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Friday, August 23, 2013

Acceptance that I am updating late again, but also *SPOILERS*

I like updating at least once a week and talk about comics at least the day after they come out. But things happen and I update later. Not that it matters, nobody reads this anyway. Call it an exercise in routine or whatever. This week had some good comics but nothing that REALLY fit what I wanted to review, just new issues in an existing arc or one offs. But one I will sort of talk about is Batman and Robin #23 by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason.

You may notice the cover says, "Batman and Nightwing". That is because a few months ago, Grant Morrison killed off Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne's son and latest Robin in the penultimate act of this Batman, Inc. story. Obviously, the main point of Batman and Robin in the New 52 DC Universe was to focus on how Bruce interacted with his son, which Tomasi and Gleason have developed amazingly. So since the events mentioned above, each further issue of B&R has focused on another Bat-Family member (for example, issue 19 was titled "Batman and Red Robin", issue 20 was "Batman and Red Hood", 21 was Batgirl, and 22 was Catwoman), and each focused on one of the five stage of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, despair, and acceptance). Issue 23 brings that to a close with "Acceptance", deftly handled by Tomasi.

After a few issues of Bruce dealing with his son's death, he is shown in the Batcave in a virtual reality simulation of the events that lead to Damian's demise (thanks to his Internet 3.0 invention from Batman, Inc.). Each time he runs the simulation he cannot keep his son from dying. Alfred and Dick Grayson (the first Robin, now Nightwing) watch his futility. Then Dick decides to jump in as a second player to see if he can help even a little.

He does.

Damian is saved and the simulation ends. Bruce begrudgingly comes to terms with his son's death ("I can live with it, but I will never accept it") after the cathartic virtual defeat of the villain responsible. That would have been a good endpoint for a pretty powerful cycle of emotions these past few issues. But Tomasi takes it further, showing us later that night when Alfred sneaks into the cave and hooks himself up to his own simulation:

With those final pages, this arc, and the whole book, in fact, solidifies itself as one of my favorite of the New 52. Tomasi and Gleason picked the story up way back before the reboot from Grant Morrison, and made it their own all the way through to now. This is one of the few consistently good DC books out there right now, and the foreshadowing of the next arc looks to be great. I am excited to see how Tomasi handles it.

Some other points:
 - Justice League Dark brings us to part 5 of 6 in "Trinity War" and it seems to be dying down as fast as it picked up. I'm just waiting for it to be done. There are too many players and too many viewpoints for me to really care what happens, especially since solicitations for Forever Evil basically tell us what's going to happen anyway.
 - When I first read the new issues of Green Lantern: New Guardians, I was skeptical that they'd be as interesting as they were before Geoff Johns left Green Lantern. But since Justin Jordan is writing it now (writer of Valiant's Shadowman, which I have already gushed about), I gave it a few issues to decide. I think this one and the core GL book are the two I will stay with for a while. Red Lanterns and Green Lantern Corps haven't clicked with me since their old writers left (even RL stopped being interesting around the time of the first crossover). But with NG I like how Jordan writes Kyle Rayner and I'm looking forward to seeing how he develops Relic, the new GL baddie. He definitely seems like a Jack Kirby-inspired throwback to Marvel's Galactus.

In a few weeks I will be going to Ramencon in Indiana and I am so very excited. Like, wow. Being my first convention back in 2011, this one is like the "main" convention for me. It's where it all started. But I still need to finish my Sanji costume.


Also, Legend of Korra is goddamn fantastic.

That is all.

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