Before diving in, read the preview.
Comic books are back! Well, they are starting to come back — DC Comics is releasing three new series this week. One of the fatter reads comes in the Giant package, once only sent to Walmart but now found at comic shops near you. The series typically houses one or two new stories with a bunch of reprints to tide over the fan who may have missed some classics. In this latest edition, new stories have Mark Russell taking us to the Gotham in “Concrete Jungle” with art by Ryan Benjamin and Richard Friend, and Steve Orlando delivering a Nightwing journey in “Puppet” with art by Tom Lyle. Plus we get these three classic reprints:
- “The Court of Owls Part 4: Face the Court,” from Batman #4 (2011)
- “Elegy Part 3: Affetuoso,” from Detective Comics #856 (2009)
- “Better than Batman Part 4,” from Nightwing #4 (2016)
The opening story by Russell, Benjamin, and Friend is a fun non-stop action-fest as Batman attempts to keep a lawyer from getting whacked as every criminal in the city is trying to take him out before he spills their secrets in court. The creative team integrates Harley Quinn and Nightwing for some rousing twists, turns and a satisfying conclusion. It’s basically a chase sequence (complete with the Batmobile from the Batman: The Animated Series) that has the right amount of twists and turns to keep your interest up. The art team does a good job keeping the danger high even if it’s just a bunch of thugs attacking Batman. Batman carrying a man in a bodybag through gunfire and jumping off buildings is a clever premise.
Following this is Steve Orlando and Tom Lyle’s Nightwing story which is heavy on the captions as Dick ruminates on Batman as a father figure and how he lives in the shadow of Batman, but also the villain who killed his own parents. It’s a nice look at his personality as he questions fatherhood whilst saving a child of a mobster. There’s a headliner villain in there for good measure and the acrobatics of Nightwing are captured well by Lyle’s pencils.
Wrapping up the book is a nice collection of stories: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s “Court of Owls” storyline (with a fascinating flashback I forgot about!), J.H. Williams’ exceptional art in Detective Comics, and a nice reminder of how good Tim Seeley and Javier Fernandez’s take on Nightwing was in all its espionage-esque glory. In fact, you can read my review of that entire issue here.
As a starter kit, this is a good place for new fans to start with a nice collection of reprints and a nice entryway for readers interested in Batman and Nightwing with the new stories. This is also a reminder that even though there aren’t that many new comics right now, there is a treasure trove of older titles to pick up and read like it’s new again.
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