Batman Eternal #30

Arkham Asylum is dead. Long live Arkham Manor. Batman Eternal enters the dirty thirties this week. More in the review!

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #30
Written by Ray Fawkes; Drawn by Fernando Pasarin

You know when someone spoils something accidentally of course I’m a little upside but then I think about how it gets there. The ending is of course important but the buildup is what’s crucial so I don’t get too upset, depends on what’s spoiled. The events of this would hold more weight had I not known about this thanks to the release of Arkham Manor #1 last week, by the way the first issue is on the meh side of things. One moment was awesome, The Spectre crushing the shit out of Deacon Blackfire. Everything else, not so much. Bruce hasn’t lost the family fortune, yet, Alfred and Bane are about to be BFFs (solicitations), and Batwing might be fucked.

The issue has Batman trying to deal with the Arkham aftermath but gets a bombvested Joker’s Daughter to end the issue.

This felt as disjointed and all over the place as last week, but this week had a clearer sense of its main story instead of going in every direction at 5,000 miles per hour. Ray Fawkes is wrapping up but also setting up for the new Gotham By Midnight series debuting next week. That’s all and good but man I wanted some more focus. I will say the art is once again the saving grace here in that Fernando Pasarin does a great job conveying the actions on page and handles the action pretty well and draws people nicely.

I don’t know what else to say but it seems we’re getting a little closer out of Arkham which is good since it doesn’t feel that well connected to all the events going on.

RATING: 1.5/5

Batman Eternal #29

Hey remember Arkham Asylum? Yeah we’re going back there!

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #29
Written by Tim Seeley; Drawn by Simon Coleby

There’s some event comics that always has its publishing schedule fucked up and Batman Eternal is no question since the new book that debuts this week, Arkham Manor by Gerry Dugan and Shawn Crystal hits the shelfs where Wayne Manor becomes the new Arkham Asylum. So how does that happen? We sort of know, we know it gets blown to shit but we gotta wait next week for #30 to see that but we see #29 all lead up to the big bang that comes as we FINALLY get right back to where we were at Arkham itself.

You know the new Catwoman has debuted this week too and I haven’t read it yet at time I’m writing this review, but I feel way more set up for that book than I do Manor. I’d wait for #30 but my curiosity is simply too strong this week so I’m going to check it out.

Alright I talked about more set up already. Why? Well the whole issue it just a whole lot of set up this week. Joker’s Daughter did things on the orders of Hush who accesses one of Bruce’s hideouts and plants a bomb, Batwing is back, something’s happening The Spectre, Alfred is going through all over Arkham and somehow Bane is going to be a part of this, yay for solicitations, and Riddler sends a code that helps to I guess set up Arkham’s explosion. Oh and there’s stuff going on with Deacon Blackfire.

This as much this issue was set up, its also majorly disconnected from the main story going on. All the Arkham aspects of Eternal have and I haven’t minded that before since I know the ways some the Batbooks recently have dived into that but this was too much. Pacing is too fast with everything just whizzing on by and I can’t tell what the hell is going on so far. Another reason for the disconnected feeling is how long we’ve gone WITHOUT seeing Arkham. It slowly start seeping back in but now its banging down on our door.

I’m so glad for Simon Coleby’s art this issue because I have something good to say. Its very nicely drawn and does well to keep up with the frantic pacing of Tim Seeley’s writing this week. We’re about to enter the dirty thirties here on Batman Eternal and man I hope this book knows how to get to where its going. It knows its endgame but man this was one bumpy detour to it.

RATING: 2/5

 

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Halloween II

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Its Halloween time once again for the 99 and that’s not so much a good thing as it was last time.

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 4: Halloween II: GRADE: C

NOTE: Sorry for the lateness of the review, real life problems came up, hopefully never happens again.

Halloween last season was one the very early highlights that helped Brooklyn Nine-Nine what type of show it wanted to be but it get better from there. Halloween encapsulated the show at its best with great character based humor and gags as well as a touch of genuine emotion and love from everyone. That’s what makes a great episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Now an episode every once in a while will be heavier on the jokes, like last week and work, but its all gonna depend on the jokes since humor is very subjective and this week was a disappointing sequel.

Halloween II follows up on the premise of Jake making an outrageous bet with Captain Holt to steal an item off him. This years its his watch. The stakes? Jake overs up “five-druple” weeks of unpaid overtime and well he actually does have an ideal plan set in place to get the watch off him by midnight. Hire a known pickpocket named Fingers in a very elaborate and brilliantly hilarious sequence of events to get the watch off him and replace it with a fake. That’s sadly I think where the show kinda peaked a little early.

Now writing dictates it won’t ever be easy doing something like this and that’s show when Jake discovers Fingers wants a little more out the deal. Again it seems like typical Jake he’s trust this one specific criminal for a job and that itself is funny because the show is so well established that I can buy such a thing happening. Holt had it the whole time and he manipulated the whole event moments after the end of last year’s episode, drawing Jake’s attention to this watch, Fingers, and implanting several other ideas in his mind. This is both another highlight and downside a it perfectly once again gives us a hilarious look at Andre Braugher, who isn’t bouncing off Kyra Sedgwick perfectly this week mind you. The brilliance is in the the delivery but it falters because it gets too complicated and absurd for its own good a little. I do love moments where the show goes full crazy but not so much this time. The pacing of the episode wasn’t too hot. It moved a bit too fast. It also doesn’t add up with a subplot of Holt telling Terry, Diaz, and Santiago they’re assigned to pack and distribute safety pumpkins for the children coming by for candy. How the hell are they able to take part in Holt’s overly complicated plan? I could accept changing shifts but some their scenes are back at the station after their part in the plan is done and an emphasis as put on how Gina isn’t helping them. Editing was also a serious problem for this episode too.

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Speaking of Gina, we do get some nice development from her in figuring out her life is like a Step Up movie, well according to her at least. She’s not helping out as usual and going for out for her own selfish needs but reveals to Terry she’s trying to be a little bit of a better person than she is right now. I like this simply because it took its time, what little it had, to have some good character beats. It was grounded as well as having absurd, yet humorous moments like Gina’s floor dancing group, Floorgasm, a one off verbal gag from last Halloween is suddenly brought back in when we see they kick Gina out through only the words of their body. It was the other biggest laugh of the night. Terry’s sudden mentoring role for her is something I hope gets a lot more development as the season goes on.

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Halloween II puts its emphasis on the more fun side of things this week holding off on the character drama and beats for the most part is one of the few weak installments for the comedy. I don’t mind taking a detour every now and then if the scenic route is a continuously pretty sight. This week’s wasn’t, but there are some nice trees to look at once in a while. Hopefully the next time Brooklyn Nine-Nine decides for a sequel show it knows how to make things work while advancing things. Also I’d like see Jake Action News webisodes or DVD extras with Boyle. There is some comedy gold in that I tell ya!

Batman Eternal #28

Looks like we’ve made it! More in the review below!

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #28
Written by Tim Seeley; Drawn by Meghan Hetrick

Man this has to be one of the absolute best issues of the series in a while, despite the fact that Red Hood is featured in it. This issue is all about getting towards Catwoman becoming the kingpin since Catwoman #35 is next week and it stands to reason it would happen her but man what an issue. The majority of it is Bone trying to put on a show of killing Catwoman. She obviously doesn’t die but Jade does when Bone orders Ibanescu, the gangster from last week whose name I remembered because plot, goes to shoot her but the bullet hits Jade because of him being a bad shot under pressure. Doesn’t help that Croc invaded the proceedings to save Jade. That took me off guard honestly to show that Jade is the one who loses their life in this issue. It really shows that all bets are of and no one is truly safe.

Batman does show up to stop things, also Flamingo, but is too late, only to have Croc tell him the demons at Arkham can have him. Seeley wrote what seemed at first a down played issue fine enough but then the stakes get upped and it took off. I think this is one the high marks of the series so far not just in that part but the great art of Meghan Hetrick which is very nicely detailed in faces and expressions. She paces the story very well and she stands out. She has a nice little animation flare to her art. She has a great handle on anatomy, especially during the parts with Batgirl and Bard.

Speaking of which she’s still dangling Bard off a building when Red Hood shows up to try and say goodbye to Barb but convinces her to stop, only to drop Bard himself and Barb to catch him to prove she’s better than all the Robins combined. He tries to convince her to leave Gotham, she tries convince him to stay. He doesn’t since he’s no Dick Grayson.

I didn’t hate Red Hood here. He actually got to have some human emotion and act like a regular human being for once. I liked too. We even get small cameos from his Red Hood and the Shitbags co-stars, but whatever, the writing here is really good for both of them the the emotion of the scene rings thru. Its just interesting to see such a good dynamic between the characters that usually are at each other’s throats.

This issue just did so much in so many pages it was exciting and thrilling. I highly enjoyed it and find it a great step forward for the book. Batman Eternal, you’re one the year’s best.

RATING: 5/5

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Jimmy Jab Games

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It’s time for great athletic skills to be put to the test in the Jimmy Jab Games!

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 3: The Jimmy Jab Games: GRADE: A-

The Office had one its most memorable episodes with Office Olympics and it would make sense given how the office environment can be and that one especially that when the cat’s away the mice will play an elaborately constructive series of games to pass time on a certain boring day. Given the time that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has developed itself with the characters and premise, The Jimmy Jab games really don’t feel that out of place within the world of the show.

A three hour delay on motorcade duty leaves the crew with free time until they’re called to duty. Also helps that Captain Holt and Terry are out trying to secure funding for updated, secure funding to battle a new drug. So of course its now time for the annual games that began because of delayed motorcade duty for former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Jakes inability to correctly pronounce his name.

We have event from the month old Chinese eating competition which knocks out Detective Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) out first because of obvious reasons to undercover event with terrible personas. What’s the prize? A terrible rolling chair that’s the best in the precinct. Well adding more to the proceedings is a side competition between Rosa and Jake for the number of Rosa’s friend Katie. This factors back into my biggest worry for season 2 in the Jake and Santiago situation. Jake is doing this in order to help get over her and during the competition and a great exchange between the characters leads him to realize he still isn’t over her. He threw the game for her and his talk with Rosa near the end of the episode is a nice character moment between to two. They are buddies but Rosa doesn’t mix personal life with business which is why the bet happened. Also $200 were at stake. Their talk helped make the slight hinderance of the Jake and Santiago situation better since its a mature moment for Jake honestly and a fine talent showcase for Andy Samberg.

The writers have their seeds planted in that storyline but how they pull it off with the ending result will be tricky to me since it heavily affects the workings of all characters around. This hasn’t become a show starring Andy Samberg, its an ensemble piece where everyone is honestly the star.

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Whereas the funniest thing all episode is once again Captain Holt vs. Deputy Chief Wunch. She is who he and Terry have to see about fighting a new brand of ecstasy known as Giggle Pig. “Hello, Deputy Chief Wuntch. You’ve aged,” is how Captain Holt starts this whole thing off. He’s just stating a fact but Andre Braugher’s hilarious deadpan delivery from the character makes it funnier than it should be. He’s chemistry with the returning Kyra Sedgwick is as spot on this week as it was last with Terry Crews playing a great straight man between them as they try to sabotage each other along the way. Good news, they got the funding, bad news, its along with a task force that could bone the precinct. Holt slam dunked Wunch, who just now sees the possibility of rhyming her name with lunch, but Wunch returned the dunk. Holt makes a three point dunk. As Terry perfectly points out, they know nothing of basketball.

The other subplot is Boyle trying to get back a tape that doesn’t show her and Gina having sex but will provide enough evidence that it does from the department video camera and needs it back from Detective Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) who will do so in return of Boyle making him coo in the precinct. Its a mini Can’t Buy Me Love/Love Don’t Cost a Thing subplot that work’s fine. There are plenty of laughs to be had from Boyle trying so hard to complete an impossible task, but the subplot is too short to really land any impact whatsoever, despite the comedy that’s mined from it.

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The Jimmy Jab Games is a consistently funny episode of one of TV’s best shows out there and furthers character development nicely, even when calling to the one flaw that could hinder the show’s enjoyment. Its a great ride honestly.

Batman Eternal #27

Catwoman’s past is now coming back to haunt her in the latest issue of the weekly series.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #27
Written by Tim Seeley; Drawn by Javier Garrón

So we meet up again with that Jade kid from a few issues back when she ran away into the sewer and is now considered a friend by Killer Croc. Well we find out she’s Jade McKillen, related to the sisters that had a huge vendetta against Two-Face, when she’s returned to her closest relative who happens to be the same gangster who ran the dog fight Selina interrupted.

That’s the beginning of our connections here when Jade says she knows Catwoman as the gangster, I don’t remember his name and that’s a bit of a flaw with Seeley’s writing this issue, as he overlooks footage of a failed drop off that was ruined by Batman and Catwoman. This issue works a lot more towards pushing Catwoman to the role as the kingpin of crime in Gotham we saw in Batman #28 and when the new creative team takes over her book later in the month.

Batman and Catwoman ruined the deal in hopes of finding Hush but its to no avail given the gang they break up has no connection and Catwoman gave out details to another gang in order to get the loot from it al. Yeah we’re starting to see the kingpin signs and it was a really nice touch to the proceedings of the book and something I will praise Tim Seeley for as his Batman and Catwoman dialogue scenes are great and feel like a classic encounter between the two. This is planting further seeds for the new direction her book will take.

Well Catwoman meets Jade again when she finds her crying in her own apartment only to have lead Bone there. A crimelord Catwoman first encountered back in the beginning of her book in New 52 and beat badly with a baseball batt. That’s nice set. Its some rally good stuff and ends the issue on a nice cliffhanger.

Javier Garrón’s art is very good here and its nicely paces all the events of the story onto page well and keeps things moving in a nice flow and makes characters pop out. He also has good action moments such as when Spoiler leads Batman to a note about a hashtag that people use to track him and thanks him from saving her from who was trying to kill her, Flamingo. Yes another Grant Morrison creation makes its way to the book and confuses the New 52 timeline just as much. Though it was kinda cool to see him in an action scene with Batman.

Elsewhere Batgirl gets her hands on Bard and will get a confession out of him revealing she has the evidence. Bard thinks its silly but Barb shows she means business. Yeah things are kicking in.

Also Croc wants Jade back and fucks shit up.

The issue just keeps the series progressing along towards where it needs to go next and I think its a pretty good installment. Nice writing, nice art leads to something good.

RATING: 4/5

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Chocolate Milk

©2014 Fox Braodcasting Co. CR: John Fleenor/FOX

Today on Brooklyn Nine-Nine we learn the true meaning of friendship. No seriously, stop laughing. New review below!

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 2: Chocolate Milk: GRADE: A

Chocolate Milk I think is a much stronger return to form this week for the sophomore season, mainly because we’re not dealing with feelings being lingered on between Jake and Santiago, but more the character based humor and plots that really drove the first season for me.

We’ll begin with our main plot in which Terry tells Jake they are just work friends. I mean all of us honestly do have those connections of people and the amount of time we spend with them, we might honestly not be friends with them. We all have our best friends, close and personal friends, you know friend friends but then there is work friends of people you just know at the job and might not see again after you or they go to another job and that’s the realization Jake comes to when trying to further bond with Terry and stopping his vasectomy, which he admits he doesn’t want when drugged off his ass on anesthesia.

We’ve already known how far Jake’s other friendships go with the crew, he and Gina are lifelong friends as explored last season, he and Diaz bonded at the academy, Santiago is based on their partnership, as well as love feelings, and he and Boyle, well Boyle just goes all in on everything. We saw nice moments last year on cases between Jake and Terry but nothing much deeper than all the other ones listed, though Jake did go out of his way to protect Terry when he went back into the field for the sake of his children.

Jake likes to see him as every type of friend, well except for Ross cause that’s Terry’s turf, when he offers to drive him to his appointment. Jake feels the need for complete control and much like last week, Jake learns he can’t control everything. He can’t accept not being Terry’s friend friend and just his work friend. The chemistry going on between Samberg and Crews is flying of the screen when dealing with this revelation or Jake trying to care for drugged out Terry, who thinks Captain Holt should smoke a little weed. Something I think we can all agree on.

We do of course end in a declaration that they are friend friends but I’m not too bothered by it honestly since I could tell that’s where the conclusion of this storyline was going to go. They don’t need to be the best off friends, but I think this can open up for more great opportunities for these characters to work together.

I also like this plot because it leads for great puns about the male genitalia such as spermanment record and my soon to be new favorite film, Scrotal Recall. Also once again, just an amazing comedy showcase for Terry Crews who can honestly do no wrong on this show.

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But that’s not that’s going on this week because the show is going all over the place in the best way that shows off the strengths of this comedy. Captain Holt butting heads with Deputy Chief Wuntch played by Kyra Sedgwick as basically Captain Holt but white. Also a woman. Equally just as funny. Their back and forth is show good and also weird to think Captain Holt could actually hate someone as he long thought Wuntch held him back from a promotion cause he’s gay and she had the hots for him. Also she shot him and was embarrassed in front of Derek Jeter. Once again, pure comedy gold coming off the actors here who deliver the lines so well and have the best timing possible.

This also let Santiago have a highlight with her usual humor but also make us root for her, a major suck-up when standing up to Holt. Once again a huge part as to why this this show works is the chemistry of everyone involved and even that of the guest stars who come on here are perfectly casted.

©2014 Fox Braodcasting Co. CR: John Fleenor/FOX

Then we have Boyle taking Diaz to an engagement party for this ex-fiancé which thankfully doesn’t fall back on his lust for her from last season though. The episode instead confronts that Boyle’s problems have been stemming from his failed almost marriage but does actually come back to the whole friend discussion from Jake and Terry. We get a great exampled of the work friend aspect when the situation first comes up and share frustration over Gina filing preps by hotness and then an honest friend friend moment when they go to the party, complete with Boyle in full cornrows and a Jamaican suit. Perfect.

The Gina and Boyle is briefly handled this week but I’m cool with that actually so we can further develop them secretly knocking boots as bone bros. Which made me laugh way harder than it should have.

This week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine does fire on all cylinders and reminds me why I do love this show so much for many, many reasons. The main part of it being the cast and how well they deliver the funny writing. This is a prime example of what makes Brooklyn Nine-Nine the show it is.