Mind Capsules – Batman #4 and Squadron Supreme #9

Batman #4
Batman #4

Writer – Tom King
Artist – David Finch
Inker – Sandra Hope, Matt Banning
Colours – Jordie Bellaire
Letters – John Workman

Something has gone wrong in the mind of Gotham. With all of the terrorist attacks happening in the city and his inability to stop them and maybe just a little bit of the Psycho Pirate’s influence, the man has seemingly snapped. After living a life of promise and inspiration, having gained it from Batman when he was just a boy, Gotham has now become unhinged and with Gotham Girl currently breaking down herself, it is up to Batman to stop him – somehow, someway. Tom King continues to chronicle this latest adventure featuring the Caped Crusader and it has been a somewhat disjointed and uneven ride which makes it really hard to like. There are moments that are spot on and then there are scenes that simply feel a little off or flat. There is very little excitement in this issue as Batman is doing damage control and that is fine, but there has been very little excitement in the first three issues preceding this. Again, there are moments, but this book should be firing on all cylinders, all of the time. Batman is a tent pole book and there should be no misses whatsoever and the fact that King’s story is not as compelling as it should be is a bit of a shame. That being said, there is a bit of detecting needed for our hero to do and with a little help, we soon learn that Task Force X and Amanda Waller is involved in Gotham’s current neuroses. It is a nice little crossover that is done quite naturally without seeming out of place whatsoever. The big question is just what can Batman do about Gotham on his own as the man has the powers of a Superman without any of the seeming weaknesses. You also have to wonder about the fragility of Gotham Girl and if she is going to pull out of her funk and be able to help or simply remain on the side-lines. Gotham is only the tip of the iceberg though, the man and the city, because there is still the threat of Hugo Strange and the Psycho Pirate at large, not to mention all the mysterious ramblings of the Monster Men who always seem to be coming, though just when they intend to appear is still unknown. Perhaps with the ante being upped in this issue, things will start to look up a bit more for the title and King will find his groove. For the moment the book is a little lacklustre with David Finch’s art being the best thing about it. An okay read that will hopefully pick up soon.

3 out of 5

Squadron Supreme #9
Squadron Supreme #9

Writer – James Robinson
Artist – Aco
Inker – Hugo Petrus
Colours – Marcelo Majolo
Letters – VC’s Travis Lanham

The ninth issue of Squadron Supreme by James Robinson and guest penciller Aco is all about Warrior Woman and how she arrived to where she is currently. We see her and her team the Squadron Sinister and how she had to escape her particular Earth before it was destroyed and her meeting with a Power Princess in the void between worlds. Readers are privy to her treachery and everyone who has read this title knows what happened later with her time on the latest incarnation of the Squadron Supreme. James Robinson also ties this issue into Civil War II, the current mega-crossover and while it does not involve anything directly, it still features Ulysses in a minor way – at least as far as said crossover goes. What those scenes really do is set things up for upcoming events in this title and Robinson does it expertly, not letting outside forces intrude upon the story he is trying to tell. It is a fascinating character piece, letting the reader finally get into Warrior Woman’s head and discover her intentions going forward and just what it could possibly mean for the Squadron Supreme. One of the better things about this issue is that we also get to see a little more of Modred – a poor man’s Merlin, whom we last saw in Weirdworld and is not serving Warrior Woman. Of course, this would not be the Squadron Supreme without an ending to keep you wanting more and Robinson does just that with one that ties into events that took place earlier on in the story. Subbing for Leonard Kirk is Aco on pencils and they look quite fantastic and highly dramatic. If Kirk ever leaves the book for good, Aco would be the perfect replacement. While there is a bit of action, the story did not particularly need it, more like a fill-in issue without actually being one. Great stuff as always and if more issues were to come our way framed like this one, they would be most welcome.

4 out of 5

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