By Ollie Evolution
The holidays are upon us and new comics are gracing us as well. This week we have some of my favourite titles on the shelves and I can’t wait to share them with all of our readers. I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving in whatever way they celebrated, and that this edition of the best of the best by DC this week comes to you in high spirits. We are going to be taking a look at four books this week. Batman: The Dark Knight #25 will be the first up on our roster, followed by Catwoman #25. After we get through those we’ll delve into The Flash #25, finishing up with a look at Talon #13. We’re gonna go ahead and jump into those now so hold onto your hats!
Batman: The Dark Knight #25
When we left last time, Clayface had just broken out of prison. Gordon is, however, skulking around Arkham where he finds out that Clayface’s biggest fan has just died. Our favorite mud puddle enemy is speaking with Penguin, telling him he’s paid off his debt, his new thoughts centered on abducting a new audience of his own.
Bruce comes to the conclusion that Clayface may be somewhere pertinent to his past, which results in his computer doing a cross-reference in locations Clayface may have been or places his movies were filmed at. Searching all of this locations is a huge job, even for Batman, so he calls in some help in the form or Condor and Black Canary.
While all of this is going on, Clayface has grabbed a new crop of fans who he has tied up with IVs in their arms. The question is, what’s in the IVs? It turns out that the Joker helped with that, Clayface got a venom from him that causes the audience to laugh and cheer, against their own will. Looks like Clayface has his perfect audience.
Batman, of course, manages to find out where Clayface is, which culminates in a big fight. Clayface ends up dumped into a hot vat which melts him and keeps him from turning into a normal form. It seems Gordon (and the prison) have a new way to contain him, even if it involves him being a soupy sludge.
As far as the art and writing, they’re both great, as always. The emotional moments are portrayed well and having Joker jump in for a bit was a nice touch. While the story was good enough, for its purposes, there wasn’t a lot to it. That said, pick it up for the Alex Maleev art or the Clayface arc if either of those appeal to you. It might not have been the most exciting storyline in the world but I certainly don’t regret picking it up.
Selina Kyle, and a young version to boot, is in trouble. She’s planning to rob a giant party for the rich but there’s quite a bit of defense, in the form of armed men, on the way there. Of course, this is hardly going to stop her but it does make it a bit more difficult to get what she wants.
If we drop back a few hours we find Selina mugging a guy who is trying to steal a cab from an older woman. She stole a bunch of climbing equipment she doesn’t want, and takes it to her fence, Lola. Unfortunately, she can’t sell it as the world is stocking up with food and other supplies at the moment. Selina goes out to do the same, planning to buy, rather than steal as the owner of the shop is an honest man who helps the town. However, a rich guy by the name of Arnett Crocker shows up and tries to take all of the supplies for himself. Selina tries to stop them but gets knocked out and the thugs take the supplies.
Selina gets to use the rock climbing equipment after all, sneaking into Crocker’s building. She gets in, wearing a borrowed dress, and saying she’s a gift sent for Crocker. The idiot falls for it immediately and leads Selina back to a room, hoping to get lucky. On the way he’s stopped by one of his men, who tells him his meeting is starting. Selina spies on it, seeing Crocker selling off some prototype batteries to another gentleman.
Sadly for Selina, someone realizes who she is, bringing her inside, where Crocker says she needs to die. While faced down with a knife Selina pulls out something she ganked on the way into the party, a whip from one of Crocker’s creepy back rooms. She knocks out and ties up everyone in the room, doing a good job of it. She also lifts the batteries and helps herself to the contents of Crocker’s safe.
At this point the young Selina thinks on her act, proud of herself and thinking she can move up in the world if she continues on the path she’s on.
John Layman’s writing is great and I think he did a great job of portraying a young Selina Kyle. The characterization is brilliant, the best I’ve ever seen. The art is also really great and slides right into the niche Layman wrote for Selina. All in all, the story and look of the issue were both perfect and totally fun to read. Pick this one up.
The Flash #25
Barry Allen has just left the police academy and volunteers to help in the blackout and storm that are coming to screw up everyone’s day. Detectives Bullock and Spencer are with him, ending up on the trail of a druggie who is using a new drug called Icarus. Of course, this new drug is a doozy, making the user think they have superpowers and then making them spontaneously combust. The three police officers are chasing him down when a young Iris West appears out a door, spraying the fugitive with a fire extinguisher.
It happens that the alley they’re in is behind a free clinic that deals in helping people who have taken Icarus, Irish was looking into it for the local paper. While they’re transporting the body, Barry realizes whoever is selling Icarus is being sold by someone other than whoever is making it, because it makes no sense to sell a drug that kills the user, making it impossible for them to buy more.
Back at the department, Bullock sends Spencer to be with his family, with himself and Barry checking out the free clinic. Once they get there an explosion goes off, with Barry running right in to start rescuing people. The fire is eventually put out, Barry finding traces of an accelerant which means it wasn’t a junkie exploding. Of course, the other cops blow that off, with bigger fish to fry.
Barry, however, doesn’t blow it off. In fact, he and Iris jet off, with her making a lab for him to work at, completely with a fridge full of beer. Barry questions how she’s keeping the fridge running, with her telling him she got some ice from a fish merchant. Barry starts working on the Icarus, hoping to find what it’s made of, thinking it might give them an idea where to go to find the manufacturer. He finds that it contains a lot of white phosphorus, which ignites when over a certain temperature. With that in mind, he knows it’s cold wherever it’s stored. He remembers the fish merchant from before, and gets some information about him.
They head out, finding huge batches of Icarus at his place, they also witness the fish merchant being shot by Detective Spencer. Bullock shows up and ends up in a shootout with Spencer’s thugs. Barry tries to fight off Spencer who is giving Iris a hard time, but he ends up with Icarus being injected into him. Barry goes after Spencer anyway, with the Icarus starting to work. Meanwhile Iris is looking for a way to cool him off. Bullock shows up as Spencer is grabbing his gun, just in time to shoot Spencer at the same time as Iris sprays Barry down with a refrigeration tube.
Later it shows Barry and Bullock at Spencer’s funeral. After that’s over they stop and talk with Barry asking why Bullock lied, putting down that Spencer was shot on duty. Bullock expresses that sometimes things aren’t black and white. Spencer messed up, trying to get some money to help his family out, and this way his family gets the life insurance. Bullock and Barry part with Barry heading home. In the last moments he and Iris have a moment and lock lips for the first time.
I really loved this story and the past was fun to watch. The supporting cast was really interesting and fun, making it exciting to read. I kind of would love to see the Icarus arc play out in other places, after this. In either case, this book is really great and I would tell anyone to pick it up and give it a shot.
The Court of Owls, with John Wycliffe, continue to brainwash Sarah Washington. In the meantime, Talon and Casey’s underlings are searching all over Gotham for the small girl, especially places they believe the Court of Owls might be. They aren’t having much luck, however. Sebastian Clarks and Felix Harmon, however, take over the Harbor House as their own, planning to attack the Court of Howls, who are in the old hotel.
Casey tells Calvin to look at the hotel but he have other plans. He thinks their base needs to be sealed off. Casey insists on his own plan, with Calvin finally leaving, a promise to get Sarah back. Anya and Joey head off to search elsewhere and Edgar stays to keep Casey safe.
Once in the hotel, John finds many members of the Court are dead, which makes him panic. Calvin quickly shows up, wanting to know where Sarah is. John begs him to shut up but Calvin, as shown before, is pretty bad at following directions. Felix Harmon finally shows up, with Sarah as well.
Calvin manages to get Sarah loose by getting into a fight with Felix. Casey notices that Calvin’s signal is gone, meaning she was right about the hotel. She calls in backup for him, while Sebastian is setting up a bomb to blow the place out from under everyone.
As Sebastian is moseying through the hotel he comes across Wycliffe, who is injured. He takes no time to kill him on the spot, becoming the Grandmaster of the Court again. Not long after, Sebastian finds Sarah, who has been brainwashed, saying she wants to kill Calvin on her own.
Felix and Calvin’s fight seems to be going badly for Calvin, with Talons showing up all over. Then Sebastian swoops in, saying he’s Grandmaster again. Felix gets Calvin tackled to the ground, injecting him with a serum that will deteriorate Talon’s flesh. But at that moment an explosion goes off. Casey shows up with her own agents and the real fight is ready to come.
This issue is crazy! There is so much going on it’s hard to keep up with it all. I loved the art, although there were a few panels that didn’t fit for me. Otherwise, this is a brilliant issue. If you’re only picking up one from this review, make it this one. You’ll want to read it and the conclusion. It’s gonna be amazing.
And with that we have our four issues for the week. I loved them all and I think you all will too. I hope next week brings as much excitement as this one did. Everyone enjoy your time leading up to the holidays and I’ll see you here with new books and reviews in a week!