not the same one from Arkham Origins, but a new one that was apart of the crew that he ran with. Batman manages to take out the new Electrocutioner by shoving a freeze grenade in his mouth and detonating it, he contacts Oracle and informs her that he had came across another villain to inform Gordon where he is. However, as he heads away a figure appears up to the Electrocutioner II and talks to him about how Batman’s time is coming to an end, before shooting him in the head and that is our first introduction to the Arkham Knight.

At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred are talking about what has been happening, giving a small bit of exposition saying that they have started the clean up of Arkham City and that Gordon has assigned Cash into the GCPD, as we see him in the game working in the GCPD. Alfred then also suggests that Bruce also should do something about helping with it since that with the way that Gotham is, there has not been many people that are giving help out and that Gotham needs Bruce Wayne now than they do need Batman. Over with the coroners, they are performing the autopsy on The Joker, in which one of the coroners is freaking out that they are working on The Joker and the other tries to do her job and discovers that there is a second layer of skin. This ended up revealing a hidden flash drive, but then a laughing sound comes out of the body, unleashing The Joker’s integrated toxin into the room, killing the two doctors and a note on it saying ‘do not open till x-mas’.

A few nights later, Batman is in Arkham City taking down Tweedle Dee & Dum when Alfred tells him that he should hurry and get some sleep because he has a rather big meeting at Wayne Tower. At the meeting Bruce is talking about what has been happening to the city over the past few months and saying that the ex-mayor had created quite a bit of turmoil with putting a open prison in the city and letting the ‘guards’ that he had let the criminals run wild. But Bruce has a came up with a plan to help restore Gotham to what it was once and hopes that others will join him to help the cause. Lucius is rather amazed that Bruce decided to do with meeting instead of him, but he things that it would sound better coming form him. He then asks Lucius to phone Gordon because he was rather disappointed that he had not turned up for the meeting, but Lucius believes that it was the people that had power that was the reasoning behind why Arkham City had happened. Back at the Batcave Batman is sitting in front of the computer talking with Alfred, until a message comes across, through all of the channels, that the Joker has sent out a video message, and The Penguin sees this it, but he has other things on his mind as he has hired the duo of Hammer and Sickle to help him attack Wayne Enterprises.

Over with Batman, he is heading over to Arkham Asylum, and talking to Oracle, since that he had a separate message from The Joker that was not broadcast to anyone else and that he apparently has bombs placed around Gotham City. Oracle says that she will try to get cracking on the frequencies of the bombs, but Batman says that she should not since that if any of them get tampered with they will all detonate. He says that he has Nightwing and Robin focused on protecting the Joker’s body since that there is a bounty on it to have it returned to Harley and that he is going to be going into the Asylum, turning off his communication, telling her that if he doesn’t hear from him in twenty minutes to assume the worst.

Not only is Batman at the Asylum, but it appears that the Arkham Knight has also arrived and he narrates basically saying that he is going to get to Batman his way and on his terms. He also reveals that Joker had managed to get Clayface to move the bombs from Arkham City and have them transferred to the Asylum, with the Joker to have the attention to kill Batman in the Asylum. Batman heads into a room and the door closes on itself and we see the Arkham Knight trying to open the door, but it won’t budge and the building explodes and the Knight is the only one that looks like that he is able to survive the explosion and discovers a book left over by The Joker that has his interest. Meanwhile somewhere in Gotham, a person is listening to a scanner where he discovers that the Asylum has been destroyed and that the Joker was apparently behind it and he starts playing a recorder. The figure then says that since Arkham City has fallen, things are about to get good, revealing it to be Scarecrow.

At the Gotham Docks, a guy is being assaulted by a Joker thug, but he is taken out by Batman rising from the waters. He manages to get a change of clothes and phones Gordon saying that its time for them to meet and then calling Alfred to have him drop a new suit off. He meets Gordon outside of Gotham where he has the Jokers body and he reveals the memory drive and hands it over to see what it had on and they see that the body is cast into the incinerator ending the threat of Joker once and for all. Batman has Alfred upload the contents onto a protective drive and discovers a file on there called ‘The Last Will and Testament of the Joker’ ending issue one.

Issue two opens up with the Joker recoding a video message to Batman and it is rather goofy as all giving himself his own special origin that takes a lot of from the origins of Superman, Batman and even Nightwing, with his parents being killed in the circus. He the rest of what is shares is just rather boring if you have played through the games since that it basically just back tracks through the story between he and Batman. Batman and Alfred get talking but he gets interrupted by a phone call in which Gordon phones saying that Joker has gotten to him and he starts laughing, Cash runs into the office and calls for one of the officers to get medical help, in which he notes that Gordon has already called somebody. Batman comes crashing through the window and pulls Gordon from the room and says for them to call New Blackgate to get ready for him. At Blackgate, we see Harley talking away to a pillow and wants to try and get out of there and Batman arrive and breaks her out of prison.

The three of them arrive at Joker’s Fun-Land inside of Arkham City and he takes Harley inside the main hideout. She demands an answer from him, and he says that he is starting to get sick of playing games and that he wants to know if there is a cure for whatever is happening to Gordon. Harley starts to have a change of heart and decides to help Batman and tells him where she was working on an anti-toxin and Batman threatens her if she is lying, but it seems that she is turning over a new leaf. He heads down to the sub-basement and discovers barrels of Joker Toxin and we get a flashback to Harley and Killer Croc striking up a deal, in which Croc can get his hands-on Batman for what had happened in the Asylum. Somewhere in Gotham, Penguin is hold up reading a newspaper where he finds out that Mister Hammer has a lead on Scarecrow, because he wants him on his side, and he says that Harley is waiting downstairs for him. Croc seems to be getting the upper hand on Batman when Cash calls in to see what is happening and when Cash says that he is dealing with Croc, he wants to head down, but Batman insists that he stays with Gordon, even when they get surrounded by a group of Joker thugs.

Back in the underground Batman manages to get an upper hand on Croc and he threatens to pour the cure away, but Croc gets distracted by Cash who had made his way down to where Batman was. Batman dives into the water and manages to give a surprise attack on Croc by throwing the last cryo-grenade that Batman had got from Mr Freeze and he then opens up one of the cannisters and drowns Gordon in the cure which cures Gordon of the Joker Toxin. Back over with Penguin, he lets Harley up, and we see her in the costume that she sports in the videogame, she reveals to him that Batman and Gordon could be dead, but the are not, and reveals that she knows where Joker has secret weapons around the city. Penguin however says that he does not have any plans that revolve around Harley being any help, but she insists on helping by calling him partner ending the issue.

Issue three opens on what I believe could be Blackgate, since the design looks rather similar to what design it has, and we see what appears to be Bane held up. We then cut away from what just happened to see two goons in masks stopping in a car and revealing that they have kidnapped two people, but before they can do anything nefarious to them, the Arkham Knight steps in who manages to easily take them down and then burns the book that he found in the previous issue and it contained a list of people that the Joker had scared, and he then just walks off into the night. Later Bruce is giving a speech at the site of where the months ago he stood against Arkham City and he is promising to help build a new Gotham for the people. He talks with Gordon after the speech and he seems to be doing better after the altercation with the Joker toxin and that he does not know if he is going to stick to his guns and keep with what he had said and then goes to leave. Bruce says to Lucius for him to head to the GCPD and basically give them what they need, but before anything more can be said an attack happens injuring several people in the process. One of the thugs manages to get up onto the stage and has a gun pointed at Bruce and tries to threaten him with it, only for Bruce to then get the upper hand, taking down the gun man and then runs off to get suited up, where he notices Simon Stagg and saves them from a thug, that we can see more dressed as the Harley thugs.

Bruce manages to easily takes down the enemies and gets changed into the Batsuit where he then tells Lucius to get him to send a back-up car in case he needs to make a getaway. As he is able to send a message to Alfred, Harley breaks into his car and steals the tablet. Harley manages to escape from Batman during the attack and brings the tablet back to Penguin, along with Lucius’s finger. Meanwhile in Chinatown, Mr Hammer and Cpt Sickle manage to find one of The Joker’s hidden places and they discover a hidden section in the room behind a mirror. That being a room with a scarecrow Batman hanging up. Batman checks on Lucius and he is doing okay, Oracle then calls in asking if he is okay and he says that he is, also thinking that what Harley did was rather off character for her, but with the Joker’s death, it most likely changed the way that she operates. Oracle then switches over to what he said about the press conference and it basically comes off like he is going to run for mayor. Back over with the twins, they realised that they have found the Scarecrow’s lair and decide to bring him in to restore their family name, until something strange happens, their father appears and attacks them. This turns out to be all a fear toxin attack by Scarecrow who has them strapped to tables saying that Penguin should be worried about what he is trying to uncover.

Over at the Batcave, Robin is training against the Batcomputer against a hologram version of Deadshot and he manages to defeat him, but Batman thinks that he is rather sloppy. Batman mentions that he is going to be away for a short time with Lucius, saying that they are going to be heading to a tech conference and he decides to give Robin a rather difficult new hologram system to train against when he is away. That being Killer Croc, Bane and Clayface, believing that Robin is getting a bit sloppy when he was facing the hologram of Deadshot and he decides to set him up against three villains that are rather unpredictable. But during him setting up the holograms, Batman also deletes the file for the Joker. Over at Blackgate, we see the reason why Bane is there and we discover that members of the staff have found canisters of Venom and have been injecting it into Bane, giving him back his strength and also giving him people for his new group ending the issue.

Issue four opens with Bruce and Lucius arriving in Germany on a plane where he says that they are going to have a relaxing time with everything that has been happening, to then only cut over to the next page where we see Lucius ties onto the hood of a car that is being chases by Batman, who manages to save him before crashing into a sidewalk about to collide with a child. After he save Lucius he notes that the person that they were there to meet, Zimmer, was also kidnapped and also in the boot of the car. They head to Zimmer’s building where he is going over the information about a new vehicle for Batman and that there are going to be a lot of additional experimental additions to it. Back on the plane, Lucius informs him that the new car will be there in a week, Bruce informs him that there does not seem to be that much hope in outside investors to help fund anything new for Gotham as it seems nothing much has prospected from previous investments. Lucius says that for to make more people invest in Gotham, Bruce should head back and make it worthy for investment.

Back over with Penguin he is awoken by the returning Abramovici, where they have a message for him, and also revealing that Cpt Sickle has been stuffed and attached to Mr Hammer’s side. Harley is getting annoyed about not being able to access Wayne’s tablet since that it is set up that if Lucius does not access it every fifteen minutes or so, it wipes itself. Penguin on the other hand apparently did manage to get some information off the table before the wipe had happened and all that he got was a date and a location so he has Harley call the Tweedle brothers to take on the job.

Over with Batman he manages to take down a minor newcomer in the form of Kid Shark, who is out after revenge for his father King Shark who had apparently been killed in the sort of tie in film Batman: Assault on Arkham. He manages to find that Gordon was there to accidently distract Kid Shark and reveals the reason that he is there alone is that there was a Harley Quinn spotting near by him and he was heading there after he finished his shift. Back over with the Penguin, he is at one of the ‘hospital’ areas in Arkham City where he brings in the Tweedle brothers and gives them a new upgrade, but he also brings in a third for his group and we see his plan starts as we the brothers rappel down onto a moving truck.  Over with Lucius and Bruce they are talking about the car and then Lucius gets a phone call about the attack that has just taken place and tells them not to phone the police, so Bruce heads out with the Batplane to intercept them.

Dee and Dum set out their secret weapon, which turns out to be a ‘cousin’ called Tweedle Die, who they set Batman. The two of them have a fight on top of the crate and it does seem that Die has the upper-hand but Batman manages to overpower him and head breaks into the container where he breaks out of it with the new Batmobile, that we see and get to play in the game. Batman manages to take out Dee and Dum from the helicopter and has it land on a rooftop. He drops the three of them off at the GCPD and the cops are confused on why they are alive, which raises the questions to Batman, apparently there is a rumour going around that Batman is offing criminals, with the first being the Electrocutioner, and Batman drives off into the night. A few hours later, in the holding cells, all of the Tweedle’s are killed by the Arkham Knight ending the issue.

Overall, the first four issues are just alright. The story does have a rather different feel to it than what the game does have, and it seems that there are some elements that do not make sense, but apparently there are parts that are non-canon. The writing for the series is okay through the most part, and it also does help when the writer for the book was Peter J Tomasi, who had worked on a lot of DC titles with also working on Batman titles mainly the New 52 title Batman & Robin. The only other good thing that I can talk about it that the artwork is rather well done since it is really well done and I think that the designs are well done.

My Thoughts On: Star Trek Picard

When I heard that there was going to be a new Star Trek television series being produced, I was over the moon and when I heard that it was going to be based around Jean Luc Picard I was ecstatic. I waited to see when it was going to be released and I didn’t read into anything about the series because I wanted to go into the series not knowing much and the only other thing that I knew about it was that there was going to be alum cast members as well.

There are several things that I do like about this show, the first thing that I like is that the feeling that I got from the first episode. I felt so glad and happy when I saw the scenes that had Picard and Data in it was very nostalgic as well as the scene where Picard heads to a storage place in which we see a load of Easter Egg’s with a nice one being the Captain Picard Day banner. Another scene that I liked about the first episode was when Picard was trying to help Dahj dealing with her problems and we see the empathy that he is showing that he wants to do right even if she doesn’t want to ruin his life with what has happened.

One of the things that helped me enjoy the nostalgia for the show was the episode where Picard and Soji have escaped the Borg Cube and travelled across space to arrive at the planet where Riker and Troi now live. Not only was this a great episode, but it also built up a lot of good elements for the rest of the show, the first being Soji learning to deal with being a synthetic since that she is still trying to wrap her processers around it, which she does and in that she also discovers where her home planet is. The second thing that I like about this episode the dynamic between Picard and Riker, it seems like that it hasn’t changed since the last time they were together and we see Picard getting help on how to open up more to Soji and also the revelation that Picard is starting to breakdown physically.

The enemies of the show for this season are the Romulans, but this time it is more of a select group of them than the entire race that is against them and they are out to take out Synthetics because they believe that they will be the downfall of the universe and all races so if they take them all out it would be one less threat for them to also deal with. The main villains are rather interesting as they are brother and sister, Narik and Narissa and they also have rather key roles in both Star Fleet as well as in the Borg Cube which gives them a lot of access to different places. Out of the two of them Narek is the one that does seem to be the lesser of two evils as he does seem to be a rather nice villain, if that makes any sense, as he does start to have feeling for Soji. Narissa on the other hand I really didn’t like that much, but I can’t really say why I don’t like her, the actress that plays her does play her well, but I really just didn’t care that much about her. Another character that I found that I really didn’t like was Oh, a higher ranked member of Starfleet and one of the people behind the Zhat Vash and boy does she really does suck, I found her to be rather boring. The biggest things that she does is she brainwashes Dr Jurati to assassinate Bruce Maddox then reveal to them the home world of the synths, then she commences an attack on said planet with a fleet of Romulan forces to a loosing effort when help arrives.

The last three episodes of the series however is where I do have the most mixed feeling about since there is a lot to go over by. I do on the other hand have a few good bits to say about it, first it is really well directed since there is a lot of emotion that goes on with the scenes. The first being the crew arriving on Coppelius since they don’t know what to expect when they get there, there is a lot of tension, they got attacked by giant flowers when they arrived out of the wormhole. The next is the shock, in a way, for Picard when they arrive at the settlement since he pretty much sees a ghost, as we are introduced to Altan Inigo Soong, who was the son of the creator of Data. Everything seems to be going rather well until Sutra melds with Jurati and learns about the message that Oh had shared to her, but Sutra thinks that this is a message that synthetic life is going to destroy the organic life and plans on calling them to help them deal with the attacking Romulans and this creates a lot of dread for the second part of the finale.

One thing that I did find rather interesting though is that the series also introduced a rather unique McGuffin into the show that was revealed by Altan and that being he and Bruce had been working on a golem that was still needing work and Jurati decided to finish the project as a way to make sure that Bruce’s legacy would be able to continue. I originally thought that this was going to be a way that they would have brought Data or a form of Data back into the show since that in the books that I have been reading, that are completely non-canon from the shows, is what happened to Data, but with his father deleting his own conscious so that Data could live anew. This wasn’t the case in hand, but they do end up building something more amazing from the start of the series, with Picard health condition that has been causing more problems for him and he also knows it. The sacrifice that Picard makes in the show, knowing that he is going to die and he need to make sure that they have enough time to hope that help is going to arrive and that the Romulans wont be able to advance any further. But with them transferring his consciousness into the golem, it did feel a bit of a let-down, but since that there was going to be a second series there was no way that they were going to kill off the title character.

Overall, I think that Star Trek Picard is an alright series to watch. It is Patrick Stewart at his best, for at least me, a few years with this being up there with his performance in Logan being in the top five performances for me. There are a few problems with it from writing, there is a lot of times where there is a bit of profanity this is mainly because you usually don’t see much when it comes to Star Trek. The other problem is that I thought that having the Romulans being so deep when it comes to power be rather strange, for instance Oh was the was a commodore in Starfleet and she was told by the Admiral to look into Picard’s claim of a covert Romulan attacks. I am looking forward to see what they do with series two and I am hoping that we do get to see a few more returning characters from TNG, even for a few scenes, just because it would be nice to see what had happened to them after the events of Nemesis and if they are still alive.