Welcome to this week's edition of Rants & Raves. Every week we read a whole slew of new comics, and this is the spot where you can speak your mind about what you really liked... and what you really hated. Each week I'll pick 4 things to address -- they can range from a single moment to an entire comic. At first, I divided them perfectly into 2 rants and 2 raves, but let's face it, some weeks are way better than others. This was a fantastic week and I was fortunate enough to love a vast majority of what happened in the series I follow. Because of that, there's 2 raves, 1 rant, and 1 twist that I just had to talk about (deemed "huh?!" because I need to see how it plays out!).
Once you're done with the read (thank you for your time), feel free to take a moment to chime in with your thoughts on my selections. And if you're feeling extra productive, you're more than welcome to present 4 rants or raves of your own.
SPOILERS! SO PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
Rave: Greg Capullo's art
By all means, Joker should be a character that sends chills down your spine and invades your nightmares. Except for me, he never has. Despite his twisted ways, I've never found him haunting... at least, not until now. Yes, Scott Snyder is crafting a superb story, but Greg Capullo's art is undeniably eerie. BATMAN is packed with horror and I'm loving every panel of it. Go ahead and creep yourself out a bit by seeing how long you can stare at the following panel. Let it really sink in.
Good luck with your dreams tonight.
Rant: Harley Quinn vs Joker
Let me start by saying something nice first: this issue did have some cool moments. His face plastered to the wall was gruesome and there were some legitimately enjoyable segments. Now that I got that out of the way, holy sweet mother of Kal-El, this fight had some major flaws. First and foremost, a ripped piece of cloth from his shirt manages to hold both of them on the ledge? Wait, what?! I know they're both pretty light when compared to their world of bulky heroes, but that makes no sense to me at all (and that's not even diving into how he fell).
Next, she bitesoff part of his tongue (looks like the tip?) and he spends the rest of the issue babbling without any trouble whatsoever. Let me repeat myself: wait, what?! Now, I'm by no means an expert when it comes to the medical field, but I'm preeetty certain such a thing would significantly hinder his ability to speak. Did this irk you too?
Rave: ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #5
Fred Van Lente has created a masterpiece. Issue 5 was brilliant in virtually every way and had me in bliss the entire time. It was gut-bustingly hilarious, loaded with energetic action, and best of all, it was the ideal jumping on point (you hear that, people still not reading Valiant?!).
Armstrong's brother, the Eternal Warrior, is after the duo and the chemistry between all of them reaches some truly fascinating moments (most notably how Archer now views Armstrong as family). The issue is absurdly fun and I just can't praise it enough. If I had the opportunity to review it, I'd give it a 6/5.
Huh?!: BATMAN & ROBIN #15's ending
I know Joker said Batman would be the one to kill the Bat-family and now I'm dying to find out what's up with this twist. Is that actually Bruce Wayne, and if so, how'd Joker pull this off? And if that's the case, how can Damian even hope to compete with Batman? The poor kid couldn't even beat Tim Drake! I can't call this a rant or rave yet because we have no idea about how this came to be or will turn out, but Peter Tomasi now has a firm grip on my attention and I'm anxious to find out how this all unfolds. Will Damian be the first victim in 'Death of the Family?' I certainly hope not. What are you thoughts on this one?
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. He really, really, reaaaaaaaaaaaaaally hopes Damian doesn't die.