Due to my busy schedule, we’re running a day late. Add to this my having stayed awake for the last two days to get that work done means my ability to focus is impaired. Should have seen me earlier, taking an exam so tired I could barely hold a coherent thought. But anyway, part one looks at the books from DC and Dark Horse. Includes BATMAN #15, DEMON KNIGHTS #15, and THE STRAIN #9.
In BATMAN #15, we learn the Joker may or may not know the secret identities of the bat family. Obviously he wants them dead so he can hog Batman all to himself. And that’s not even hyperbole, if my reading of the Joker is right. Anyone can tell you the dangers of trying to “read” the Joker, but it’s an interesting direction assuming it’s true.
Of course there’s only so long Bruce can keep either the Joker’s claims or Alfred’s kidnapping from the bat family. The whole group is here: Dick Greyson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne, and Barbara Gordon, all dressed in their crime-fighting finery. Makes a man wish he could at least check out the tie-ins for the other Bat series.
Bruce himself reassures the group that the Joker totally can’t know who they are, even though he dropped a signature playing card on the batcave floor several years before. Are you perhaps sensing a pattern here? Batman proclaiming a dangerous villain/group to be impossible for rather tenuous reasons, which will only serve to herald the point where he’s proven wrong. Happened with the Court of Owls. That wasn’t all that long ago, yet he’s made the same folly of overconfidence? And wouldn’t Batman be more concerned about the Joker, since unlike the Court at the time, Batman fought the Joker multiple times?
And of course we have the customary side story featuring a villain, this time The Riddler. Of the three little scenes involving the villains and the Joker, I liked this the best simply because of how awesome Edward Nigma is made out to be. Although the Joker does shoot a horse to death, and for familial reasons I’m fond of the beasts. It’s weird the worst thing I’ve seen this guy do is kill a horse.
Still a great issue, and I’m thinking the event is drawing to its conclusion soon. Watch out for that, and tell me how the other bat-books work out.
Speaking of drawing to conclusions, DEMON KNIGHTS #15 marks the end of the current…I guess you’d say story arc. There’s going to be a time skip after this, so you tell me. What I’ll tell you is this issue is FLIPPING AWESOME! The Knights escaped Hell to Avalon, only to find they’ve lead the forces of Lucifer and the Questing Queen both to that mystical land. And there was fighting, and it was good.
And then King Arthur joins in, because he’s cool like that. Vandal Savage said it best: “Lucifer fighting King Arthur?! Vandal Savage really should join in. You know, just to please the historians.” I don’t know, I’m already pretty pleased.
Oh, and at some point Xoristos brings the black gem of Eclipso to Earth (can’t be sure, haven’t read his most recent appearance), and the Knights get dubbed the Storm Watch. I’ve most certainly not mentioned this, but the Demon Knights were always meant to be the precursors to Stormwatch. I never read Stormwatch, so I only discovered this fact recently.
After a few months on break, THE STRAIN #9 continues where the previous issues left off: Doctor Goodweather et al stalking New York City, seeking proof that there really are vampires killing people and multiplying. And they also meet one of the other main characters, Vasiley Fet of Pest Control, who proves to be more than capable of kicking some undead tush.
I never get to use the word tush, what do you want from me?
Of particular note is the letters page, which tells us that The Strain ends at issue eleven, to be followed a couple months later by THE FALL. Indeed, we’re already talking about the sequel series, and if it’s anything like what we’ve got here, I guess that’s yet another miniseries I have to buy. Curse you comic book industry and your amazing stories!
If you missed the first few issues of THE STRAIN, by the way, Dark Horse recently released the first volume trade paperback. So go get it if you’re not already reading.
Should I announce when a series I talk about gets a trade paperback? Are you getting as big of queer vibes from the Joker’s plot? Do you not find a massive battle between dinosaurs and demons and Arthur’s knights to be entertaining? That last one is a trick question, because you would have to not exist to not like what I just described. Anyway, leave your comments below. Feedback is always appreciated.