Tag Archives: DC Comics

Batman: White Knight and Batman: Curse of the White Knight

Batman: Curse of the White Knight

Batman: White Knight
DC Comics
Writer: Sean Murphy
Artist: Sean Murphy & Matt Hollingsworth
FC, 232 pgs, $19.99 US

Batman: Curse of the White Knight
DC Comics
Writer: Sean Murphy
Artist: Sean Murphy & Matt Hollingsworth
FC, 272 pgs, $29.99 US

It’s difficult to find a good superhero story.

Wait.

Let me back that up.

It is difficult to find a superhero story that can be understood and enjoyed and makes a lasting impact without first requiring you to be intimately familiar with a character’s back catalog. Don’t get me wrong. One of the great joys of comics is following characters issue to issue in familiar situations, fighting familiar faces, with just enough freshness to keep the pages turning. Shake it up a bit. Get a response from the reader. Reset. Creative roster change. Slap a new title on it. New #1. Do it all again. Nothing wrong with that.

But, man, those gems that can be handed to an interested reader, a curious reader, the kind of book that can grip and not let go. Those are rare. I keep mental lists. Most recently it has been Batman. What are the rare gems? Year One, Dark Knight Returns, Batman 100, The Long Halloween, Dark Mirror, Red Rain. There are others but it’s not a long list considering the age of the property.

But there is a new addition: Batman The White Knight by Sean Murphy and now Curse of the White Knight, which is the sequel by the same creative team.

I got into The White Knight because of Sean Murphy’s art. Of course he wants to write Batman. Who wouldn’t, right?! But could he do it? It did not matter to me. I waned to see the art– Murphy’s riffs on iconinc Batman characters and material. I was not disappointed with the visuals.

But the story! Whoah. Solid once he got past the opening action sequences and settled into dialogue and plot. Joker goes straight. Makes Batman look like the bad man. Good hook. I didn’t think it would deliver. It sure did.

The sequel builds on Murphy’s take on Batman and the Joker. He adds new layers, new complications, new surprises. And these will stick. He’s allowed to do his own thing. No reset in this vision.

Former knowledge is welcome but not required. He gives you what you need. Little touches. Gives you the flavour. And let’s be honest– if you’re picking up a Batman comic chances are you know the fundamentals of the character.

I don’t talk about superheroes very often. Other ComicReaders are far more capable. But White Knight and Curse of the White Knight have me yapping. Both will enjoy a long shelf life. (Chad Boudreau)

I, Zombie #1

I, Zombie #1
Vertigo / DC Comics
(w) Chris Roberson
(a) Michael Allred
FC 32 pgs w/ ads $1.00 US / Higher in Canada

The latest ongoing title from Vertigo is this zombie series from writer Chris Roberson (Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love) and artist Michael Allred (Madman). The story follows a young woman called Gwen who is a zombie. But she’s not your standard everyday zombie. She has to eat one brain a month in order to maintain her somewhat normal life. Although for a normal life she’s a grave-digger by day, her best friend is a ghost and the local werewolf has a crush on her. The problem with eating brains is she absorbs the dead person’s memories. Her latest meal was murdered and so now she has to catch the killer.

This series has an intriguing idea – it’s a little off the usually beaten zombie path. I enjoyed Roberson’s Cinderella mini-series and I always enjoy Allred’s art. This series has promise, I just hope that it doesn’t end up with the same short-lived fate that the majority of Vertigo titles seem to suffer. (Shane Hnetka)

The Spirit #1

The Spirit #1
DC Comics
(w) Mark Schultz & Dennis O’Neil
(a) Moritat & Bill Sienkiewicz
FC 40 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada

After Frank Miller wrecked the character with his crappy movie, DC has decided to try and relaunch Will Eisner’s Spirit back into his own ongoing series again.

This version of the character is part of Brian Azzarello’s First Wave comic series. The setting is once again more modern but there’s more of a gritty crime noir feel to the comic. The Spirit is still just a vigilante working outside of the law but the Spirit’s love interest Ellen Dolan is more of a do-gooder here while her father, police Commissioner Dolan is more of a corrupt cop on the take.

This issue has the Spirit trying to take down the Octopus and an international crime syndicate. The syndicate have sent an assassin to deal with the Spirit. This isn’t a bad first issue. I like the network of informants that are at the Spirit’s disposal and Moritat’s art is amazing and surprisingly well suited for the Spirit. There’s a black and white back-up story by Dennis O’Neil and Bill Sienkiewicz that was short and effective. It’s not Will Eisner’s Spirit but it’s a thousand times better than Frank Miller’s Spirit. (Shane Hnetka)

Doc Savage #1

Doc Savage #1
DC Comics
(w) Paul Malmont & Jason Starr
(a) Howard Porter, Art Thibert & Scott Hampton
FC 40 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada

“Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.” – Doc Savage’s oath.

Continue reading Doc Savage #1

Scalped #36

Scalped #36
DC Comics / Vertigo Comics
(w) Jason Aaron
(a) Davide Furno

FC, 32 pgs w/ ads $2.99 US / More in Canada

Page 4 of issue #36 of Scalped contains one of the most shocking images to appear in this title to date, which is saying a lot for a book as brutally surprising as this one. The image is shocking not because of the act it depicts but because I didn’t see this one coming. In a book of unexpected acts and revelations this one caught me unawares, and with this one image writer Jason Aaron and guest artist Davide Furno tell us a lot about the character Shunka, more than we’ve learned about him in 36 issues.

Shunka is Chief Red Crow’s right-hand man, the tough, enigmatic Lakota most recently seen scouring the badlands of South Dakota for a fugitive that could reveal the mole inside Red Crow’s criminal organization. Shunka has been a reoccurring character in Scalped, but always in the background, an enforcer to be used, not a character to be explored. That changes with issue #36, which kicks off a new story arc in which Shunka is the main character.

Scalped is a consistently solid read, filling the void left by the completion of 100 Bullets. Both are gritty crime sagas featuring a roster of hard-as-nails and morally flawed characters, none of which are heroes and very few of which are outright villains. (Chad Boudreau)