Batman #26 does not announce it on the cover but this is a Zero Year issue. Zero Year continues to match and exceed my expectations and remain the best thing that DC Comics is running right now. This issue is no different.
Doctor Death’s reboot is a lot darker and far more threatening than the original one, but the main challenge to Bruce is that he’s not ready for him when they meet. In other words, it’s Batman with no prep time. He has to improvise although he manages to hurt Doctor Death with a wind tunnel, he gets caught trying to get away. Enter Lieutenant Jim Gordon for the save.
But it’s Zero Year and there is no trust and no love lost between the billionaire and Gordon. There’s actually still a lot of questioning and Wayne has no issues reminding Gordon of a memory from when he was a kid. Was the lieutenant on the take many years ago? Is Gordon a former dirty cop? Anybody noticed in that flashback that Gordon’s partner last name is Corrigan? Any Spectre fans out there?
More than that there is not even a shred of respect between GCPD and the Bats. As the yet to be feared Dark Knight investigates and finds victims of Doctor Death, he’s cornered and pinpointed as the culprit by the task force formed to hunt him down. There’s something very scary going on when Commissioner Loeb smiles at Batman and tells his officers to open fire – and they do. It’s like the worst possible scenario and the best issue I’ve read since the last one.
Justice League #26 is a Forever Evil tie-in. Don’t worry it actually features one of the members of the Crime Syndicate. Owlman’s origins are revealed and they’re a slap on the face of his Bat-themed counterpart.
Richard Grayson is alive. One of the big reasons he is alive is that Owlman, Thomas Wayne (a play on Thomas Elliot?) wants to rectify a wrong and actually recruit him as a partner. There’s something that happened to the Richard Grayson of his dimension that haunts him. Owlman goes as far as promising that he’s actually trying to stop the Crime Syndicate and needs Dick’s help. It’s completely out of the blue that it seems to be a play. Wisely, Richard agrees because he obviously needs a way out but I’m sure there’s more beneath the surface.
I was hoping Owlman would have some connection to the Court of Owls on his world, but none is revealed in this issue. However, we do see his logo up close and it’s down to an exact look and feel as the Court’s paraphernalia so I keep waiting to see them pop up here.
Recommended, but all this development has to go somewhere soon. Forever Evil is moving too slow.
Uber #8 continues the brutality from the previous issues as the Russian front finally gets access to the much sought catalyst that the Japanese now also possess. Their approach to finally gaining a super-human is methodical and cold-blooded. If only one in five thousand men will live after the process, instead of sacrificing a few until a pattern is found you could just play the numbers and throw in five thousand – or better yet, four hundred thousand men.
Praise this comic from not shying away from the horrors of war, but be wary this means we’re not playing nice and people will die – lots. There’s no point in the carnage that follows. Enter the sniper Katusyha Maria. She thinks she’s headed for the Gulag or a bullet on the head, but she’s actually going to be one of the lucky chosen.
Historical fiction is always a double-edged sword. If written correctly, you should see parallels between the historical fact and the fiction, like throwing four hundred thousand soldiers into battle knowing that only a few will survive.
Recommended with reservations. Don’t expect clean cut and dry heroism. Do expect a lot of world war historic figures to come up, albeit twisted. For matured readers only, of course.
That will do for now.