The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3-4 Review

Previously in The Dark Knight III, Batman had returned after years of absence but it turned out that Carrie Kelley was the Batman. Lara and Wonder Woman were disagreeing about where Lara should be. Ray Palmer ended up releasing the residence of the bottled city of Kandor, but it turns out that it was all a trap where a Kryptonian cult killed the residence and then shrank Palmer and is presumed dead. But it turned out that at the end of issue 2, Bruce Wayne was still alive.

The issue opens with Bruce walking into a room narrating about Carrie, and shows that he cares about her. We then continue more narration but also being cut in with clips with news articles of incidents happening over world with the possible invasion from the Kryptonians. Carrie asks if that these attacks mean that if he was no longer dead, and he replies that he doesn’t know since that he doesn’t know what kind of ‘horror’ this is yet. We then get a video of Quar preaching that the Earth is over their end of depression and he then breaks the back of what appears to be a reporter or just a random person and he falls from the sky. Quar then preaches about what happened to Krypton and says that his group was like a dandelion and he then gives one of his ‘children’ a seed that he ingests and the child then divebombs towards the Kremlin and he blows up into what appears to be nuclear explosion. Quar then preaches more about what his children can do and he wants the people of Earth to bow to them as New Gods. In the Batcave, Bruce says that they can’t do this alone and we continue to a two-page spread with panels of news talking about what the Kryptonians had did and how people are dealing with it. But we also get a portion of Bruce and Carrie walking through the snow heading towards the Fortress of Solitude.

Inside the Fortress, Bruce tells Carrie on why Superman is in this state saying that he gave up after the battle with Brainiac and the near destruction of the planet and Bruce whacks the Superman popsicle with a hammer. Bruce then tells Superman that he needs his help since that he is in barley and condition to fight and that the world needs his help. But there is still no reaction from the popsicle. Carrie then chimes in saying that they are wasting their time with him and says that his people are about to enslave the Earth and Carrie goes to leave where we then see crack wound effects and Superman is out of the ice asking about his people and Bruce goes on to show what they were doing.

The micro issue for this is about Green Lantern where we first see him in this weird alien design finding out that that Earth needs his help. We then see Quar wives talking around the Sphinx and Hal appears before them. The wives wonder why he is there and then realise that he is a Lantern and they start coming on to him and manage to trick him into using he ring hand and then one of them blasts off Hal’s hand and takes hand and runs off leaving Hal in the desert.

Back is some city, possibly Gotham, Quar’s children are talking about making the people worship them. Bruce and Carrie are heading back and Bruce notes what Carrie did with Superman making him break out of his popsicle but she isn’t taking credit for it. Some of Quar’s children then head into space and take out satellites. Lara sees Gotham starting in flames and Baal asks if she is not afraid, but she replies saying that she is more curious about Kandor and not afraid. Quar appears and says that his son wasn’t talking about Kandor but of her. Baal says that she is afraid of herself and that she shouldn’t hold herself to her own rules and Quar pretty much starts to brainwash her. We then get a page of Superman falling to his knees with tears in his laser firing eyes.

We then cut over to an emergency meeting with heads of different countries and there deciding whether to start a war with the Kryptoinans but they are undecided but Bruce has his army assembled in the Batcave where he says that he is too easy. Carrie questions it and Bruce replies saying phony bosses will react before they do but there is a new piece that they see that there could be a chance that the world could see a global surrender. Quar and his followers break into the UN meeting in the Pentagon where he wants to get his answer from the world but that gets interrupted by Batman appearing on a screen where he tells him to go to hell with all the screens repeating him saying hell. Quar questions him and Superman appears telling them that ‘you heard them’. Quar then rants a bit about that how he would spend ‘thousands of centuries in thousand hells than be trapped in the glass cage’. He then spits at him and says that he need to be punished. Superman then notices something behind him when a voice says that he is a traitor to his race where it is revealed to be Lara, ending the issue.

Issue four opens with Ray Palmer not dead and apparently at some sort of possible sub-atomic level. Back in Washington, he tells Lara that she is making a mistake and tells her that the world needs protecting but Quar asks her if she agrees with him. She does agree that the world is beautiful but that the ‘ants’ that run it are destroying it. 0ne of Quar followers or possibly Quar asks Superman why he would allow people to do this and he says that he refuses to put himself above humanity and then Lara blasts him through the Washington Memorial. Lara asks him to make a choice but he replies saying that he won’t hit her back, so she whacks him straight into the Lincoln Memorial. Lara keeps asking him to make his decision but Baal tells her that he has already made his decision.

In the Batcave Carrie is having enough of this and suggest that they go help him, but Bruce says that they can’t but suggests that there is one person that can help but they won’t and we find out that Lara beat up Superman for hours, ending it at the Fortress of Solitude where we see a blood trail leading to the door. Superman heads back to the Fortress and we see Quar’s cult following him there where he yells out to Earth that their champion has fallen and puts him on trial for treason. Superman tries to plead to Lara but she just stares at him and the cultists give their passing of the guilty verdict and Quar encases him in Black Matter and they blast the Fortress with their eye-beams. Quar then says that he is going to move onto Gotham and that if Batman doesn’t surrender in 36 hours he would kill them. In the Jungle, we back with Wonder Woman saying that they made her decision and that she doesn’t agree with then and that she doesn’t agree with Bruce and destroys the communicator that Bruce gave her.

In the micro-issue this revolves around Carrie now under the mantle of Batgirl and is basically covering the fallout about the civilians wanting to Batman to submit to the Kryptonians. But the cool thing that did come from this was Carrie throwing a device into the sea and it summons Aquaman on a large Hammerhead Shark and he tells her to get on.

Back on Gotham City Hall, a protest is breaking out with the citizens wanting Batman to surrender. In Commissioner Yindel’s office she monologues off about what has been happening, first that it has been over seven hours since that the power grid went down, she got a bottle of booze and that she realises that now the GCPD is useless and that it took Gotham City twelve hours to realise it. Back in the Batcave Carrie is injecting something into Bruce to help him get around and Bruce gives Carrie a mission. This happens in the micro-issue and he gives her a graduation present, which we also see in the micro-issue. We the see some of the news talking about what happening in Gotham and we also see Flash running in to help but he then gets his legs broken by somebody but he is then rescued by one of Batman’s army. On top of the GCPD, Yindel talks about the people being like ants and other things but Batman appears behind her and gives her the opportunity to do the right thing.  The issue ends back with Ray Palmer saying that ‘maybe he can fix this’.

I think that these issues have been rather well done. Having Carrie be the one that helps snap Superman out of his disappointment slump was good and the whole brainwashing that has been done to Lara is rather interesting. But we are only halfway through the series and I think this is the point on where it starts to go a bit sideways.

Batman/ The Flash: The Button Review

Back when Rebirth started over a year ago, the original Wally West returned to the DC Universe after been mysteriously taken away after the Flashpoint event. When he returned, he brought back a mysterious ‘Button’ with him and gave it to Barry and since then he and Batman have spent their time trying to find out what it means.

Part one begins in Batman #21 with the issue starting out in Arkham Asylum as some of the inmates are watching a hockey game and Saturn Girl, who has been imprisoned in Arkham Asylum since the beginning of Rebirth, says that ‘they’re going to kill him’ and ‘Superman won’t come. Our friends will die. The Legion will die’, this could be leading to things that could be happening later in this book or more likely for the Superman books.

In the Batcave, Batman has images of the ‘Button’ over several screens as well as watching the hockey game that is going on. We then get a two-page spread of 18 panels where it cuts between Batman playing with the button in his fingers and the fight that is happening at the hockey game. We get then another two-page with the same number of panels but in this Batman throws the button on the table where he also has Psycho-Pirates mask and a small spark comes off the button and hits the mask and it then a lightning bolt hits Batman knocking him back. Batman then sees an image of his Flashpoint counterpart, who is Thomas Wayne, in that universe. He then contacts Flash and tells him what had just happened and says that he will be there in a minute since that he is dealing with a Samuriod Invasion.

Batman notice a blur and believed that it was Flash but he is wrong and we then get another two-page spread where we see Reverse Flash, Thawne, punching Batman. Thawne then exposits about himself and that a power had called out to him and he was resurrected. Batman goes to punch Thawne but he vibrates out of the way and beats up Batman. HE knocks him around for a few seconds but Thawne’s attention gets drawn away when he notices something, the letter that Thomas Wayne gave to Barry to give to Bruce, and he destroys it inform of him. Batman tells him to get out of his cave but Thawne says that he can’t throw him out since that when he can blur nobody can touch him. But during that time Batman jabs a Batarang in his foot and has him anchored into place and starts punching him. Thawne manages to knock Batman backwards and manages to get free of the Batarang and he tells Batman that he can’t win, but Batman knows that and all he has to do is wait eleven seconds. They exchange punches more and the eleven seconds go by and Thawne punches Batman again. Thawne picks up the Button and teleports away and then is immediately teleported back where it looks like that he has been attacked by something and just he just says ‘I saw God’.

Flash arrives at the Batcave and apologises for being late where he said that he stops off at the hockey match to see if he could have saved the guy but it was too late. And the issue ends with Batman being beaten up and Thawne’s skeletal body.

Part two starts continues in Flash #21. It opens with the another returning character from the Rebirth issue with Johnny Thunder on the rooftop asking where ‘Thunderbolt’ is and he is then dragged back into the hospital/facility by orderlies. We then get back to the story with Flash setting up a crime scene in the Batcave in a two-spread cutting with narration as well as black silhouetted images of Thawne punching Batman. Barry then give some background information for the readers about Eobard Thawne and notes that the person that killed his mother is dead. Flash then explains about how the Speed Force works with different with him and Thawne but the energy that was covered with Thawne wasn’t his own, but with his energy wave and questions if that in the future if he kills Thawne.

Barry runs over to Alfred and asks him if he has had any luck, but he replies that all of the Batcave’s surveillance equipment was damaged and Barry believes that it was due to Thawne’s lightning.  Barry questions Bruce on what happened and beings up more information about Thawne including that he may have been killed during travelling through time and space and wonders if he was forced back to the cave. Bruce brings up some questions of his own and Barry answers them truthfully Bruce then brings up that they have had no luck identifying the blood with the different agencies that they have at hand.

Barry brings up of what Bruce saw in the previous issue and he says that it was a ghost but then says that it was his father and he was wearing the cape and cowl. Barry then brings up that it sounds like that he was describing the Flashpoint Batman. Bruce brings up that he felt the same thing as a child when he was with his father with the way that he could carry himself and that they also had the same voice. Barry apologises for this since that Flashpoint was his fault and that it left them vulnerable to the changes that have happened. Bruce tells Barry that this isn’t his fault and that this was going a lot longer than Flashpoint and that there has to be something that they have been missing during their investigation. Barry brings up that there is something that is missing and that is the Button that Thawne took with him, it wasn’t on his body. Bruce brings up that Thawne being drawn to it wasn’t a coincidence. Barry then brings up that with Bruce seeing the ghostly image of Flashpoint Batman he had also been seeing images of Thawne but also saw an image of the Helmet of Mercury, worn by Jay Garrick the Golden Age Flash.

Barry heads out if he finds anymore updates for Bruce but instead he decides to go to The Watchtower instead where we see the Lost and Found that houses the secured artefacts that the League have collected, which seems to have the Beetle that Ted Kord uses in the Blue Beetle series and also what appears to be Martian Manhunters costume. Barry goes on to say that he wishes that he put the Button here when it showed up. We then get a flashback from when Wally returned where he says that when he was outside time he felt a presence and he tried to see what it was but he couldn’t, but he then says that they are waiting to attack for some reason. Barry then narrates more saying that the force that was more powerful than Darkseid was watching them so Barry decides to use his Cosmic Treadmill. Barry plans on using it to follow the radiation that is on the Button but does have some worries about using it since that the last time he used it, he created the Flashpoint timeline.

But before he can do that he is interrupted by Batman who wants to come along with Barry since that it is still also his case. But Barry is concerned for him since that there is a lot of strange things when travelling through the Cosmic Treadmill but Batman says that he is aware of the dangers as he has also travelled through time before. They start travelling throughout time, with Batman attached with a Batclaw, and they start noticing points in alternate timeline with the formation of the Justice League but Flash brings up that he thinks that the images that they are seeing ARE from their timeline. A time-storm appears and Flash starts running faster but they still get hit and are sent into a different timeline.

The two land in a new timeline inside a cave and the Cosmic Treadmill is destroyed. But Batman notices something familiar about the cave, that being it looks like the Batcave. Flash tries to tell Batman about where they are but he gets cut off when he notices a gun in a case. He then asks Barry where they are but instead of Barry responding we get Thomas Wayne. We end on a page of both Batmen and the tears forming in his eyes being able to spend one more moment with his father.

Part three continues in Batman #22. The issue opens up with this time focusing around the Flashpoint timeline with Thomas Wayne’s Batman narrating basically covering what happened in Flashpoint. But since that this universe was meant to disappear when Barry returned to create the New 52 timelines, he came to the assumption that someone had kept their universe on Life support. He then notes that the war between Wonder Woman and Aquaman has still been raging but they had a truce going on as they send their soldiers to take him out. But as he is doing this it then leads him to see Flash and Batman crash into his cave during the end of the last issue. Dr Wayne asks Flash what is going on since that he thinks that having Bruce here is a trick or cruel joke. But Flash says that this isn’t a trick but he grabs Flash by the throat and tries to punch him. 

Flash explains to Dr Wayne on what has happened and he too has come to the belief that somebody is behind Flashpoint being still intact. Flash then finds something more distressing and that is that doing a vibration of this Earth it turns out that it is the same timeline that they had come from. Dr Wayne asks Bruce why he won’t look at him but Flash intervenes saying that he needs a minute to re-build the Cosmic Treadmill but Dr Wayne brings up a small problem, that being Aquaman and Wonder Woman’s soldiers are here. Dr Wayne tells them that he is going to hold them off with a gun, but Bruce knocks the gun out of his hand and says that they are all leaving together and asks is he has any precautions but he responds saying that that his mother was the one that thought ahead so they decide to use fists instead. Bruce then brings up the letter that Barry gave him and the end of Flashpoint and says that he has a lot of questions for him and Dr Wayne too has questions.

We then get a two-page spread with the Batmen fighting against the warriors and Barry finishes building the treadmill. Batman beats up the final warrior and Dr Wayne asks if he remembers what he said when he fell down the into the cave as a child and he remembers since that he was whispering so that it didn’t want to scare the bats. The next page we see something similar to the destructions of the multiverse in Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flash realises what is going on. Batman tells Dr Wayne that the letter that he got was the best thing that he had ever got and that he even tells him that he is a Grandfather. Flash warns Batman that the Treadmill is at full power but Batman wants Dr Wayne to come with him, but he pushes Batman onto the Treadmill and Dr Wayne tells Flash to save his son but they both plead for him to join them as the light eclipses Wayne Manor. Dr Wayne delivers a speech basically summed up for Bruce to leave the mantle of Batman and let it die with him. The treadmill disappears and we see the light now eclipsing the Batcave and Dr Wayne running straight to it.

Back in the Cosmic Timestream Batman asks if there is a way back but Flash says that there is no way back to that universe. Barry then says that he doesn’t know why the Button’s trail lead them there but all he knows is that they need to keep on moving. Batman brings up that the Button appeared in his cave and brought his father to him as well as wondering who sent it and why they sent them to the Flashpoint Universe. Flash then says that he doesn’t know but that Wally told him that somebody had stolen time from them to hurt them and that they sent them to the Flashpoint Universe to hurt them even more. But before Flash can continue Thawne speeds past them and Flash seems surprised but Batman notes that Thawne still has the Button so that this is Thawne before he dies. Barry tells him to stop and that if he doesn’t he will die. However, Thawne doesn’t stop and he now knows who the power of the Button belongs to and it ends with him saying ‘They’ve never faced someone like me’ ending the issue.

Part four continues in Flash #22. The issue starts off with Flash and Batman chasing down Reverse Flash whilst a mysterious person narrates on watching what is happening and hopes that Barry can save them like what he did with Wally. Flash tells Thawne to stop but he ignores him and heads forwards from them. Thawne then says that he is going to do something more worse to Barry bit Batman tells him that he can hear somebody call Flash’s name but Barry passes it off as just the Speed Force distracting, but Batman says that the vision of his father was real. Thawne then intervenes saying that he has a new plan and that was that he is going to make Barry his son. But then something happens and then the Cosmic Treadmill starts breaking up and Batman tells him that they need to land somewhere. Flash tries to get Thawne but a rip opens and Thawne arrives in a new reality.

Thawne calls out the entity that drew him there and says that he cannot be erased by anyone, but then the figure appears and starts to attack Thawne causing what happened to him in the events of Batman #21. Back to Batman and Flash they are slightly adrift in the Speed Force and Flash can’t speed up, but Batman tells him to listen to the voice. Flash seems hesitant about it since that he doesn’t know where it can take them but Batman says that they have no other choice. The voice then says that his name is Jay and a large sound happens where the voice narrates ‘at last, I’m free’ and we see jay Garrick return and he manages to rescue Batman and Flash from the Speed Force.

They arrive back on their Earth and Flash asks if Jay was the one that killed Thawne but Jay says that he didn’t and reiterates his name and that he is a friend of Barry’s. Flash questions him and Jay replies saying that they had took everything from and that he doesn’t know how or why they did it and he tries to get Barry to remember his name. But unfortunately, Jay disappears in a blue light with Batman saying that he is not here.

They then head to a graveyard with Bruce talking about how that Barry was the only other person that he knows that has suffered losses the same way he has. Barry then brings up if that this whole problem was a plan of Thawne’s by creating time ruptures and having people taken out of realities. But Bruce brings up that he is dead but Barry brings up that maybe his death was the start of it. But even though that Thawne is dead, it does mean that the case is still open and that they are still going to be pursuing it. Barry says that he is going to do another autopsy on Thawne to try and find more evidence and Bruce brings up that what has happened to them can’t have been an accident.

Later that night Bruce is staring out of the window where the Bat-Signal appears but he seems to be more distracted about the words that his father said to him and it seems that he doesn’t want to answer the call. Back to the different world, we see The Button being picked up by a mysterious figure who starts narrating about why his ‘perception of time distress them’ and finishes saying that ‘we’re all puppets Laurie’ and that ‘he is a puppet that can see the strings’. The issue ends with an epilogue that features the button with it slowly being zoomed in but then when we zoom out and see Superman’s symbol and ends with a quote: there are poisons that blind you and poisons that can open your eye’s- August Strindberg. This then teases the possible next part of the story: Doomsday Clock that happens this November.

Overall I like this four-part series. I like that we finally got a bit more story from the events of the Rebirth one-shot and building more of the Watchmen being incorporated into the DCU. I am looking forward to see what happens in the Doomsday Clock and I think that I may pick up the first issue up when it comes out.

January Update 25-1-17

So a few days ago I wrote out a brief plan on what I am going to cover for the rest of January and the next few months so that I am not trying to pull posts out of mid-air and I think I am going to be able to keep myself busy for a while. *Note I have put a question mark next to two posts since I am rather uncertain yet about the release dates for Justice League/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #4 until next month possibly.

January:

Saturday 28th: Royal Rumble 2017 Predictions

Monday 30th: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 Mini Comic

February:

Monday 6th: Vader Down

Monday 13th: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink

Monday 20th: Justice League/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #2

Monday 27th: Deadpool: Art of War

March:

Monday 6th: Edge of Spider-Verse #1-2

Monday 13th: Batman: The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1-2

Monday 20th: Justice League/ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #3

Monday 27th: Top Five Power Rangers Series

April:

Saturday 1st: WrestleMania 33 Predictions

Monday 3rd: Could Amityville Horror Work as a TV Show?

Monday 10th: Justice League/ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #4 (?)

Monday 17th: Dragon Ball Super: My Thoughts So Far (?)

Monday 24th: Dragon Ball Chapter 1-2

Batman Annual #1 Review

So after just doing a review for the Batman Arkham City comic books I am back into the pool and reviewing the first annual of the Batman Rebirth series and I got to say in advanced I think that it is an okay comic. It’s a comic that is made up of a collection of different stories written and drawn by different creative teams such as Scott Synder and Paul Dini and I do find some of the issues to be rather good but some not that much.

The first story is called Good Boy, written by Tom King the current writer for the main Batman series. It features the story of how Bruce and Alfred got Ace and it is a rather sad story and has a really warming outcome. It is also a story that has a lot of time jumping but for this it makes more sense. The issue starts out at September 2nd seeing a dog with a Ace of Spades mask biting Batman in the neck and then it cuts straight over to September 23rd where Commissioner Gordon informs to Batman that Joker had ditched the dogs in a ditch and it turns out that Ace had killed the other dogs since that it also looked like that Ace was under the influence and Gordon making a really bad joke saying ‘Aces high, ha ha ha’.  Two days later Alfred is seen at the Gotham Pound where Ace is at and the assistant at the pound saying that Ace isn’t fir for anything but dying; we also discover that Ace is also a female dog. Alfred tells the assistant that after he cashes the check that he wants the building to be rechristened the Martha and Thomas Wayne Humane Society and Alfred takes Ace home. The next day Bruce discovers that Alfred has brought Ace home and it seems that Bruce and Ace seem to boot heads. Over the span of a couple of months we see Alfred training Ace with Batman in the back going over the different cases that he has had including Penguin, Two-Face and Riddler. By the time that December came through with Bruce telling Alfred that what his is doing hasn’t worked and something that makes me scratch my head in a way since I think the editor made massive screw up since that now Bruce and Alfred are saying that Ace in fact a male dog and not a female like the assistant at the pound did. Nevertheless it was then revealed that Ace is actually leaned from Alfred. A few days later Batman returns to the Batcave with Batman pulling a knife out of his arm with Ace running up to Batman with him now accepting Ace since that Ace showed concern for him. On Christmas Day Bruce gives Ace a Batman mask that he puts on Ace with Bruce asking if he want to be a Bat-Hound. Bruce asks Alfred why he didn’t get a gift from Alfred with Alfred saying that he had been preoccupied with training Ace. But Bruce says he has everything that he wants. This is a really good mini issue minus the hiccup in Ace’s gender and it has a really good ending.

Issue two is written by one of favourite Batman writers Scott Snyder. This story opens up with Batman narrating about Gotham City noting the residents and the fact that every 5.6 seconds there is an emergency call. It then goes down to Batman surrounded by three suspects on the snow covered ground with a car burning in the background. Batman then goes on to say that there aren’t any silent nights in Gotham and that he uses an algorithm to help narrow down serious crimes that the GCPD might not be able to deal with. We then cut over to a area in Gotham called Champion Square, where there is a diner that looks rather similar to the one at the beginning of Arkham Knight, where there are people dressed in red coats. Alfred is talking to Batman when Batman interrupts him saying that the system alerted him to a possible terrorist at Champion Square. Two on the people in red coats disrobe showing them in black leotards and they climb up a statue in the square with on-lookers curios on what they are doing with them back diving off the top of said statue. Batman narrates saying that every prisoner in Arkham and Blackgate were accounted for, usual suspects are all in their hidey-holes and that Champion Square is a neutral ground for gangs in the city. Batman arrives at the scene and sees what is going on and notes that the system has went quiet with the crowd watching the performers. Batman asks Alfred if there was anything heard from the system with Alfred replying that the system was working fine and that he should enjoy the brief pauses in battle before the last bombardment resumes. Batman goes on to enjoy the show and smiles. We then see the performers finish and a person going up to them with money but they refuse to take the money. Batman gets a ping from the system and it turns out to be automatic fire with also a question mark leading to the Riddler being behind it and Batman goes on his pursuit. This is a really good short story.

The third part of the annual is a called The Not So Silent Night of the Harley Quinn and is written by Quinn’s creator Paul Dini. It begins with Harley Quinn breaking into a building that seems to be a police station and tries to break in but is interrupted by Batman. Harley pleads with explains herself to Batman about what she was doing and that she was trying to make amends with Gordon and the cops and that she has changed and that people look up to her as a role model. Batman says that he is going to continue his patrol and then drop Harley off at the city limits or Arkham with Harley accepting his proposal. Harley then decides to put on some Christmas music with Batman saying that it’s not that kind of radio so Harley decides to sing instead and starts to sing Jingle Bells rendition that Joker in the animated series and Bart Simpson sang during opening of the first episode of The Simpsons. Harley then starts singing another song with Batman looking out of a window and then cutting over to two kids, one with a Harley Quinn inspired costume, heading over to toys for tykes drop off point. Those kids are then set on by a group of kids taking toys from the drop off point and the kid falls into a present that reveals a Harley Quinn bat and he then goes to town on the kids and they run off. We the cut back to Batman and Harley with Harley now singing jingle bells to tune of barks and then cuts over to a guy loses his dog and it heads out into traffic but a person with a hot dog cart runs into the traffic to save the dog and she manages to save the dog whilst the owner of the hot dog cart and the taxi driver get into an argument. The next cutover goes over to a woman leaving her possible boyfriends place with him following her and gets caught in a group of Harley Quinn performers with then the girlfriend whacking him in the face with the case she carries and then sees a parade commencing. Cutting back to the Batmobile Harley is singing ‘Deck the Halls’ and Batman finishes the line and Harley calls out Batman that he does sing songs. Batman tells Harley that it is time to go but she is disappointed that they never got to beat somebody up but Batman replies that Gotham is unusually quiet tonight. Harley believes that she is the reason why it has been rather quiet and Batman drops Harley off but she thinks that it’s in the boonies but it turns out that he actually took her home. Harley then celebrates with her friends and Poison Ivy and they start carolling. This is another good issues and this one focus more around the artwork and the story telling from there.

The fourth story called Stag starts off with Bruce Wayne introducing Barry O’Neil, a billionaire who built a winter wonderland for the youths of Gotham City and that he has pledged to donate all of his money to the charity with the dream to die penniless so that others don’t have to. Barry O’Neil begins to talk but then is interrupted by a ice based villain crashing through riding on a giant bull saying that O’Neil had mocked his life. O’Neil says that the person is called Minister Blizzard and that he has been sending him letters but he didn’t think it was serious. Gordon says that he is going to get the kids out of here and says for O’Neil and Bruce to get out but Bruce has already went to suit up. Blizzard monologues that he had dedicated himself to restoring the Ice Age (insert your own Batman and Robin joke here). Blizzard then goes on to say that O’Neil’s winter world insults him and goes on a crazy tangent and asking for blood where a bat-line shoots off where Batman glide kicks Blizzard in the back of the head shutting him up. Batman flies off and Gordon asks O’Neil about Blizzard. O’Neil explains that Blizzard was a Prime Minister from an ice kingdom. Gordon then tells him that all Gordon knows that Blizzard was from Bayonne and that O’Neil should have told GCPD about the letters. Cutting over to Wayne Manor, Bruce is sitting in the library, where I think Bruce came up with being Batman, when Duke comes in wondering what’s up with him, giving him a chocolate coin that Alfred made that Kate wanted made. Bruce exposits more about O’Neil to Duke saying that he has been working to make Gotham better for longer than Bruce has been alive and also that he was a idol to his mother. He rebuilt Gotham Village twice and that he made miracles for generations of Gotham’s youths. He then says that he can deal with villains like Blizzard but he can’t save them from everything and that someday something comes for all of us and even the best of us. This is also cut over to O’Neil going back into his apartment where he is killed by an assailant saying ‘I am an honest signal’ with the last box saying ‘End? The Stag is coming 2017…’ I love seeing teases for this in annuals and I am looking forward to see what they are going to do with this after I Am Suicide is over and done with.

The final story begins with Batman narrating that he smells gingerbread and that his is six years old on Christmas Eve and feels anxious. He then says that a new psychologist at Arkham came up with an idea to have a good behaviour holiday party for inmates. Batman is in a safe house picking up a gas mask as a gas has spread throughout a portion of Gotham and is having an effect on the people. Meanwhile in Arkham, Haunter is gives small gifts to the different inmates and Batman realises that the gas is fear gas. Back at Arkham Haunter tells Jervis that she made the gifts out of her medicine and that she had taught herself the art of selective digestion and that she is leaving tonight. Batman determines that the gas isn’t pungent enough to send Gotham into a spiralling chaos and he has the Batmobile set to jam the drones dispersing the gas. In Arkham, Haunter starts her escape plan and goes through the guards plus possibly killing a guard in the process. Batman thinks that this is a dry run for a deadlier attack or a distraction and he heads off to Arkham. Haunter is now outside of Arkham and finds a hidden stash of clothes that she changes into. Batman arrives at Arkham and tells that Haunter can kill people just by using their DNA, skin cells and hair. Batman put her in Arkham ages ago since that she had killed six people but there could have been more and also that she is friends with Scarecrow. Haunter heads off to a small hut in what looks like a park and she finds Scarecrow there telling her that Batman could be here soon and he does by crashing into the back of the hut. Apparently Haunter managed to get a fingernail and she apparently states that she had killed Batman. Batman then tells her that he had taken precautions with her abilities and that he also apparently got them him a nerve toxin that was made from the fear toxin. He then tells them that the toxin lasts for a few hours and he most likely ended up taking them back to Arkham.

That is the end of the first Batman Annual and I got to say I did rather enjoy it and also it does seem that all the stories were well told, maybe with exception of the final story since the ending seemed really rushed. But with it being made up of multiple stories I really don’t blame them for the rushed ending. The artwork for all of them is really good and it gives them a different feel for each of the issues too. Overall my favourite story from it is a tie between the origins of Ace (minus the editorial hiccup with gender) and Scott Snyder’s story since that it does seem rather similar to Batman #51 which was Snyder’s last issue when he wrote Batman’s main series. Overall it is a good read and it does get me in the Christmas mood.

Batman: Arkham City (Comic) Review

A couple of months ago I decided to review the miniseries crossover where I covered a storyline in the Batman series called Night of the Monster Men and I had some fun going through it and I thought I would give it another shot. This time I’m focusing on another miniseries, since these are easier to get through, which is the tie in between two of the best Batman games that came out in the past decade; Batman Arkham City.

Issue one opens with recapping the end of the Arkham Asylum game where Batman is facing a Titan infected Joker and said Joker narrating about Batman breaking the rules and beating him on his night.arkham-1 He also goes on to talk about on how he knows that the Titan formula did something to him that makes him seem saner than usual. Joker gets wheeled back into his cell and he starts to laugh which then gets cut over to Harley Quinn knowing that he is at least all right with him laughing. But a guard talks to her through the door saying that apparently the Joker doesn’t have that long to live yet. Harley doesn’t believe this and promises that the Joker won’t die in Arkham Asylum.

We then cut over to the WGTV Channel 3 studio where former warden of Arkham Asylum and now Mayor of Gotham City Quincy Sharp where he is in dressing room talking to somebody over a video call since that Sharp appears to have some nerves about the interview he is about to have. The voice tells him to relax and concentrate on his voice and is persuaded into becoming more confident. During the interview Sharp says that he is about to make the streets of Gotham a safer place plus since that The Jokers failed takeover of the Asylum months ago apparently have been sent a message to super criminals that they are no longer tolerated. Jack Ryder asks Sharp if that anyone in a costume is branded as an outlaw and Sharp replies that he is right. Vicki Vale brings up the subject of the Batman and his allies since that they have saved the city on numerous occasions including the Arkham riot and stopped the Joker. She also brought up the fact that Sharp was taken during the riots and apparently he was also unconscious during the attack (even though he was fine when you found him then disappears in the game during a side quest when you return). Sharp starts to stammer but the voice in his ear tells him that he shouldn’t be distracted by the interviewers and retorts back to the interviewers that only fools focus on the past and that he plans on making Gotham crime free. Sharp makes a promise that anyone following in the footsteps of people like the Joker is that they will be caught and spend the rest of their time rotting away inside Arkham Asylum.

In Gordon’s office he calls Sharp an idiot and that Vale was right about Batman being the hero of the Arkham Riot. Batman replies saying that stopping the Joker was all that mattered and Gordon replies to Batman saying that he has had a word from the Asylum doctors and that the Joker will never be a problem again. He then turns his attention to two people that have made their way up the criminal ladder calling themselves T&T, a brother and sister team that somehow got their hands on the Titan enhancement since that some of the barrels got off the Asylum. Thanks to Oracle’s help Batman found out that T&T were working for Two-Face since that they were a duo. He finds Two-Face in one of his old haunts where he wants information from him on where he can find T&T but Two Face wants something for himself and Batman won’t tell Gordon of his location for 30 minutes. Two-Face gives the back story on how the Titan got into their hands and that Two-Face got all of the canisters of Titan that was recovered and game T&T to lock it in the cellar, however they turned the cellar into a training room and started experimenting with the Titan. Two-Face wasn’t aware of what they were doing and didn’t think that they were smart to pull a coup off. T&T then killed off half of his men and he then tells them where they are going to attack, the dedication ceremony at City Hall.

Gordon informs a group of cops that Batman found evidence that T&T are targeting the dedication ceremony and that he wants a tight perimeter around the building. But it turns out that T&T are already there and it turns out the same voice that was taking to Sharp is also talking to the twins. Sharp starts his speech going on about how City Hall rises like a phoenix from the ruins of Gotham and also wants to send a message to criminals that gets cut off by T&T who have used the Titan serum to make them into the monstrosities like what Joker turned into. T&T starts to attack Sharp but Batman manages to make the save and starts his fight with them, now having his boots and gloves coated with explosive foam. Batman manages to get the upper hand against the twins but one of them say that there are losing and that the voice that was talking to them asking if they are prepared for their cause. Batman notices that one of them said chief and noted that they were working with somebody but that wasn’t the bad news. The bad news what that it appeared that T&T had came prepared to die with twin detonators implanted into them. T&T get detonated by the mysterious voice and the new City Hall was destroyed. The end of the issue reveals that three hundred people had died and there was billions in damage. In the following weeks Sharp gathered the remaining council members and declared Gotham a war zone. Sharp then started campaigning for a privatised military force that would follow his orders without question. Batman also deduces that Sharp and T&T have been working with higher power with a bigger plot behind it. Alfred says that he doubts that Sharp has the vision to create Arkham City, a walled off section of Gotham City that would be transformed into an open air prison with Sharps private army to keep the prisoners in order. Batman decides to shift his focus from Sharp to the real mastermind and tries to come up with a plan to stop the higher power.

Issue two opens up with Vicki Vale and Jack Ryder at the groundbreaking ceremony talking about the prison currently in construction and reporting that many citizens call Sharps vision an abomination against human rights. But Ryder contrasts saying that the idea could be Gotham’s last chance. Ryder brings up that with the attack in last issue and residents want a permanent solution for the city’s crime rate. Vicki agrees to this but she believes that there is a better way then turning a portion of the city into a prison, when Sharp cuts into the interview where instead of calling it a prison he preferred the term quarantine zone. Sharp goes on to talk about the prison saying that Arkham City will allow people to degenerate into savagery and that there will also be security patrols, social services and health care, but that’s not all as a voice is seen relaying the speech to Sharp. The idea about Arkham City was that it would also be used as rehabilitation where criminals can be released back into civilisation. Vicki notices Bruce Wayne at the ceremony and asks him his thoughts about the newly constructed prison since he is a senior member on the Arkham Patrol Board. He is taking a wait-and-see approach since that he does think that there need to be steps taken to contain prisoners and he is curious on how decision of criminals being released is done since that the parole board has been suspended. Sharp ignores the question and breaks the ground for the ceremony.

Batman then heads out to the Mayor’s Mansion to find out clues about the higher power and also anything on Arkham City. Batman notices that the staff is armed with weapons and that Sharp doesn’t have an alarm of the skylight. He then finds a file on Sharp noting that he was from a military family and wanted to follow in their footsteps but never excelled. He then finds a file called Enemy X and discovers that the file is about him but then he finds what he wants but then a video appears on the saying that he knew that the plans would be irresistible for him and the video then activates a sentry gun which fires rubber bullets at Batman. The turret then spurts out a gas and then tries to shoot a jolt of electricity at him but Batman uses a batarang and realises that the person was studying his fighting techniques. Batman shuts down the computer and makes a getaway from the mansion where he then informs Alfred that somebody was studying him to gain an advantage but they didn’t see much.

At Arkham Asylum where Aaron Cash is sending an inmate to Arkham City, with both the inmate and Cash not liking the idea of Arkham City but law is law and now is his turn. With this inmate dealt Cash says that he has no problem transferring Joker from his cell to the holding cells in the City. Joker is being wheeled to receiving talking about what he wants to do in Arkham City, like becoming mayor, but Dave the Guard (I don’t know his surname) takes him on a shortcut where a group of guards in masks take him down into the bowels of the Asylum into a weird looking torture chamber with Joker being attached to a bed. Dave and the other guards made a promise that the Joker will suffer for what he had done in the Asylum Riot. Dave give a knife to a masked guard and gives him the order to kill the Joker, but slowly but Dave gets killed by the guard who reveals that it was actually Harley Quinn in disguise. Harley takes out the guards in the room and tells Joker how she got out and manages to get break him out they escape on a boat that Harley acquired. Batman finds out that Joker and Harley had escaped Asylum on his Bat-Jet Ski and blasts the boat telling Joker to surrender. arkham-3Joker fires back at Batman and Batman fires back but when the smoke clears Joker and Harley are no where around but managed to escape and manage to get into the Arkham City being the first two people inside the prison dubbing themselves as the mayor and mayoress of the prison taking office inside the Sionis Steel Mill.

Issue three seems to be set a week or two later since that The Penguin is apparently now a resident of Arkham City. We see a mysterious character making his way into the prison by climbing over a barbwire fence and heads to the Sionis Steel Mill where the Joker is held up and see that the exterior is decorated with clown motif. He goes aboard a joker styled cart that takes him inside the steel mill and to near certain doom but he manages to escape into the clutches of a group of thugs that he easily takes down. The final thug goes down and the guy is faced by the barrel of a gun held by Harley Quinn. Joker is impressed on how he managed to get in and asks for the guy’s name. He says his name is Lester Kurtz and it turns out that he had done time for armed robbery, aggravated assault and grand theft auto. Joker gives him a mask and is then shown to the sleeping quarters where Kurtz deduced that they were going to give him a beat down initiation and then leaves to go and see The Penguin. Penguin, like Joker is looking for men and will pay them just for following orders and there apparently will be a position available since that he found out that one of his own men was selling his secrets to Harley and with photographic evidence. Penguin hits a button and the thug is sent through a trap door and Kurtz asks what is down there and Penguin tells him pray that he doesn’t have to find out. Penguin decides to change his plan of grabbing a shipment of weapons before the armoury since that Joker knows about the raid they had to do that night.

They hit the truck with a modded truck and take the weapons from the shipment and Lutz manages to slip in some sort of grenade just as the Joker’s crew shows up wanting the weapons for themselves. Lutz throws the grenade at the car and apparently the guns get destroyed in the process. Penguin seems pissed with the ending since that he doesn’t have the guns but with security patrol took some of Joker’s crew. Penguin contemplates on sending Lutz down the trapdoor but instead he only pays him half and they will strike on the Joker’s Hideout. The Penguin orders his goons to lock him up for tomorrows strike but he manages to beat the goons and leave with pulling out a bat-claw.

Batman now knows what the game is like in the prison between Penguin and Joker but he still is intrigued about the person behind the controlling Sharp and the Arkham Inmates. He also now has a way getting in and out of the city via a bat boat that goes through the bay. But it then crosses over to a base where see who is behind Arkham City and that is Dr Hugo Strange.

Issue four begins with Batman being chased by Sharp’s security in a helicopter. Strange then talks over Batman’s communicator welcoming him into Arkham City telling him that he has set up a network of security cameras, impressed that he got into the city through the city on a boat and that the security team has spent every day and night counteracting his every moves. The guards overwhelmed Batman but he then gets saved by somebody crashing through in a truck. It turns out to be Catwoman and they escape the guards and Strange gets pissed by this. Batman turns off his communicator and asks Selina why she is here and her reply is that mob bosses are stockpiling their wealth and she wants it. She then explains how she got the truck and it involves finding a hidden weapon cache, saved Poison Ivy and disposed of some of the security force. Batman warns Selina about having allies like Poison Ivy and leaves her without even a thank you.

Back at the steel mill the Joker is talking to a doctor who his crew has kidnapped since that he wants to find a cure from the Titan formula but there hasn’t been any change and it has been destabilising the Jokers vitals. Joker asks if the doctor had isolated the toxin in his blood sample and the doctor reveals the vial to the Joker. He leads the doctor back to the roller carts and sends him off to the exit aka the incinerator. Cutting over to a group of guards getting attacked by Batman who interrogates a guard and he wants to know who was behind it. The guard tells him that it was Sharp but Batman knows that he is just a puppet. Batman demands the real name and the guard tells him that it is actually Hugo Strange that behind the prison.

In the final issue begins with the with the recapping of Hugo Strange being revealed the mastermind behind Arkham City and the person pulling Mayor Sharps strings. Batman returns to the Batcave where we see Robin (Tim Drake) for the first time in the series and we see a completely different design to what we have seen in previous incarnations and in the comic it doesn’t look right since for me since he looks a lot older and bulkier than what he should be. Tim brings up all of the information that he was able to dig up on Strange but Batman thinks that it is now a waste of time since that if Strange was a normal criminal he would be out of the state by now. Batman says that he read about Strange and that he is a ruthless strategist and convinced that he’ll do the last thing anyone suspects. A news bulletin starts up on the computer and it is now revealed to the public from the Sharp that Strange was the mastermind behind Arkham City and arranged a conference introducing Strange to explain the management role in the prison. Batman then decides that it is time for Bruce Wayne to make the next move.

In the mayor’s mansion, Sharp is rather curios on why Strange has decided to come forward. Strange has his own motives to go against Batman but he says that it is Arkham City is nearly ready and the people of Gotham need resurgence. Sharp asks him why he is doing it and Strange replies to he wants Sharp to reassure the public that Arkham City is a safe place and that he will introduce him to the public as the man that he entrusts to carry out his vision.

In the morning Sharp’s conference where he announces that Strange will be in control of day-to-day operations for Arkham City but Bruce Wayne interrupts the conference bringing up reports about Hugo Strange and his record of patient abuse. Bruce gives the information that he had about Strange to Vicki Vale with reports of Strange’s inhumane experiments (which he continues to do even in the current DC Universe). It is also known that four years ago Strange vanished from Arkham Asylum and asks what we can expect from him being the warden since that he disappeared from the Asylum. Strange replies saying that he fled because he was going to be a scapegoat after doctors made fatal mistakes. Strange then makes an observation of Bruce finding it intriguing that a playboy would put together a thorough history of a doctor that he has never met. Strange asks Bruce why he cares about the criminals behind the wall and he replies that he has little faith that the criminals would stay behind the wall. He then goes onto say that instead of creating an alternative mad house and they turned it into a nightmarish netherworld. Sharp tries to intervene saying that this isn’t the time to be discussing. Bruce interrupts when he believes that the walls are going to crumble when madmen blow them down and reign chaos in the streets. Strange finishes up the conference saying that Bruce’s theories are just that and Arkham City is a reality and there is nothing that he can do to prevent it from being open.

Strange then starts to monolog about the different things that are going on around Arkham City with all on full page spreads that pretty much are there just to fill out the comic but the art work is rather good. The first page focuses around Jim Gordon and the GCPD saying that all the can do is watch since they have no control inside the city and the control is by the TYGER guards which are also the name of the security force that was in the previous issues that I believe just got named in this issue. The second and third page were about Victor Zsasz and that Strange had given him a escape map that got him out to be then recaptured by TYGER and the third page showing people watching Zsasz being captured mainly for publicity. The fourth page shows Strange looking at his monitors going on about people either fleeing the city or hunkering down in lairs so that they don’t pose as a threat. In the fifth we see Catwoman stealing some jewellery with TYGER guards looking over the crime scene.arkham-2 The sixth shows Two-Face battling it out with TYGER and in the seventh page features Poison Ivy with Strange talking about people acclimated to their new surroundings. The eighth picture features the Riddler with Strange talking about people repeating their tiresome plots and bizarre reasons. The Ninth page features the Penguin with Strange talking about when everyone has already been taken out in the ground war his troops would take out the survivors. The tenth and eleventh page features Joker in love with all the mayhem that is happening and Batman hanging upside down saying that Batman will find Strange’s real plan. But Strange is looking forward to seeing Batman return to Arkham City and that is the end… for now.

I really do love this miniseries tie in since that it does build up some story lines that happen in the game. I would recommend this for fans of the game plus also the bonus chapters that were available online are really good as well from a story point, but the artwork seems rather okay. I think that I may try and get some more of the tie in series for the videogame series and I may do a review of them in the future.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Night of the Monster Men

So around the time when DC revealed that one of the first Batman cross over stories would feature Batman fighting against Kaiju which is something that off the bat I found gripping. I am a huge fan of monster movies and Batman and I was glad to see how good of a series this has been.

A slight bit of back story first, a few issues prior in the Batman series Robert Castro was in Commissioner Gordon’s office spouting off ramblings of pretty much madness and says that the ‘Monster Men are coming’ and then kills himself. Flash-forward to current day and here we have the start.

Batman #7: The issue starts out in a four panel page that goes from the exterior of the Tolliver Memorial Morgue and goes further in and shows four bodies lying on slabs whilst a radio announcer warning people about the storm that is about to come down on Gotham City and then we see the first signs of something bad about to happen.

One the rooftops in Gotham Batman and Batwoman talk about what has been happening then Nightwing appears as it appears that Batman has enlisted him to help in helping civilians out during the storm since that Batman doesn’t want any more deaths to happen since that in Detective Comics #940 Red Robin was ‘killed’. It then cuts over to a location in the Cauldron where we see what appears to be Hugo Strange in the buff working out where a person interrupts him by saying that ‘It’s almost time’ which then cuts over to the morgue where the bodies start to change and mutate. This then cuts to Gordon talking to Batman about how he seems rather hesitant about having his officers working with his new recruits (I think this is due to the Robin War which I need to get around getting) but Batman wants them to work together no matter what the uniform is. Batman has his team assembled and tells them that they are going to be helping with the evacuation of the city and during that a large boom can be heard and in the next page we see a large freaky Kaiju stomping through the city. Batman asks Alfred what is happening where Alfred just says ‘It’s a monster’. Batman splits off his team with the recruits dealing with the evacuation whilst he, Nightwing and Batwoman go off and deal with this monster. Batman then decides to try and take down the monster by driving the Bat-Plane right into the monster hoping to kill it but it really doesn’t do anything to the monster. He then gets caught by the monster and is then thrown into the air where he then uses his jetpack capsule and then has it to self-destruct which appears to be down for the count.

We then see that Spoiler is helping people get to safety in Alexander Olsen State Park since that it is a safe place to go during a storm. Batman sends a DNA sample of the monster to the Bat-Cave where they discover what the monster is and who is behind it which is Hugo Strange.

Nightwing #5: Part two begins in the Bat-Cave with Alfred and Duke going over the cell composition to see if they can come up with a cure for what has happened and Duke seems rather pissed that he has to stay in the cave but Alfred goes on to say that the reason he is here since he is still rather green and he still has some guilt about Red Robin’s ‘death’. Gotham Girl wonders what is happening since that she is in lockdown since what happened in Batman #6 and that she does seem rather worried about what has been happening.

Then heading over to the Gotham Factory district where another monster is destroying the buildings around the area. Nightwing brings up that the GCPD are outgunned and that he remembers about the contingencies that are in the Towers but Batman doesn’t want to activate them when there are people still in the city. Nightwing makes the remark of saying that they should activate the towers since that there shouldn’t be anyone in the city and Batwoman decides to increase the size of the evacuation zone. Batman has Batwoman stick with him and he sends Nightwing to the morgue to find where they came from and find Hugo Strange. Batman starts to antagonise the monster where he informs Duke to activate the Bat-Beacon in where Batman spreads a message through the lamplights where he informs people on what is happening and tells them to evacuate to their nearest evacuation site.

During the fight against the monster, Batman and Batwoman try to secure the monster down with their aerial lines but Nightwing notices something happening with the monster and the line snaps and a second head forms. Batman calls to Batwoman that the building is collapsing and that it’s blocking his access but Nightwing has it covered when he was able to save a civilian and manages to hook up with the monster with his aerial line. Dick asks why the person didn’t evacuate and Batman berates him on why he didn’t go to morgue where he says that Batman needs himself and Nightwing tells him that he is the detective but Batman tells him that it’s his turn to be the detective and find where Strange is whilst he and Batwoman distract the monster in the same way people distracted the T-Rex in any Jurassic Park film and run with a flare.

Batman bring Batwoman to a tech-site where he keeps some prototypes and in this one he has two sets of bikes where Batwoman proceeds to hit the monster with where it turns out that it has grown another head. Nightwing heads off to the morgue and is in contact with the Bat-Cave and asks for a update on the bio-sample of the first monster where it turns out that these monsters were once people but then what ever turned them into the monster seems to rebuilt the cells to make them more savage thanks to a chemical accelerant. With that in hand they have a idea on what the chemical could be which leads to a really good nod to people who played Arkham Asylum where a match was found for Lex-Corp 5-U-93-R pending patent by Doctor Penelope Young and Jackson Chappell, since that in the game Dr Young was using Titan and Venom in experiments in the asylum.

Meanwhile Batman manages to wrangle up a monster against an empty apartment building but it appears useless as it grows a fourth head. Meanwhile back in the Caves where Orphan notices that something bad is going to happen and red mud appears to be dripping onto people causing themselves to be more violent. Nightwing arrives in the morgue and where he finds out that Strange had been growing monsters but the even more grim news is that there are four bodies and they have only seen two monsters. Nightwing scans the remains left from the slabs and Alfred is able to identify the people used to make the monster men where they find out that one of the people was arrested multiple times and was a member of Kobra but before joining them he was a patient of Hugo Strange in Blackgate Penitentiary where a giant monster had appeared in the form of a giant spider. Nightwing decides to make the journey to Blackgate after heading to the nearest tech-site but Batman doesn’t want him to go alone so Gotham Girl decides to help but Batman ties to get her not to do it since that her powers could end up killing her but she ignores him and heads off to Blackgate zooming past Nightwing.

Detective Comics #941: Part three begins with Batwoman getting an update from the other members on how they are doing. Spoiler informs her that things are getting rather tense inside the cave, Nightwing is on route to Blackgate, Duke and Alfred are still going over the DNA of the monsters, Clayface is still helping evacuating neighbourhoods but the stress of replicating himself is starting to take a strain and Gotham Girl is still heading towards Blackgate. Back in the cave more things start get more stressful since the people are starting to act more violent towards each other and when a boy gets pushed over trying to find his parents everyone starts fighting.

Nightwing manages to get to arrive at Blackgate where Batman tells him that he needs to protect the inmates from Gotham Girl. When inside of the prison it looks like a scene from Aliens with all the small creatures jumping onto the inmates faces and infecting them. Meanwhile in Burnley a building is collapsing down and a piece of it comes crashing down onto Clayface who manages to save two civilians. It turns out that the monster managed to grow another head as well. Back in the cave with the evacuees Spoiler and Orphan with GCPD fend off the infected civilians where they decide to split up the numbers to make it easier to handle the mass of humanity. Spoiler tried to get in contact with Batwoman but due to possibly the something in the cave they can’t communicate with them which make Batman want to help them. However Batwoman says that it is more important for him to help contain the monster that they are currently fighting and the fact that she trained Spoiler for what is about to happen and she trusts that Spoiler can do the job well.

In the cave Orphan and Spoiler spilt up and Spoiler sets up a net trap to hold off the masses of humanity and she starts to think of a way to get rid of the sludge that is covering the people. With all the theories on what it could be Orphan brings up grass and that she realised that it is Green Leaf Volatiles which is a airborne compound that plants release and the one way that they can get rid of it is by raising the temperature and they use the flares to make it hot. Back at Blackgate Gotham Girl is using her abilities to get rid of the creatures but is also causing harm as well by attacking the prisoners. Nightwing introduces himself to her and that she is endangering the people around her as well as beating the creatures. Gotham Girl then gets attacked by a pack of the creatures and Nightwing manages to save some of the prisoners and he sees Gotham Girl bursting out of the group of creatures where she then discovers one of the other monsters. She confronts the monster asking wondering if it makes her scared which she isn’t and she rips off the arms of the creature. Nightwing gets her to calm down and she wants to kill the monster and she does by ripping it in half as she says I’ll kill you. She then apologises to Nightwing saying that she doesn’t know what had happened and then something starts to happen to them both, they start to become the monsters that they were fighting. Batwoman asks for another sitrep with Clayface the only one that could reply saying that he was able to clear the subway, still no word from the Spoiler and Orphan but they are progressing well but still no word from Blackgate.

Batman #8: Part four begins with Duke wanting to suit up and help Batman with the giant five headed monster that they have been trying to deal with for the past three issues. Batman keeps telling Duke to be the eyes and ears. Spoiler and Orphan are still planting the flares, Blackgate had gone quiet with Nightwing and Gotham Girl being unresponsive with Nightwing’s Biometry being spiking. But the biggest news to come out of this is that the monsters cells had been stripped down and they found a match to Venom. Batman then deduced that Strange had traded Psycho Pirate for Venom. Batman then gets thrown airborne by the monster and Batwoman manages to shoot her bike up in the air to help out Batman. Then on a rooftop they hear more booming sounds and it turns out that they see what was causing the sounds and it is monster Nightwing and Gotham Girl.

Batman decides that he wants to take down the monsters of his team but Batwoman calls him out saying that he is too close to them and that she will take them whilst he deals with the monster. Batman takes on the multi-headed monster and it gets closer to an un-evacuated area but Batman managed to find a way to stop it and that was to destroy the bike and electrocuting the monster. Back in the cave with Spoiler and Orphan they are still just holding off against the infected people and hopefully the flares can do their work.

Batwoman is starting to have problems with the monster Gotham Girl and Nightwing, Batman is heading her way and Alfred and Duke manage to come up with a cure for the monster and Duke is suiting up. But Batman doesn’t want to have him in the field since that he is still rather green. Batman gets to Batwoman’s location but she is in the air with monster Nightwing. Whilst on the ground Batman starts to talk to Gotham Girl and apologising for what has happened to her and is going to make sure that nothing bad is going to happen meanwhile all the Clayface clones start gathering around Batman which then forms around Batman giving him a clay power armour which looks rather awesome.

We then have a fight scene between the Clay Armour Batman against monster Gotham Girl and it seems to be going rather well until she claps and causes a Clayface to fall away from Batman where Duke drops in with a cure. Back in the cave with the infected it is coming down to the last parts and in a giant flash of light the sludge seems to have worn off and people are back to being their normal selves. But then notice the sludge moving around and into the cave where it then forms into the fourth and final monster. Back with the Duke and Monster Gotham Girl, Duke stabs her with the cure and it starts to change her back into her normal self. She only remembers that she ripped the monster up and then animal thoughts and she asks what happened to Nightwing since that he is still the monster and manages to wound Batwoman who is freefalling.

Nightwing #6: Part five begins a shot of Nightwing diving towards Batman and co with Batwoman introducing Duke to Nightwing. Batwoman manages to get a hold of Nightwing and wants them to give Nightwing the cure. However the lancet with the cure is a bit broken after it was used to cure Gotham Girl. However Gotham Girl is rather hesitant about it but she manages to pierce Nightwing’s monster hide and he goes through the same transformation that Gotham Girl had that to return herself to normal. In the caves with the evacuees it is shown that the slime just grew legs and took a walk and is walking towards to Gotham City.

The monster manages to get closer to the city it appears to have a train car in its hand and hurls it towards them. Gotham Girl manages to pick up Nightwing and Spoiler and takes them to the top of Wayne Tower were they both work on the trail for where Strange is at. They then start going through all the information that they had on Strange from where the money trail is but most important is how he managed to get these people and that is through manipulation, fear and grief and a child. Batman wants Nightwing and Spoiler to leave their location since the monsters is getting closer and closer to them but Nightwing knows that Batman still has one action left.

With that Batman then activates the Wayne Watchtowers and manages to shock the monster but it’s still climbing up the outside of the building. The building starts charging up however but Spoiler is still tracking down the leads and finds what it was. Back in the Bat-Cave Alfred alerts Nightwing that something is happening with the monsters and that it appears that they are forming together to create one giant monster in full page showing it destroying buildings.

The team manages to meet up in Downtown Gotham and Batman tells them on when he created the towers and what they are used for, plus each of the members of the team get to pilot them as well. But there was also good news Spoiler managed to find out where Strange is at but Nightwing noticed something else. In the treatment it turned out that Strange was actually making a statement and that they were his diagnosis of Batman. Nightwing then says that Strange is obsessed with Batman and wants him in a face to face encounter. Batman says that Strange wants to face him he has earned it and in the final page we see Strange dressed up in Batman’s costume.

Detective Comics #942: In part six it starts off Batwoman, Nightwing, Orphan and Spoiler heading off to the different watchtowers whilst Batman is closing on to Strange’s location. Then we get a two page spread of the mega monster destroying a church. The tower teams get into their assigned towers and we then see something rather cool and that is the tower each alit with the insignia with each hero which does look really awesome.

With Batman he breaks into Strange’s location and finds his papers and notes all strewn about with psychological pages with Batman’s faces and images on. Then Strange flips on a light switch which casts a Bat-Signal above Strange who sits in a throne of psychology books. Strange then tells Batman that then tells him that he is wearing a suicide suit that if he gets hit by a force harder than a football and he would die in which Batman says that he doesn’t need to attack Strange. Strange then tells him that he will be Batman’s replacement in a similar way to what he nearly tired to do in Arkham City.

Back in the city the team in the Watchtowers are having slight troubles trying to keep it down. But Nightwing is thinking more about something about the monster that could be key to defeating it. They then use the suspension wires to harpoon the monster and then realises what it is. Batwoman asks what Nightwing is doing but he manages to jumps into the monsters mouth. Strange then shows footage of Nightwing diving into the mouth of the monster to Batman and says that he has another dead partner and Batman seems rather pissed that Strange. It’s because Strange believes the stress of being Batman is getting to him in which Batman asks him to stop talking but Strange just keeps talking and it makes Batman nearly punch Strange. It then cuts over to the monster and it then starts to throw up. Batman punches to the side of Strange and it turns out that Strange is slowly loosing oxygen as Clayface is covering the building and he starts to suffocate.

Back with the monster, it explodes over the buildings and Nightwing is ejected out and Batwoman manages to rescue Nightwing. Back over to Batman and Strange Batman tells him that the Batman doesn’t run from the monsters but that he embraces the monsters and we see a rather freaky monster design for Batman giving him a large white bulbous head with tentacles coming down the side. Batman gets Clayface to unseal the room. Batman then informs them that Strange is down and that Nightwing had stopped the monster by defeating the Child inside by dealing with the ego. But the thing that Strange forgot is that what Batman’s faults is what fuels him.

Days later the Justice League along with the recruits clean up the city and Batman and Batwoman where they are in a graveyard looking over the graves of the four victims of Strange and they got a honourable burials. In addition to that Batman tells her that Strange is in custody in a more high security place since that Arkham doesn’t have a good reputation with villains staying in a safe place. Batman found out that the formula came from Santa Prisca and this seems like it is going to be the lead off to where the Batman story is going to be taking off to next.

Overall as a mini-series for something that has just started it has been really interesting. All the issues were fully flowing and it didn’t seem that it deviated from what the story is. The monsters were well designed and all had a rather creep factor to it as well. It was also good to see a whole team being banded together since that usually when it comes to other parts tend to focus more on that character such as in the first crossover event in Batman when the New 52 started when it would only be one character in that issue. I do hope to see more crossovers event to happen like this since that it is a lot of fun and I do hope to see some more titles appear in it, well that is more down to deadlines and what is going on in stories elsewhere because I think it would have been nice to see Batgirl in this series.

Overall Score 9/10

My Top E3 2016 List

So with E3’s reveals and new features announced for this year I am looking forward to quite a few number of games and this is my list of games I am looking forward to.

Resident Evil 7: So just to let people know, I am not a big fan of the Resident Evil gamResident Evil VIIes and have not yet played one. On the other hand I have seen the films and that is all I pretty much know about the franchise. But with this it does seem more down my ally when it comes to games. I am a fan of horror and mystery when it comes to games and from the trailer that it does look really good and interesting. Other than this I don’t think that I can say much else since that.

batman-telltale-720x404Telltale’s Batman: So Telltale has had a lot of success when it has come to bringing out adaptations of comics over the past few years especially with The Wolf Amongst Us and The Walking Dead games and now they have made a Batman game. I was a big fan of the Batman games, mainly from the Arkham series, and I am looking forward to seeing what they are going to do with it. Since that I don’t have the chance to actually go to E3 to try the demo for the game I am really curious about what the story of the game is about but from a interview segment that Game Spot covered is that it appears that there is a lot to focus on Batman and Bruce Wayne so a lot of you actions do have a consequences. I will be looking forward to this but the only thing that I may not be looking forward to is the fact that it could be separated into five different parts which does bug me as a gamer when they release parts of a game instead of just a whole game. The only game that I don’t think that Telltale released in multi-episodes was Minecraft and Tales from the Borderlands so I’m hoping that they do the same with Batman.

Star Wars: So EA held a rather big reveal showing that they have quite a number of ideas that they could be doing with the future of Star Wars. I got to say though I am not looking forward to the next Battlefront game since they should be focus on fixing the first gameStar Wars before shipping out a second. I do hope that they make more games that are just you basic online shooter game, god knows we have too many of them going around. I do hope that they are going to be bringing out new games that could focus around the new film trilogy since there seems to be a lot of things that they could do with the film for instance creating a game that fills in the gap between Return and Awakens since there is a large gap there. I would also like to see a new Force Unleashed game as well since that was one of the games that actually got me back into the Star Wars universe. But there is one game that I do want to see at least make a jump to consol, that being I want to see a Knights of the Old Republic game. Think about having the chance to play as your own character and forging your own legend into becoming a Jedi. But since nothing like that could be possible a man can only dream.

SkyrimThe Elder Scroll V: Skyrim Remastered: Back in 2011 Bethesda released one of my most favourite PS3 game of all time and when I heard the rumours last week that this was going to be revealed at E3, I wasn’t that bothered about its release since that I still have the regular version and didn’t seem that I was even interested in it. But I then watched the trailer from the reveal and I think I changed my mind about it. It has been re-mastered with new textures and colours that make it stand out by a lot. In addition to this they are also going to be releasing it with mod support for console so I am looking for it more since I didn’t have the chance to use the mod’s, I am looking forward to use them. Since there are quite a few mod I really do want to use such as the mod that allows you to have element effects to weapons so I can have an actual flaming sword.

Fallout4Fallout 4: Last year at E3 Fallout 4 was announced and I pretty much my entire time on Christmas Day playing it and I have enjoyed playing it so much. I have enjoyed all the missions that you can do, the characters in the game and all of the DLC’s that have came out. So at this year’s E3 they revealed the next three DLC’s that are coming out with one that is coming out possibly next year that being Contraptions where you can build Mouse Trap in real life. Then you have a DLC that I have been looking forwards to since that I originally thought that I would have had to use for mod’s and that being been able to create your own vault. This is something that I have wanted to do since starting the game and had the chance to go through the different vaults in the game. So from what it looks like there could be the chance to adjust Vault 111 and customise it in your own way which is something that I am looking forward to do. Then the third of the new DLC being Nuka-Cola Land. This looks like that it could be rather interesting since that it seems to be a working amusement park and there are a lot of people going there so that means that there could be a lot of missions to do there. I am really glad that Bethesda have up the effort into making more content for this game and I hope that there is more to come later this year and I am looking forward to using mod’s when it comes to console.

SunMoonPokemon Sun & Moon: I am a huge Pokemon fan and it is pretty much the only game series that I have played through every generation from Game Boy to Advanced to 3DS and have enjoyed playing them all. Since that this game already got announced a few months ago I was just expecting them to show more of the game with possibly showing off the gym leaders or more Pokemon, in which they did end up revealing new Pokemon. But they did show off some new features of the game. One is the new battle interface that looks rather practical. Instead of having just a large red section in the middle to bring up the fight menu it is now located on the right had side whilst the item, Pokemon and run options appear to be on the left hand side which does make it seem a lot more practical. Another really useful feature that they have added is a stat tool. So now when you are in a battle you can now see how many stat changes have happened to your Pokemon or the Pokemon that you are battling. This does make it really useful since you used to count the times that a Pokemon may have used a move like Double Team to see if it would be wise to use a particular move. Another really cool feature that they have added is a new mode called Battle Royal where you and three other people can face off against each other in a Pokemon battle. This is something that I have always wanted to see in Pokemon, when I had more friends who played the game and is something that I wonder will have something to do in game or is just multiplayer. But there is one thing that I did find rather disappointing about the game and that is the appearance of Pokemon from other generations. In all honesty I am not a big fan of this and I would have preferred this if it had a new roster of Pokemon that were available for this game such as with Black and White when the only time that you would have seen new Pokemon was when you beat the game. It did bug me when I played Pokemon Y since there appeared more of other region Pokemon then the ones that were that generation. Other than that I already have it pre-ordered and I am still looking forward to play it.

DBX2Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2: Ever since last year I got back into watching Dragon Ball Z thanks to the guys at Team Four Star with their Dragon Ball Z Abridged series, but more with one of their gaming series, Dragon Ball Xenoverse. I never got the chance to play the first game and I sort of do refuse to do since that there have been a lot of patches for the game and knowing my chances when it comes to trying to play it would be a waste of time to try and install the game. I am looking forward for this game since that it appears to feature a new story that looks to be more interesting since that in the trailer when they revealed that they could be ways to change the outcome from the past. So we could possibly see Vegeta kill Freeza or something along the lines of that. I am going to be also looking forward for this because they could then end up adding in some of the new story lines from Dragon Ball Super which I am really interested in since there are a lot of good story lines that they can do with it. Plus there is something that I am looking forward to something new that they are doing and that it being able to face movie villains, which I find rather weird since Broly was the only movie villain to appear in the first game. Nevertheless I am looking forward to play this game when it comes out 

SpiderManSpider-Man: When The Amazing Spider-Man game came out I played it, when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 game came out I played it and with this game got announced I was really excited for it. From the trailer that we got for it looks like that Insomniac knows what they are doing with this game. From what we got from the trailer I think that I can guess that the villain of the game is going to be Mr Negative since that the goons that Spidey takes down see to be of oriental design. There is more likely to see more of his rouges gallery in the game, possibly some small villains but maybe a few big villains, maybe Vulture. The only one problem that I do have with it is Spider-Man’s costume and that I think that the spider symbol should have been white. Most likely we will get new costume skins for the game and I am going to be switching to the next skin that is available.

Death StrandingDeath Stranding: As many people know PT was meant to be the next Silent Hill game, but then Kojima and Konami had a falling out since Metal Gear Solid V and it ended up being scrapped and Kojima went and started his new company and made a partnership with PlayStation. Then we get the trailer for Death Stranding which was such an amazing trailer and possibly one of the best over the past three days. In the trailer all we pretty much see it death, then it pans across to a naked man who turns out to be Norman Reedus, who was part of PT, who ends up finding a baby and then it just disappears when it comes and he stands up and notices five shapes in the sky and they disappear and the title gets revealed. Other than the trailer I don’t know that much else about the game and I am looking to hear more about the game in the next few months to see if it could be a possibility for me to get the game. 

TheFracturedButWholeSouth Park: The Fractured But Whole: At last year’s E3 at the very end of the Ubisoft conference they revealed the next South Park game and ever since then I have been waiting patiently for any news from it since then, but there was never anything. Then this year we got a lot of new news and game play. You play a mute character (I am not sure if it is the same character from Stick of Truth) and you can create your own superhero character which all have different powers and abilities so you can have different save files playing different characters. From the story that you see being developed in the trailer is that Cartman manages to piss off Kenny with his idea of creating a film universe of the South Park Superhero Universe and they manage splitting up into two different groups and we then see Butters forming his own army and that’s pretty much it. We then also get a look at the battle system for the game and it is totally different from SoT since that you can now move around the battlefield and in a way creates combos that could help take down people in fights plus being able to push people into objects as well is really useful and looks fun. Another cool battle feature is being able to use cover. The demonstration with Tweak and his power that he used was pretty awesome and I can’t wait to see what other powers that will be in the game. In addition to all this pretty amazing news that we got, they also going to be bringing in Towlie as a pre-order bonus, which most likely will also be a bonus if you just pick up a copy, as well as a copy of Stick of Truth as well. I am really looking forward to playing this game, but I am more looking forward to be watching a walkthrough since that if this game is anything like what SoT there is going to be a bit of censoring that they won’t allow in for the European release.