DC Spinner Rack: Spirit #15, Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1, Batman Incorporated #7, Superman #712

The Spirit #15

The Spirit #15

written by David Hine
art by Moritat
DC, $2.99

This isn’t a series that jumps out at me, but every so often it has a good pulpy stand-alone read. This issue was one. It’s the tale of Honey Steel, a gangster gal involved in a love triangle with the Spirit and her bodyguard. It’s moody and classic, familiar and yet fresh in its imagery and double-crosses.

It’s a shame there isn’t more room for this kind of story, a crime tale that focuses on the characters and their choices, how they see themselves in contrast to how others see them, how you wind up somewhere you hate being, instead of gunplay and blood. It takes some skill to make the tragic ending of a character you just met meaningful, and yet HIne and Moritat accomplish it.

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1

written by Adam Schlagman
art by Ben Oliver
DC, $2.99

I thought the point of Flashpoint was to change familiar characters by putting them into new situations, so I’m very confused why this comic reads EXACTLY like the standard origin of Hal Jordan (which we’re all overly familiar with this month).

The layout is similarly confusing, running across double-page spreads with panels formed by diagonal lines, although the reading order is still one page, then another. It looks like an attempt to artificially jazz up an otherwise boring, generic story, but it’s confusing and unnecessary. About the only plus to it is that it forces most of the ads to the back of the book, so I don’t have to look at Green Lantern tie-ins.

Batman Incorporated #7

Batman Incorporated #7

written by Grant Morrison
art by Chris Burnham
DC, $2.99

I start enjoying a Batman title for finding a creative take on expanding the mythology that doesn’t contradict the core of the concept, so of course, it’s going away. But I’m not bitter.

No, what annoys me is how Morrison has single-handedly made the DCU more diverse than anyone else over the course of last year. He makes it look so easy by spotlighting characters with unique backgrounds that seem like more than just stereotypes. Why couldn’t anyone else be bothered?

Anyway, in this issue, Man-of-Bats is trying to help his reservation by fighting for justice. He’s a true superhero, in the classic old style, while coping with a teenage son who doesn’t share his passion. Raven complains about having to deal with “wife beaters and junkies” when he wants to battle showier supervillains and join the Teen Titans, not realizing that handling street-level (or home-level) crime means much more to the community.

Even compared to the “real” Batman, this “Batman on a budget” (terrific phrase!) shows that determination is all you need to make the world better. (Plus, Burham does a nice style, kind of a prettier Quitely.) Oh, and don’t hurt dogs. People who do come to no good.

Superman #712

Superman #712

written by Kurt Busiek
art by Rick Leonardi and Jonathan Sibal
DC, $2.99

Speaking of dogs, it’s the famous lost Krypto story, pulled from several years ago and brought out of storage to cover for something else DC yanked at the last minute. Unfortunately, it’s missing a lot of its meaning for me, since I didn’t care for “Infinite Crisis” and didn’t remember or want to be reminded of the events being evoked here. We’re shown flashbacks of heroes fighting, but it’s unclear what it means or why I should care. This story should have been published then or not at all, because now, it’s pointless.

Worse, if you’re going to have an entire issue dedicated to a dog, shouldn’t you have someone draw it who can draw dogs? Krypto looks like a starving greyhound, not the general faithful hound he should be. I kept worrying that his ribcage was going to poke through his skin. Krypto as starving supermodel is not a good look.

6 Responses to “DC Spinner Rack: Spirit #15, Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1, Batman Incorporated #7, Superman #712”

  1. Thad Says:

    Batman Inc IS supposed to come back a few months after the relaunch, but a number of the core elements are getting yanked. I’m particularly annoyed to see Dick back to being Nightwing, as his promotion to Batman is really the single most interesting change Morrison’s made.

    (At least we get to keep Damian. And talking of diversity, he is of course biracial, though the books have never really gone out of their way to emphasize that.)

  2. Dwight Williams Says:

    The re-demotion of Mr. Grayson…really doesn’t make sense to me either.

  3. Grant Says:

    I bailed on Batman Inc after #4. Just got too tiresome and annoying. It seems like there was a major shift in tone after those first two issues that had Catwoman.

  4. James Schee Says:

    I think a reason for the Grayson to Nightwing is that I picked up a random Batman issue at B&N to flip through until check out lines got shorter. I was 6 pages in then a character called Batman “Dick” and I paused and was like “Oh.. okay this is one of the Dick Grayson Batman series.”

    The writer had written him so much like Bruce I didn’t know otherwise until it was pointed out. Which if that’s the case, why not just have it be Bruce?

    I keep being hesitant to try Incorporated, I probably should just download an issue or 2 and see for myself. Yet the entire premise “I’m out finding other Batman like characters around the world” just seems so silly and hokey.

    Johanna, one of the other bad things about FP HJ, is that the Green Lantern Hal Jordan #1 came out too this week and was the exact same thing. Talking about repetitive!

  5. Johanna Says:

    The tone of the issues does shift, Grant, based on what the new hero, location, and story requires. That’s part of what makes it good.

    Good point, James. Better to stick with what the public knows if you’re not going to do anything different or interesting.

  6. Grant Says:

    Yeah, I get it. But I felt the story in 4 and 5 was an unintelligible mess with word balloon after word balloon making absolutely no sense. Or is that just how things are in Argentina?




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