Back in September I decided to switch from receiving single issue comics to just getting the trade paperbacks. I did this for a variety of reasons. The main one is that I like storing them in a book case instead of storing them in tons of boxes in a closet. Also, when you only pick up your comics every couple months, it is hard to remember what the hell was happening. When I picked them up on Monday there were still a good bit of single issues left since they finished up the current arc I was reading. Here are my thoughts on some of them.
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
Allow me to recap for those of you that did not follow this whole thing. Batman was killed by Darkseid, but it turns out that the body that Superman found was not actually Batman. Instead he was sent back in time with no memory. He bounces through time, leaving clues that he is alive around Wayne Manor. Turns out that Darkseid made Batman into a weapon and when he finally comes back, he will destroy the universe (do not ask, it really makes no sense, ask DCUniverse).
Anyways, everything ends with Bruce back and he wants to take Batman international. Set up some franchises across the world. The only thing I can agree with is the decision to not force Dick out of his role as Batman. I actually loved Dick as Batman. It was nice to see an unsure Batman. I also enjoyed his relationship with Damian as the new Robin. And since everyone now knows that Bruce has been funding Batman for years, I am guessing everyone will just put two and two together that they are one and the same. I guess it is that leap of faith we have to take whenever Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent hang out. A billionaire playboy and a mild-mannered reporter are really good friends, one from Gotham, the other from Metropolis, just like two superheroes?
I started out really loving this story. Daredevil takes over the Hand and wants to turn them into something good. He takes over Hell’s Kitchen (he uses his assassins to patrol the streets and kick HAMMER’s ass when they come to shut him down) and seems to be doing good things. I wanted to see where this was going to go. Unfortunately, they decided to go a different route. Turns out that there is a secret group with the secret group that needs a pure soul to kill someone in order to let the Beast in. The Beast is some kind of evil incarnate and it causes the people of Hell’s Kitchen to go crazy.
The heroes connected to DD come out and want to stop him. They find out the only way to stop the Beast is to kill the host. They try to fight him, but he kicks their asses. Matt regains control for a second and decides to take his own life and everything is fine. Then his body disappears and we see that he is alive and well. He decides to leave the city and give up his life as Daredevil. Apparently he cannot forgive himself for what he did. But, it was such a let down. I mean, either he should have killed himself or just write the whole thing off as him being mind-controlled. And now the Black Panther is patrolling the rooftops of Hell’s Kitchen. Oh, and why the hell did Wolverine just show up at the end for the last battle? He is rarely a character that pops up in DD (especially over the last few years). In fact, someone even asks why he is there. He does not appear in enough books, they had to just toss him randomly into this story.
This is one that would have been great to read as a collected edition (hell I might buy it someday just to reread it in one sitting). Unfortunately, none of the single issues were very standout, yet the idea was very cool. The idea is what if countries had an arms race trying to create a superhuman. The different nations basically create gods and they end up destroying most of the world. Like most Warren Ellis stories, it is definitely out there.
This one actually ended pretty well. The story was that this new Chameleon tries to take J. Jonah Jameson and steal his identity. Peter Parker tries to stop him and the new guy realizes Peter is Spider-Man and decides to take his identity. This guy and his sister have the same shape-changing powers. The story ends with the Human Torch and Iceman rescuing Peter. Unfortunately, the bad guys know their identities. Instead of doing something complex, they just take the two villains to SHIELD where they are locked up. I love that Bendis uses SHIELD to aid Spider-Man. It is kind of like whenever Spidey would be fighting someone in the regular Marvel Universe, you would ask yourself “why don’t the Avengers ever just show up and help him out?” I also loved that at the end, JJJ realizes that Parker is Spider-Man. I also like that JJJ thinks of Spider-Man as a hero in this universe (he realizes this during the whole Magneto world ending event, I think it was called Ultimatum or something).
Where Does This Leave Me?
I have a few trades to read, which I might write about next week. I have come to an interesting decision though. I want to get rid of all my single issues. I am going to try to find a way to sell them, I have heard of a few sites where people will buy your entire collection. I realize I will not get anything close to what I paid for them and I am pretty much okay with that. If I cannot find a buyer by next October, I will most likely use them for charity at work. Maybe set up a table and sell single issues for a quarter or five for a dollar. All the money would go to the Children’s Hospital. Anything left over, I will just donate to some library or maybe one of those charities for soldiers…