Reading Pile: 2/6/13

Batman & Robin, Red Team, Transformers, Avengers & New Avengers

Batman and Robin Annual #1- A few years back is was sort of impossible to like Damian. Now after his run with Dick Grayson and the development of Batman Inc, I’ve grown fond of the character. This issue along with Batman Inc #7 just sorta cemented that. $4.99 for thirty-eight pages of story is a little harsh, but not the worst considering how much personality is in this story. It’s a nice stepping stone in the relationship between Bruce and Damian, and all of the little touches Tomasi put into it really go the extra mile. I felt from his very first issue that he wanted to make this title about the family of Bruce, and with this issue I felt like he really succeeded. A

Garth Ennis’ Red Team #1- If you want a gritty cop drama by Garth Ennis, then you probably want to check this out. It’s a lot of set-up in this issue which is fine, but I couldn’t get over the feeling that the core concept (four special unit cops deciding to secretly murder criminals that escape the system) has been done before. Hell, there’s even a French horror film that’s about 4 cops (3 men, 1 woman) that decide to do the same thing basically except they get interrupted by zombies. Hopefully the next few issues develop some more interesting sub-plots, because I just generally get the feeling that with the exception of the Boys all of Ennis’ Dynamite work is basically a paycheck. B

Transformers Spolight Megatron- Nick Roche understands my love of Megatron and his ****ed up relationships with Soundwave, Shockwave, and Starscream. A

Avengers #5- As a stand-alone introduction story for the character Smasher, I really really really liked this issue. Kubert’s artwork complimented the story perfectly, and the overall pacing was just spot on. Plus more sub-plot building, so the usual Hickman long-game at work. Also, that's a pretty cover. A-

New Avengers #3- It really didn’t take long for the Illuminati to do something douchy, did it? B+

Transformers More Than Meets The Eye #13- Y’know, I fully realize that this series is basically one giant fan-fiction that’s been given the green light for official publication, but that doesn’t take away anything from the reading at all. The fact that most of the push of this issue is that Ultra Magnus gets drunk is amazing, then you also have the development of numerous characters all keyed into the core themes of loneliness and acceptance. It’s sort of amazing. A+