Nightwing #77 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Ronan Cliquet, Artist; Nick Filardi, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: I’m not sure if Dan Jurgens officially closes out his Nightwing run this issue, but if he does this is a great, low-key finale. With all the Ric Grayson stuff out of the way, Dick is back in costume but still struggling to fit into his old life. He has to contemplate an invitation to Wayne Manor for the holidays, but first he goes solo on a case that involves a corrupt capital acquisitions firm and a hacker extorting them by freezing their systems. A chase for the culprit reveals someone with a very good reason for her actions, and that sets into motion a series of events that basically make this the perfect holiday special. This reminds me a lot of some of Jurgens’ Superman one-shots in the Metropolis Mailbag series from over two decades ago, which is fitting – his style hasn’t changed much since then, and it hasn’t lost a step. While I would have liked to see a bigger crowd at Wayne Manor at the end, this is a strong finale to a run that did its best with some thorny plot threads.
Catwoman #28 – Ram V, Writer; Fernando Blanco, Artist; FCO Plascencia, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Ram V will be continuing on Catwoman after his Future State miniseries, and he’s set up a lot of intriguing material for the long haul. By setting Selina up in Alleytown, he’s given her a full new rogues’ gallery including a trio of crime lords who she’s spent the first arc playing against each other. One, who’s just a scumbag with no redeeming qualities, has been the main target, but the highlight this issue has been her interplay with a more grey criminal who she may actually want to form a partnership with. The kids who play the role of Selina’s “eyes on the street” are fun as they bedevil corrupt cops, and I’m starting to warm up to Detective Hadley as Selina’s foil on the right side of the law. I could do without the edgy serial killer villain who has been teased throughout the arc and makes his full debut this issue, but overall this is a strong run that ends its first arc with a bang and a promise of more.
Amethyst #6 – Amy Reeder, Writer/Artist; Marissa Louise, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: It’s been a while since the fifth issue of Amy Reeder’s reinvention of Gemworld, and that makes this the final Wonder Comics book released now that the line seems to have wound down. The final issue delivers some strong art and great action scenes as Amethyst finally faces off against Dark Opal in an explosive final battle. But beyond that, this finale has some odd notes that leaves it feeling like a bit of an anticlimax – maybe deliberately. While Amy is eventually able to defeat Dark Opal and free her kingdom, releasing her parents in the process, there’s a cost – and that cost reveals some ugly things in some people. This could have been a complete downer ending with a lot of things resolved, but a hopeful coda sets up a new role for Amy and future adventures. The question is…will there be future adventures? I hope so, because it feels like Reeder has a lot more to say in this world.
The Batman’s Grave #12 – Warren Ellis, Writer; Bryan Hitch, Artist; Alex Sinclair, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Ray: This is a gorgeous comic, some of the best work of Bryan Hitch’s career. But that only takes you so far, and there are no more issues to wonder if the author can pull it all together in the end. This issue is as dialogue-thin as many of the ones before it, with the final battle with Scorn amounting to little more than Batman berating a sad-yet-vicious young man playing out cycles of violence, and the villain eventually ending his threat in a rather anticlimatic style. Batman then heads home, and the story takes a bizarre turn that ends on a deeply ambiguous and depressing note that lets the audience guess just how literal the title should be taken. Warren Ellis’ vision of Batman is a deeply broken, depressed man heading towards a terrible end, but that’s really not an accurate portrayal. By removing many of the things that define him for this minimalist thriller, Ellis creates a fatalist Batman that reflects how he feels about the character without actually adding anything new to the mythology.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.