Welcome to the regularly scheduled edition of Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column sponsored by LuthorCorp. Yesterday, I featured a special Batman Day edition highlighting my Top 10 Batman stories. Check it out if you haven’t seen it, yet. I forgive you. It was a pretty important day, after all. But let’s get to the business at hand.
This week from Marvel, The X-Men’s Storm flies solo in the first issue of her new book, titled Storm; Peter Parker discovers that he wasn’t the only one bitten by that radioactive spider, in Amazing Spider-Man #4, an Original Sin tie-in; and Preston discovers something from Deadpool’s past that needs to be dealt with, but he and Dazzler are neck deep in vampires, in Deadpool #32, an Original Sin tie-in.
Over at DC, Zero Year, the New 52 retelling of Batman’s origin, comes to a powerful end, with Batman taking on Riddler, in Batman #33; Take a further glimpse into the possible grim future of the DCU, in Futures’ End #12; and the House of Mystery is heading into the Void of Non-Being, while a team member is possessed, in Justice League Dark #33.
And IDW rounds out the bullets with Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever #2, as Kirk, Spock, and Yeoman Rand return to the Enterprise after their first encounter with the Guardians, only to find a darker timestream awaiting them.
In Original Sin, a group of heroes was subjected to a blast from one of the Watcher’s stolen eyes. The blast imparted many of the Watcher’s secrets into the minds of those in the blast radius. One of those heroes was Daredevil. Daredevil’s entire crime-fighting career was predicated on the hero-worship of his father, Jack Murdock, a boxer, a good man until his death. But in this tie-in, Daredevil makes the shocking discovery that his father wasn’t the saint he thought he was.
This was another great issue from writer Mark Waid, who is joined by Javier Rodriguez on pencils (and inks and colors) instead of Chris Samnee, delivers a story about what happens when our heroes turn out to not be as heroic as we think they are. And when DD tries to contact his mother for answers, he discovers she and some other nuns have been arrested and are being extradited to Wakanda as part of a bizarre conspiracy. Chris Samnee stepped off the penciling duties for this issue but Rodriguez’ clean art looked great depicting Waid’s words. And it’s nice to revisit Matt’s mother, who happens to be in quite a bit of trouble. And we get a glimpse of what Jack Murdock’s sins were, and Rodriguez’ art shows us some pretty obvious spousal abuse. This one will be continued next issue with some obvious emotional baggage that may resonate in Matt’s life for years to come.
This year marks Batman’s 75th anniversary and DC Comics designated yesterday Batman Day. Many comic shops across the globe gave out Bat-swag, including a free issue of a new 75th Anniversary issue of Detective Comics #27. You get four stories in this free book, including a reprint of the original story from the 1939 Detective Comics that featured the first appearance of Batman in a story called The Case of the Chemical Syndicate, written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane. In addition to this, thriller novelist and sometime comic-book scribe Brad Meltzer wrote a modern-day telling of that same story, that was penciled by Bryan Hitch. This alone was enough to snag the book in my opinion. You get to see the original story and compare it to Meltzer’s retelling and with Hitch’s gorgeous artwork that comics fans have seen in stuff like The Ultimates and Civil War. And it’s fun to compare the two, seeing how Kane and Finger’s creation has evolved over time. A real treat for fans of comic book history.We get all of that history, plus Scott Snyder provides a future tale of Batman. And Meltzer teams up with Chip Kidd for a sneak peek of their take on Kane and Finger’s original story.
Did I mention it’s free? If you didn’t do it yesterday, go to your local comic shop and see if they have any left. It’s worth it.
And one more special thing about this issue: it features the first and only time Bill Finger has ever been credited on any cover of a comic featuring the character he helped create. Bob Kane, whose name we see plastered all over anything Batman, came up with the concept, but Batman’s modern appearance, from the cowl to the boots, was all Bill Finger. Many older fans know this, and many don’t. And there are many younger fans who know nothing about Bill Finger. And I’ve been more than vocal in other venues on my thoughts of Bill Finger getting shafted, so I won’t mention them here. But it is a crime to the industry, and a slap in the face to the man who more than helped Bob Kane bring this beloved pop culture icon to life, to have ignored his contributions for 75 years. Bless DC Comics for putting his name on the cover where it belongs. I know for a fact that there was a collective cheer that went out when fans saw it. I was one of them.
And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. Email and comments are always welcome. Be sure and check out SCIFI.radio’s coverage of San Diego Comic-Con this week. We have geek boots on the ground on location, as well as live broadcasts. Tune in from your mobile device while you’re waiting in line! So if you’re in the area, find one of our roving Nerd Newshounds and say ‘hi.” Maybe they’ll put you on the air. And then you can brag that you hung out with the best, fastest-growing Internet radio station in the multiverse. And then your friends will get jealous because they don’t rock like you do. Totally worth it.
It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See ya next week!
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!