Hey everyone, today’s comic book pull-list is going to be a sad one, as we say farewell to four Batman-related series coming to an end this week. Last week, we saw the final issues of many great comics, and in the future, we’ll see even more titles fall to the DC Relaunch. Honestly, it’s like DC Entertainment has become The Anti-Monitor and all our favorite books are infinite earths phasing together to destroy the comics of the DC Universe. Books like Superman and Secret Six have already fallen into the void of the relaunch, but this week will be especially difficult for me as a Batman fan, as we see the deaths of some comics that are near and dear to my heart: Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Detective Comics, and Red Robin. Sure, for the most part we’ll be getting an alternate earth version of these titles, but will they be the same as we’ve known them? No, of course they won’t. So, with your patience, a glass of soda, and a handful of pills to numb the pain of the loss, I would like to give a proper send-off to one of my favorite eras in the history of Gotham City.
After Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis, there was a storm in Gotham City with the displacement of Bruce Wayne, the original Batman. Many identities were changed with this shocking news including the likes of Robin, Batgirl, and even Batman himself. And this new take on these characters provided a cornucopia of creativity. But enough back-story, right?
You know the drill, I’m here to tell about some awesome comics.
Batgirl #24 (DC Comics – $2.99): Bryan Q. Miller, I love you. I seriously do. You convinced almost every reader that the young Stephanie Brown was worthy of the Batgirl title. And you did this through the eyes of the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon. Instead of just writing Damian Wayne as a snot-nosed brat, you had the foresight to think of why he was that way. You and Grant Morrison were the only ones that truly got that character, and with your understanding, you gave us Batgirl #5 and #17. Those magical issues made the reader truly feel for Damian as a character. A character that knows nothing other than privilege and abandonment, and your writing nailed every moment he showed up in your books. And you made him funny. You and Stephanie Brown were a VERY welcome source of light in a dark world of comics. In an era of comics with zombie superheroes, unceremonious deaths to certain characters including small children, and drug-addicted anti-heroes with severed hands, you give us Stephanie Brown showing the history of the Bat Family in Chibi art. Nothing could be more amazing than that. And this is the last issue. I’m sorry to say, this is the only Batgirl issue in the current run that I’m not looking forward to. I want to read it, but I never want it to end. There’s so much I could say, and yet nothing I could write could express how much love I have for this book. Thank you to Bryan Q. Miller, Lee Garbett, Pere Perez, Dustin Nguyen, Ramon Bachs, Guy Major, every editor, inker and letterer that has worked on this book. It was an amazing 2-year journey, and if there’s one thing about the DC Relaunch that’s killing me, it’s that this gang of creators won’t be working together on a DCU title anytime soon.
Batman and Robin #24 (DC Comics – $2.99): Batman and Robin is a perfect example of what strong creators and content can do to a book. Starting off as a 16-part series written by Grant Morrison and a host of artists, Batman and Robin was the new status quo for The Dynamic Duo. Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne were two characters that were not quite comfortable in their new suits, but through time, patience, and understanding, the two heroes came into their own. In the minds of readers, it was a hard sell to make the original Robin as the second Batman, but boy did it work. For the first time in ages, we saw a Wayne/Grayson pair as the heroes of Gotham, and Damian was definitely a Wayne. It was an exciting era in Batman history, and that’s why I’m giving it a farewell address. Sure, it had it’s weak moments, but all comics do. And recently, even I haven’t been that excited to pick up an issue of this book. But, with the addition of David Hine and Greg Tochinni writing Batman, Robin, and Nightrunner (one of the greatest new characters of the past years) we have the potential of a wonderful end to the first volume of Batman and Robin, and the last chapter of Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne in those roles.
Detective Comics #881 (DC Comics – $3.99): What can be said about Scott Snyder, Jock, Dave Baron, and Francesco Francavilla’s work on Detective Comics that hasn’t already been said? Probably nothing, but I can try. In easily one of the best runs on Detective in recent years, I can’t think of a better team to close out the first volume of this comic. And that’s the part that I can’t believe. A comic book that has run for over 75 years, that shares the namesake of the company that publishes it is ending and getting restarted by writer/artist Tony Daniel. It’s still a hard pill to swallow honestly, I never thought that I’d see the day when Detective Comics would be renumbered (same goes for Action Comics). That’s still shocking. But still, if you haven’t been doing your Detective work, this run comes to a close with a double-sized mega issue featuring all artists and Scott Snyder in one book. It seems that all the dark and twisted shocking events are out of the way for this book, but with a team like this you can never tell what you’re going to get. How could anyone image the final issue of Detective Comics! My guess? Well, my guess is a 40-page story of Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne, Stephanie Brown, and CM Punk playing hopscotch on the top of the Gotham City Police Department, but that’s probably why I don’t write comics.
Red Robin #26 (DC Comics – $2.99): A few years ago, I started a podcast called Gotham Central (gothampodcast.com, y’all!) that was dedicated to the new regime in Gotham City. It was a podcast in which myself and Justin Vactor read and discussed every single Batman-related book that was coming out including Batman: Unseen (an awesome story about Batman fighting an invisible man), and one of the books that I was wary of picking up at the time was Red Robin, a new book written by Chris Yost with art from Ramon Bachs. Fast forward two years and 26 issues, all creators working on this book have consistently put out amazing issues. I don’t think I’ve ever been wary to pick up this book, other than the first issue. While Yost and Bachs were putting the former Robin, Tim Drake-Wayne, into a globetrotting detective adventure that had me on the edge of my seat, Fabian Niceaza and Marcus To (the latter of whom has become one of top ten favorite artists) grounded the character in Gotham City and creating him into a near analogue of Bruce Wayne. With any other character, and within the hands of any other creators, that would have been a bad thing. But all those involved made an awesome story of Drake getting involved in insane situations. And seriously, you should buy all of the trades to see Marcus To’s ascension into greatness.
That’s all I have for this week, but if you have any favorite books that are meeting their ends that you wanted to see get picked up in the Fall, or if you just want to say how much you loved a book that’s gone, leave a comment in the space provided below, and sound off!