Robin 3000 (Elseworlds: R3K #2)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

Title: Robin 3000

Series: Elseworlds: Robin 3000 #2

Author: Byron Preiss, et al

Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Comic

Pages: 53

Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

Tom Wayne begins chasing down some of his robot clones to prove to the rebellion that he isn’t collaborating with the Skulp. During the process he allows himself and his group to be captured by the head honcho of the Skulp intellligence. Who has a time machine.

Tom escapes, visits just desserts upon the head skulp, gets visited by a robot Robin from Earth [which has been teleporting around the galaxy looking for Tom] who convinces him to take on the costume of Robin and continue the fight against the Skulp.

The End. Or is it?

 

My Thoughts:

Ok, I knew going in this was going to be a mess. Vol 1 was a great disappointment and this did no better. Once again, this was not a Robin story. This was a Super Smart Science’y guy has adventures, In Space! Tom just jets around, as Tom, and does things and what not.

The way things were presented on the back covers was cool and made it sound like this would be a kick butt action comic. But it isn’t.

And the stupid Robin robot teleporting all over the galaxy looking for Tom just to give him the costume? That made NO sense nor did Tom’s taking of the costume. He’s the last Wayne. He should be taking on the Batman mythos.

But nothing about this 2 part series really made sense. And that “or is it?” ending. That reeked of desperation to get this turned into a regular series. Thank goodness it failed and we weren’t subjected to more of this pablum.

Ugh.

star15full-custom

Robin 3000 (Elseworlds: R3K #1)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Robin 3000
Series: Elseworlds: Robin 3000 #1
Author: Byron Preiss, et al
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comic
Pages: 59
Format: Digital scan

Synopsis:

It is the year 2999, Earth has been taken over by the Skulp and Bruce Wayne’s descendant continues the fight for freedom using the Batman mythos. Unable to escape the Skulp, Wayne passes on the torch to his nephew and assistant, Tom Wayne, aka Robin.

Escaping from the Skulp, Tom must hook up with the resistance. The Skulp however, have created a cyborg of Tom and have it publicly collaborating with them and decrying the Wayne name.

My Thoughts:

This was a big disappointment. Batman the 30 eleventieth talks for  2 pages about being a martyr, then gets blown up. But he has enough time safely set Tom down.

Tom is not Robin. He gets a cyborg hand part way through this volume, but he’s not a detective, he’s not martial and he certainly hasn’t been trained by a Batman, any Batman. He’s just the Wayne heir. And no costume.

This was simplistic in the bad way. Things just happened, because. Meeting the scientist who gave him his new hand was the perfect example.

Tom’s pilot friend:”My friend needs a new hand, here’s our crashed spaceship in payment.”

Dr: “Ok”

Tom upon awakening: “I am Tom Wayne, I can figure this hand out easily”.

Dr: “Drat, a Wayne. But don’t worry, I won’t turn you in to the Skulp, because I don’t feel like it.”

That is a slight exaggeration, but not much and the whole tone of the book felt like a Hardy Boys in space. And no costume.

There are 2 volumes to this little Elseworld story, but after making it through this volume, I need a week before I want to tackle the next volume.  I’m disappointed in the simplicity of the story [with all the attendant weaknesses and lack of full bodied thinking] and the fact that “Robin” doesn’t show up in his phracking costume!

Even this guy would have been better:

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star20full-custom

Red Son (Superman: Elseworlds)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: Red Son
Series: Superman: Elseworlds
Author/Artist: Mark Millar, et all
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 160
Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis: 

Superman lands in the Ukraine and a Communist Collective instead of in Smallville, USA.

The Man of Steel promotes communism and once Stalin dies, takes over as President Superman. Lex Luthor, last hope of the Free World, makes it his mission in life to bring down the Man of Steel, even at the sacrifice of his marriage to Lois Lane. Superman is being guided by Brainiac and can Wonder Woman, Boris Wayneski, a newly minted cadre of Green Lantern US Marines and even Superman himself stop Brainiac from completing his nefarious plans?

 

My Thoughts:  Spoilers

I enjoyed this the first I read it but I never recorded that I read it, so this is my first time rating and reviewing it.

I always enjoy the Elseworld stories because they do what all the phracking ridiculous and completely unnecessary reboots attempt, and miserably fail at, doing. IE, bringing us the characters we know in new ways with new stories and new variations. In fact, I would say that is the main fun of these, seeing the familiar turned at a 37° angle, just enough to skew everything but still the same enough for you to recognize.

First off, lets get through the bad. Stalin. For all that Hitler is vilified and made the devil incarnate, Stalin was truly worse. He was a butcher, plain and simple. So, for Superman to admire him was a bit of a let down. I’m not talking about Superman and communism, but Superman and Stalin.  Then there is Boris Wayneski. I don’t even know if that was his name in the book, he was simply the Russian Batman. He was almost a caricature and I would have enjoyed the story more if it had been someone else. However, the frenemy status between Supes and Batman goes way back, so it makes sense why it was included.

The good stuff.

Superman looked good. He looked good in his suit and with the hammer and sickle on his chest. I’m pretty picky about my Supes, as I liked Dan Jurgens version from the 90’s, but this was a creditable job and the art didn’t detract from my enjoyment.

Lex Luthor. He is portrayed as the smartest man alive here. While his quest to overcome Superman takes the lead, the advances he makes in doing so drags humanity upward, in all ways. In fact, his name becomes so great that his descendants take on his name, as L, or eL. You can see where that is going.

And that brings me to the ending. I loved it. I can see it pissing people off though. Superman is NOT from Krypton. He is from Earth, sent back in time to try to change the future created by Lex Luthor and the House of L. Of course, the story ends with his little craft landing in the Ukraine, hence beginning the whole cycle again.

star40full-custom

Superman: Doomed (Superman)

coverThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com

Title: Superman: Doomed
Series: Superman
Author/Artist: Greg Pak, et al
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 544
Format: Paper graphic novel
Synopsis:
Taking place in the New52 timeline. Doomsday has been kept in the Phantom Zone and somehow is allowed out by somebody. He is literal poison to the world and his very presence kills. Superman tears him in half, gets infected and begins a battle with Doomsday over who will control his body.
And it all turns out to be a masterplan by Brainiac to get control of everyone’s minds so he can “change the perception of the universe” and hence, change the universe. Because he misses his dead wife and son. Who he killed.
Yeah…
My Thoughts:

This was first foray into the New52 reboot universe and I didn’t like it. It also relied on the reader knowing the storyline from Reign of Doomsday. At least to explain why Doomsday is still around. Goodness, I hate these reboots.

This was a very messy read for me. The characters I knew were suddenly completely different. Superman and Wonderwoman? Superman and Lois Lane are just friends, not married? I felt like I was reading one huge Elseworlds storyline. Sadly, I wasn’t and this is where things are.
This is a big, glossy book with some gorgeous art. Unfortunately, I had a hard time reading the text and trying to follow the action. There were so few panels used that I had to guess where I was supposed to look next to follow what was happening on ONE SINGLE PAGE. And half the time I couldn’t tell if I was looking at a 2 page spread meant as one, or if I was actually supposed to read it as 2 pages.
The storyline itself just went all over the place and made me wonder WHO was in control at the helm of this idea. Superman and Doomsday argue with each other, Clarke gets angsty, Supes and Wonderwoman are all lovey dovey while making promises of mutual destruction, Brainiac is putting the whole world in a coma while whining about his dead family and there is so much more. It wasn’t a clear, concise storyline. It was a soup with about 67 different cooks all trying to make it “their way”.
It took me 6 months to finally finish this. I just didn’t want to read about it. If this had been from the library I probably would have abandoned it very near the beginning. However, I bought this in February so I was going to get my money’s worth, even if I had to suffer for every page of it. Yankee thrift and all that.
I could probably write a bunch more but it would just be more complaints. To end, I didn’t like this, I didn’t like my foray into the New52 and it will be quite some time before I try out new comics again.

Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey (The Death and Return of Superman #4) 1…

coverThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey

Series: The Death and Return of Superman

Author/Artist: Dan Jurgens, et al

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Comics

Pages: 151

Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

Doomsday is not dead, nor doth he sleep, but he shall fail while Supes prevails [ha!]

Yeah, Doomsday isn’t dead and with what Superman finds out about him, it appears impossible that Kal-El will be able to defeat him again.

 

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this. Which came as a surprise to me because I remember it being the weakest of the 4 books and hence “remembered” not liking it nearly as much. Man, me and my Remembering.

While it was much shorter than Return of Superman, it still managed to pack in a lot of info and action. The Cyborg is back as well and sadly, his part was WAY too short and was almost a plot device just to keep him around for later use.  That was to bad because I think the Cyborg is one cool bad guy.

I think my nitpick was how Superman kept trying to deal with Doomsday. With the revelation of Doomsday’s evolving nature, it seemed kind of stupid that Superman just kept on hitting him, just like in the previous encounter. Find a blackhole and toss him into one of those. Mother Computer’s solution of sending him to the end of the universe and time, where Entropy would destroy him, felt like a copout but at the same time really manifested just how powerful and dangerous Doomsday was.

The action was good. Even while I was mentally tsk, tsk’ing Superman for just hitting Doomsday, it was still pretty cool. And Superman’s little Kryptonian battle gear, sword and all, definitely made the visuals better. Nothing like Superman as a knight.

Blood Ties (Batman versus Predator #3)

f29fd587be80102d673a17d7dbf9f031This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

 

 

Title: Blood Ties

Series: Batman versus Predator

Author/Artist: Chuck Dixon, et al

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

Genre: Graphic Novel/Comic

Pages: 136

Format: Digital scan

 

Synopsis:

Yet another Predator comes to Gotham, this time bringing a protege to train.

Tim Drake is the current Robin and he is now in the sites of the young Predator.

Can the Dynamic Duo put a final end to the Predator’s interest in Gotham and its Champion?

 

My Thoughts:

Now I know why I never bothered to buy this book back in the day.  This was pure pablum and a complete failure as a story.

It was formulaic, lacking in any and all intensity and felt like the money grab it was. There was hardly ANY fighting and Batman “capturing” the older Predator to shame all the Predators so they’d leave Gotham alone felt like an idea that someone had at 4am after about 8 cups of coffee.

There was nothing bad about this, but insipid is the best I could call it. To continue the coffee thing. This was a cold cup with generic creamer that’s congealed in a paper cup. Ughh.

Bloodmatch (Batman versus Predator #2)

a8219db35eb8adf9f2e22d1a98fe02e2This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

 

 

Title: Bloodmatch

Series: Batman versus Predator

Author/Artist: Doug Moench, et al

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Graphic Novel/Comic

Pages: 144

Format: Digital scan

 

Synopsis:

A rogue Predator comes to Gotham to take on Batman. A group of Rule Keepers [for lack of a better word] is after the Rogue Predator.

At the same time, a group of Super Mercs have been hired to take out Batman.

So you have Predator versus Predator, Predator versus Batman, Predator versus Mercs and Batman versus Mercs.

If that isn’t complicated enough, the Huntress is hunting down the criminal who hired the mercs and gets involved herself.

 

My Thoughts:

This wasn’t as enjoyable as the previous battle. Part of it was the novelty was gone but part was the story itself. The Huntress just didn’t fit in and it made things awkward.

Also, I had forgotten just how sexualized women usually are in comics. My goodness, talk about a lot of cleavage, leg and butt.

The “bad ass” rogue Predator wasn’t. He just kills a lot.

*wave hands and make scary ghost noises*

This was just ‘meh’ for me. It didn’t appeal. I didn’t hate it, but I sure wasn’t loving it.

The Return of Superman (The Death and Return of Superman #3)

coverThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: The Return of Superman
Series: The Death and Return of Superman
Author/Artist: Dan Jurgens, et al.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 480
Format: Paper Graphic Novel

 

 

Synopsis:

4 Supermen have appeared in Metropolis. One is a young clone with all the attitude and haircut of the 90’s. One is a man encased in steel who makes no claim to be Superman. One is a violent vigilante who has Superman’s powers but not his heart. Finally, one is a cyborg who claims to have been mysteriously rebuilt from kryptonian tech.

One of these is a traitor bent on the destruction of Humanity. Can they figure out which one of them is the traitor and stop him?

Only the real Superman can stop the destruction of the world [again].

 

My Thoughts: Spoilers Ahead Matey!

A fitting conclusion to the whole story arc.

The first thing that struck me when I pulled this book off my shelf yesterday was just how the garishly primary colors dominated everything. Nothing but Blue, Red and Yellow. That is one thing that makes comics stand apart from graphic novels.

My second impression was just how fast things developed. Now given that I read this in one afternoon from one book definitely helped that along. But all the pretenders are revealed and while the world is still reeling from trying to figure out which, if any, are the real Superman, the Cyborg suddenly is about to turn the world into a new War World?

Third, the utter ridiculousness of it all. The pure absurdity. However, that level is needed to pull something this big off. This story arc spanned multiple comics for months. It HAD to be over the top to keep the teens interested and wanting to spend their money.

Fourth, I still enjoyed this. It was fun, it was explosive, it was garish, it was high octane. It was everything I expect a comic book to be in other words. I don’t expect comic books to be on the same level as The Count of Monte Cristo. Reading this also brought me one step closer to reading Superman: Doomed which I bought back in January. I have not read that before. It is just as big and I think I’ll be able to judge it more objectively than I did Return of Superman.

In conclusion, this was just as big as I remembered while definitely belonging to my younger days.

Batman versus Predator (Batman versus Predator #1)

97996e9c2fea3ae2c2849caf170a848eThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

 

 

Title: Batman versus Predator

Series: Batman versus Predator

Author/Artist: Dave Gibbons, Andy & Adam Kubert

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Graphic Novel/Comic

Pages: 128

Format: Digital scan

 

Synopsis:

A Predator comes to Gotham and starts hunting the top dogs. Batman gets involved and it comes down to a brutal finish between a wounded Batman and a wounded Predator.

 

My Thoughts:

I own this in paper. I bought the collected edition when it came out in the 90’s and my teen self was amazed at how amazing amazingly amazing this was. What could be more amazing than Batman, in amazing bat armor,  fighting an amazing predator?

Yeah, that is a lot of amazeballz there.

Reading this now, it is a solid, if a bit short, story.  There is actually very little of Batman fighting the Predator, more like skirmishes while the Predator kills off various Gotham elites. Thankfully, right at the end, there is a scene where Batman takes a baseball bat to the Predator. I think that scene alone would make this book worthwhile.

I am not sure I’ll ever be reading this again though. It had sat on my bookshelves, lo these long years, and I hadn’t even thought of it until I read that silly book, Archie versus the Predator. That was just so much fun that I had to dig these out [there are 3 graphic novels in this series, even though each is a standalone story if I remember correctly] and see how they’ve fared over time.

I was planning on reading all 3 in a row and then review them right after the other but after this one I think I’ll let it rest for a week or so before trying the second.

World without a Superman (The Death and Return of Superman #2)

coverThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: World without a Superman

Series: The Death and Return of Superman

Author/Artist: Dan Jurgens, et al.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Comics

Pages: 240

Format: Graphic Novel

 

Synopsis:

In the aftermath of Superman’s death, hell breaks loose. A shady government agency steals his body, which Lex Luthor buried in a very public funeral attended by the JLA and the rest of the heroes in the DC universe.

At the same time, Lois has to deal with Clark supposedly having gone missing, while she knows he is dead. Ma and Pa Kent are being torn apart with their private grief and Jonathan ends up in the hospital with a heart attack.

And then things get weird with some sort of afterlife scenario where Pa Kent has to bring back Superman from a potential hell.

And then right at the end, it appears that 4 Supermen have come back.

 

My Thoughts:

This was fun and as bright, splashy and soap opera’y as one could wish for. This was everything a comic should be. Larger than life characters and scenarios.

Of course, I was rolling my eyes almost the whole time. I mean, super guns being sold to gangsters is the big problem in Metropolis? And Lex Luthor being mad because HE didn’t kill Superman? Ay yi yi.

I enjoyed every page though. And it brings me once book closer to Doomed, where it looks like Superman is infected by Doomsday. I am looking forward to that!