I LOVED this issue. Then again, I have been loving this book since Layman came onto it.
The Ivy/Clayface stuff is great. And then we have Ogilvy who is just damned awesome.
What I love and have always loved about Layman's writing is the layers of story he can fit into a book. It makes it that much exciting when it all comes together. There is clearly stuff going on with the Penguin and Bruce, Penguin and Ogilvy, Clayface and Ivy, and Batman vs all of these people.
This is probably my favorite Bat-book out right now. Don't get me wrong, I like Snyder's Batman a lot, but I just don't like the way he writes Bruce. To me, it doesn't feel like the same distant, cold, brilliant detective that I've come to know and love. Sure, Layman hasn't really captured Damian, but I would pick his Bruce of Snyder's Bruce any day of the week. That also doesn't go to say, I wouldn't also give Batman five stars. Bruce doesn't even need to be depicted well for that book -- the story is good as it is.
I liked the issue a lot, especially on the second read. The first time through, the action seemed to come thick and fast so I was wondering what the book was getting at. The second time through was a lot more enjoyable.
1. Batman uses plenty of science to unravel the mystery. It was a cool one with Poison Ivy planting the hallucinogenic plant in Clayface.
2. Batman showing up with a herbicide laced with Napalm, of course his own recipe, was also fun, as he washed down Clayface in his bat lawn care outfit. However, Holy Agent Orange and Napalm Layman, let’s go easy on the historical mistake references.
3. The Emperor Penguin is a sweet development. Layman has cleverly built the character over the prior issues.
4. I didn't mind the Joker cameo. It was probably mandated by DC and it moves the plot well. It is a clever device.
5. The second story was handled well. I thought Clayface's story is a good aside to the main one and contributes to it.
The only thing off about the comic to me was that Batman did not feel like the main character. We didn't get into his head much.
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I know we're only three issues in but this is a great arc. He dealt with the DC mandate that Joker be involved perfectly. Once again he had Batman do actual detective work. If you compare these last three issues to Snyder's last three these are a masterpiece. I can't tell you how happy I am that DC put some focus on 'Tec. And once again the backup was great, Basil is broken.
I'm glad people are enjoying this. Flipped through it and seemed fine, but just couldn't justify picking it up. Not my thing.
But it's nice that Detective - once undeniably bad from a craft perspective - is now well written, and serving a purpose in the overall line. Having universally GOOD books - even if they don't appeal to everyone - only helps the industry.
(Yes yes, I know that 'good' is a subjective term).
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This issue was cool. Not the greatest but no harm done.
I think Ogilvy might be Batman's next big villain in this title. I hope Penguin doesn't get killed off though
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I wasn't too impressed. I thought it was interesting how Ivy was seeding Clayface. I liked how Ogilvy thought about Ivy's ability to make oxygen for herself and how he completely gained Penguin's trust. He is definitely a very cerebral villain so I hope he ends up being an intellectual match for batman with plots that are several layers deep.
But the story just didn't grip me. I've seen Ivy and Clayface be far more interesting than they were in this arc.
I liked this issue, mostly the primary story and art. The secondary store between Clay and Ivy was okay but mostly the art in it threw me off. Poison Ivy goes from looking like a hot-as-heck, curvy, red-haired seductress in the primary story, a woman who wouldn't need poison to have men bend to her will to in the secondary story being drawn to look like a washed-pout meth-addict who just woke up in a Gotham sewer. It was like that time in Seinfeld when Jerry was dating a woman who looked different under different lighting conditions. Yes, yes, different artists on the different stories but, yikes, what a difference an artist can make!
Well, she did just come back from being buried alive. I think a girl can look less than super hot after that.
She looked okay when she first got out of the ground. Which I doubt is going to have a dramatic impact on your facial and body structure. ;)
I'm still waiting for a new Wonder Twins ongoing. Let's make it happen, DC.
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