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Batman (2016) #52 [Review]

batman_2016_0052Cold Days Part Two

Script: Tom King
Art: Lee Weeks
Color: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Lee Weeks, Elizabeth Breitweiser
Assoc. Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Batman Created by: Bob Kane with Bill Finger
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: Early October 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

While I own the entire run, I think I’ve basically only READ the first issue, the proposal issue, and #45-present for this series. I’m trying to be more diligent at "keeping up with" the series now, having finally jumped back in without forcing myself to backtrack and try to get through a 2-year queue just to "allow" myself to read current issues.

I was grabbed by the Booster Gold cover of #45 or so and opted to read that "out of order" due to Booster’s presence…and kept going. Then I "had to" read #50 before coming across spoilers, which I SOMEWHAT managed to do. Now it’s been about a month since #50, meaning two more issues as the series is biweekly. I’d "misplaced" #51, but with not wanting to fall IMMEDIATELY behind again, I managed to find it, and quite enjoyed it. I went immediately into this issue–same creative team as #51–and by the end of the issue, just sat with the feeling that I want the next chapter ASAP, in a way that I didn’t even have with #50.

I’m "assuming" this is a 3-issue mini-arc…something about it just "feels" like a 3-parter. Coming into this issue, we find the situation being recapped in the form of the jurors reviewing available evidence as presented to them. Bruce insists on going back over three key pieces of evidence for context. We get flashes of the actual fight between Batman and Freeze as the jurors discuss things–Mr. Freeze (barred as part of probation from donning his costume and having a freeze gun) having his costume and rebuilt a freeze gun; being prepared for Batman and what expectations he’d HAVE for a confrontation with Batman; his confession and why he stuck to it even when out of Batman’s presence. To Bruce Wayne’s fellow jurors, Batman is better than the police–he’s THE best, he’s the one who’s infallible, and if Batman delivered Freeze, then OBVIOUSLY Freeze is guilty. But Bruce has information and context that the other jurors do not and likely will not…but he must now find a way to prove his own belief in Freeze’s actual innocence of the particular crime he’s being tried for.

I’m so-so regarding the art. It’s not bad, and I’d swear I’ve got a positive mental thought behind Weeks’ name in terms of art…but it just seemed somehow "off" to me here (and in #51). Perhaps it’s because of seeing some Jim Aparo art recently, and some other stuff…so on actual reading of this issue, my mind wanted other art, and so compared this to that. I’m not sure the phrasing I’m looking for, but Mr. Freeze in particular seems frail and "wiry" to me here, in a sickly sort of way…not the stronger/more powerful character I tend to picture. There’s also something to the line work that just feels rather "messy" and does so in a way that keeps me from liking it as much in and of itself. It’s surely a design/visual choice and quite intentional and not bad art…but it wouldn’t be my first choice as of reading the issue. That said, it definitely gets the story across, the jumps between Bruce and the other jurors, and the earlier interaction between Batman and Fries. The characters look human, no weird oddities to anatomy or such and the various characters are distinct, and there’s a contrast to the Batman stuff.

Story-wise, that contrast works very well, showing us a brutal, violent-beyond-usual Batman dealing with Mr. Freeze even while we see Bruce trying to work things out "remotely" for firstly how he didn’t catch something as Batman as well having realized he–as Batman–was wrong for going after Freeze, and must now find a way to get the criminal off, as Bruce now believes that the man is innocent of the particular crime he was brought down over…and because he knows that, it’s not (in this case) justice, and means someone else committed the crime and thus is more important to be "brought to justice."

Despite any of my negative/so-so-ness about the art…as an entire package, I greatly enjoyed this issue. I want to read the next issue; and I suspect that it will be "top of the stack" due to my eagerness, in a way that #51 was not, initially, after #50. I love this use of Bruce Wayne–as Bruce Wayne, as a character, and not JUST as Batman. Seeing Bruce Wayne involved in something, interacting with others as Bruce Wayne, and even discussing Batman and seeing/reading ("hearing") certain things and getting meaning that someone who does NOT know Bruce and Batman are one and the same would not. It’s also interesting to consider the ethical things–such as Bruce serving on a jury involving a case with a man that he himself brought in, without anyone else knowing that fact. But then, a masked vigilante running around serving a greater good YET technically breaking a number of laws doing so adds other stuff to the mix. In context of Batman stories, though, I always find myself going back to Untold Legend of the Batman and a flashback of Bruce’s moment of realization that Justice and The Law are not automatically the same thing.

This is a Bruce Wayne back in a familiar place thanks to a new situation; I was reminded a bit of A Lonely Place of Dying, which is certainly another factor that sparked a positive feeling for me.

This isn’t for everyone, obviously…but it begins to move things forward with developments from #50, and yet almost feels like a new series. I’m very thankful this is NOT some new #2, as the numbering continuing on clearly shows that there can be a new focus and a series can feel fresh even without an arbitrary #1 slapped on the cover. The primary drawback to the issue is the price–I’d swear up to #49, this series was $2.99 and now carries the $3.99 price point. I’ve long been down on Marvel for biweekly $3.99 books, having often felt that I was very OK with DC doing the biweekly thing since the issues were 25% cheaper. As I’ve significantly trimmed back on what I’m buying, it’s not the huge thing it could be, but does have me a bit wary.

Still, having read the two issues back to back and being eager for the next chapter…having enjoyed this issue and the story in and of itself…and DC still having a bit of ok will (if not entirely "good will") from me, I’ll let the point go for now.

Regardless of Batman #50, one who "knows" Batman in general ought to have little trouble picking up with #51 and this issue for a good story. As part 2 of a multi issue story, I do not recommend this issue without #51…and if you don’t already have this issue, you’d probably enjoy the story better if you wait and got all 3 issues at once, if not waiting for a collected volume.

For a $3.99 issue, I liked this, I’m glad to have the issue, and I’m actively looking forward to the next issue.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of August 2, 2018

The first week of August…and a decent-sized week of new comics, including a piece I’ve been looking forward to for some time!

Of course, Chloe was quick to come by and check things out as I took these photos, so I’ll give her first spot in this post!

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I’m a sentimental fool when it comes to this cat…and I simply enjoy her company and love when she actually stays put like this for a good photo.

On with the week’s new comics!

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We’ve got the first issue of the 12-issue (planned) "maxi-series" Adventures of the Super-Sons, following their 16-issue ongoing series that ended not too long ago. The newest issue of Batman, essentially a "#2" in my eyes, for "the Next 50 Issues" of this run and considering #50 a finale of sorts. (However, I extremely highly totally completely hope that DC does NOT renumber the series anytime before a new 200+th issue!)

I’ve gotta catch up on the actual reading, but we’ve got part 5 (somehow I thought it was a 4-parter) of the Deathstroke Batman story. Then there’s the 10th issue of Mister Miracle, and the 254th GI Joe: A Real American Hero.

And for the heckuvit, of this week‘s round of "indy" #1s, I decided to check out Leviathan. As much as the out-there premise caught my attention from a text/blurb preview, it was honestly that title logo that got me. I love the big, blocky logos, and find skinny generic-typeface-minimalist logos completely uninteresting and a bit pretentious. So a big, bold title that actually looks substantive and significant…it’s a dumb aesthetic thing, but it sold me!

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Then the book I’ve been looking forward to for awhile–TwoMorrowsComic Book Implosion, an "oral history" of the DC Comics "Implosion" of the late 1970s. Having long heard the term and been vaguely aware of it in broad strokes, a nice historical piece in-depth on the subject, in print format for me to get to as time allows…this had my attention from the publisher’s first social media post I saw about it!

Hard to believe it’s been another month already–DC Nation #3–but here it is. I also quite like the way the animated Star Trek look fits so well with the ’80s animated Transformers look. I might actually check out the first issue if it’s out on a "slow week," and go from there!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 18, 2018

This was a small week comics-wise!

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New Batman, first issue of Archie Meets Batman ’66, a #0-issue for Rise of the TMNT, and the second issue of The Magic Order. I either haven’t read #1 yet despite buying it, or have totally forgotten it already, but went ahead and picked up #2 to be sure to have it. Whether I’d go on to a 3rd issue remains to be seen!


I ended up splurging on some new DuckTales stuff this week:

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I was VERRRRRRRY glad to find that Launchpad is available as a single-figure card, and NOT exclusive to the Suncatcher (plane) playset, and got him, as well as Flintheart Glomgold.

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Larger view of Launchpad…

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Larger view of Glomgold…

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I also went ahead and bought the Target-exclusive 10-inch Scrooge McDuck Pop vinyl (From Funko. Not being much of a statues guy, this one struck me as "statuesque" and though it’s not my favorite interpretation of Scrooge, I like it for what it is.

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The cats didn’t know what to make of Scrooge, though, and both came over to check him out before I could even get him outta the box!

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Sarah took off after determining that he wasn’t food, treat, nor comics to lay on. Chloe settled in to ask how she might obtain the same sort of financial success as Scrooge…

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 4, 2018

Last week was an odd week for comics, with a US holiday being on Wednesday itself…and with both Marvel AND DC putting out key books on the day, many comic shops opened for limited hours so as to accommodate making sure people could buy the Wedding issue of Batman as well as the premieres of the new Catwoman and Captain America series, among other things. I had a mix of stuff, making it to two shops, amidst a couple of other things going on.

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I was doing my darnedest to avoid SPOILERS for Batman, and while I technically succeeded…I saw ENOUGH to have a PRETTY STRONG GUESS as to what happened, though I still hoped I was wrong. I ended up buying the issue digitally so I could read it before 1am, and thus be "safe" with spoilers I knew were out there. Suffice it to say that I opted NOT to buy Catwoman. The new Man of Steel mini had its final issue–and I really feel like this SHOULD HAVE BEEN simply the first three issues of the new Superman and 1001-1003 of Action Comics with Bendis. I just don’t see the "specialness" to it that warranted this as a mini-series…we have a new villain, major developments…but nothing to the LEVEL OF the John Byrne stuff.

I’m quite enjoying the TMNT: Urban Legends, reprinting the Image run of the TMNT book in color. While I know Peter Laird retained some publishing rights to his own series when he sold the property…given we’ve seen some IDW reprints of the Tales of the TMNT run from the 2001+ era, I hope we might also eventually get colorized reprints of his TMNT vol. 4…perhaps even some sort of finishing of the story that trailed off around 2007.

I need to catch up on my reading of Spawn, though being "on" the title since #256 or so, I’m probably still on at least to #300. Of course, a jump from $2.99 to $3.99 might have me reconsidering that. And as much as I like Priest, I have yet to actually read any of the Deathstroke vs. Batman issues, and as I’m easing out of DC, as this arc wraps, I’ll probably be off the title.

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Bane: Conquest finally gets to its 12th issue. I can’t even honestly remember at this point if I read the first issue last year with stuff going on in my personal life–but the intent was always there, so I stuck with the title. Now by the time I get around to gathering all 12 issues together AND actually reading, I should have waited for the collected volume.

The sheer audacity of this The Pouch character got me for Bloodstrike: Brutalists. I have had zero luck finding concrete info as to whether this Brutalists numbering is continuing from the 1990s’ numbering or a more recent numbering. If the latter, I may jump in; otherwise, might go for a collected edition.

TMNT Universe is another I have to catch up on reading…though being TMNT, it’s an exception to most of my usual problems with comics and gets that "pass" on its over-pricing.

Then we have the newest DC Nation issue; a 10-cent Project Superpowers issue, and another Back Issue issue caught my eye.


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With plans to catch Ant-Man and the Wasp, and known traffic issues with my route, I built a lot of extra time into things on Friday and made it to a Booksamillion I hadn’t been to in awhile, and managed to get this Tyrannosaurus Rex Pop that I passed on some time back and regretted doing so. I thought about getting the Velociraptor but ultimately passed on it due to other books (see further below) and a few other factors for present.

I continue to notice that I love these figures for non-human-face characters. They’re excellent for the style…but the human characters/faces just look too generic for my taste.

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I stopped in at The Exchange, a location of which I hadn’t been to in awhile…and had a 3-way excellent find!

Some years back, a friend had found a copy of this The Further Adventures of the Joker book for me…though in regrettably poor condition. Still, it was the only copy of the thing I’d ever seen or come across. But here, I found one in much better condition, and for 25% cheaper than a standard Marvel comic!

I’d been vaguely aware THAT there was a hardcover edition of The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told, but finding it for $10–half the price of the PAPERback edition–and in relatively decent shape, and it being Superman…I snagged it, as I know full well I’d have totally regretted it if I didn’t and missed out. This is now shelved next to my original paperback copy (that I received as a Christmas gift in 1989…my first-ever TPB/graphic novel/collected edition).

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The Exchange also had this Samurai Usagi figure. I don’t’ recall if I’d actually ever seen this "in the wild" or not–I’d seen a couple of the regular version, and bought one of those at the time–but seeing this for only $10 (basically a $2ish premium over Target or Walmart before they prematurely clearanced the line out completely) I jumped on it.

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Along with the Jurassic Park Pop, the Booksamillion also actually had The Son of Neptune with the other bargain-priced volumes. I’d been eyeing these for quite awhile, but saw no point in buying the hardbacks for vols 3+ without owning vol. 2…and having bought vol. 1 in hardback when it first came out (whenever that was now) I wanted the hardbacks instead of the paperbacks. So finding vols 2-5, I sucked it up and spent the money to get these. The next challenge will be actually getting around to–you guessed it–reading them.

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And speaking of "challenge" and "reading" as a singular thing… Sarah-cat here has really gotten consistent with inserting herself into things whenever I’m trying to read OR take photos for this blog… but she’s so darned cute, and I’d always loved spotlighting Ziggy as well as Chloe along with comics and such, I can’t be annoyed with her. Especially when I can get her to actually look at the camera like this!

But as I posted on Twitter when I sent this photo out…it’s safe to assume that any photos in this blog have passed her inspection, as I can’t seem to take any without her being on-hand to supervise. Chloe is often nearby as well, though she seems to have delegated to Sarah, which means between both of them, this blog is 100% kitty-approved!

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The Weekly Haul – Week of June 20, 2018

This was a mixed week, and included a rather unexpected purchase on my part!

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For one thing, I seem to have missed Executive Assistant Iris from Aspen twice. And where I’d meant to get the new issue of that, I actually bought the new Fathom #1 instead, because of getting the 25-cent Primer.

Then there’s X-Men Gold #30. I haven’t touched the series since #1, and had zero intent to–even with the wedding in question. But I’d discovered a major spoiler on Bleeding Cool that made me decide I very definitely wanted to get this issue. This doubles in the unexpected category for the cover: this is an extremely RARE example of my opting to buy a variant over a standard cover. Given the spoiler, it’s this bagged variant that has the image that I wanted. I may well talk about the issue later, but not passing the spoiler along for now.

Then there’s the new Man of Steel and Batman issues for the week…getting us ever closer to the end of Man of Steel and the return of ongoing Action Comics and Superman titles, and leaving us with the very next issue of Batman being the 50th…and "the wedding issue."

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I also opted to partake in a sale, with three $34.99-cover-priced books for $6 apiece. I don’t do much Marvel these days, but for this sort of pricing, and the material in question…very much worth it, ESPECIALLY considering each was a mere $1 more than a standard Marvel #1 issue.

Nothing huge beyond that…definitely a simple-ish week!

Next week looks to be a bit bigger…hopefully not in a major sticker-shock sort of way!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of June 6, 2018

Once again, a decently-small week for new comics!

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The newest Man of Steel, the new Batman, and because of having already gotten a couple chapters, the newest Deathstroke for the vs. Batman arc. And for the sake of momentary completion since I got the first issue, Demi-God #2. Not sure if this is a mini-series, but not knowing when I’ll get to actually reading #1, didn’t want to then have to hunt for #2…particularly with the likelihood of then being "stuck" with a wrong cover.

And the "first" issue of DC Nation…which somehow I didn’t realize was going to be magazine-sized, nor what it is. Because of the #0 issue last month, I figured it was at least going to be comic-sized. At least this one’s "free," and I truly don’t have nearly as much room to grouse about that.

Of course, I’m sure it’s not free to comic shops–they still have to pay for stuff like this.

I also bought a print based on one of the covers to 1991’s X-Men #1–the Magneto piece. I’ve already got it in a frame, so getting a proper photo’s not happening right now–either too much shadow or too much glare or too much reflection.


Along with the comic-shop run, also stopped by a Walmart for groceries. And per usual, took a walk down the toy aisle, figuring I’d start my hunt/quest for finding the Deadpool Wave Cable figure from Marvel Legends. Fellow blogger FigureFanZero reviewed the figure the other day on his blog, and really sold me on it, showing what an awesome piece it is.

The figure’s been selling for stupid prices online, and with distribution and all, I figured I’d have to visit numerous Walmart stores–maybe several of them repeatedly–along with Targets to find the thing. I had seen it somewhere in-person before and passed on it, which made it all the more likely that it was going to be a real hassle to find again.

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But there it was, so of course I bought it. The price–and buying it at all–was made a bit more palatable by the fact of not having spent a huge amount on comics. I also saw the classic Deadpool from this wave. But since that’s apparently selling for a reasonable price online, I’m in less hurry for that. (Famous last words?)

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And then on the way out of Walmart, spotted this plush Deadpool looking loose and on top in one of those "claw machines." My first try, the claw simply didn’t firm up (stupid machine!) The second time, whatever the machine was programed for, the mechanism of the hook had caught on the loop at the top of the character’s head…such that even when the claw opened again over the delivery chute, the thing was still hanging there.

So I paid a third time and the claw immediately dropped it through the chute. All told, Plush Deadpool was cheaper than a comic book. And quite the cool "prize." I’m sure this would probably be a good $7-10 off the shelf. Much cheaper from the "claw machine."

For this photo…one could say he’s been defeated by the black panther…Sarah the Kitty.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of May 16, 2018

Another week has flown by in quite a hurry!

Here’s the stuff from the week of May 16!

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The Superman Special to cap off Rebirth and pave the way for Bendis‘ takeover. Batman has the conclusion to the Booster Gold 3-parter. And after what feels like a bunch of months, New Challengers finally premiered. But I’ve since learned that it’s apparently “only” a 6-issue mini-series, which is really annoying to me as I’ve been SPECIFICALLY trying to AVOID new mini-series, as backed up as I am on reading and minis being concluded before I even get to reading the singles.

I’m even months behind on reading on both TMNT and TMNT Universe.

I continue to like the $1 reprints from various publishers. Marvel has actually reprinted two very “iconic” (to me) issues in the current round of Wolverine issues, under their True Believers #1 banner. (Reprinting X-Men (1991) #25 and Wolverine (first ongoing series) #90.

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Hitting bargain bins, I thought I was grabbing all four issues of the Secret City Saga but in opting to NOT buy duplicates, I apparently grabbed TeenAgents #3 instead. The Legend of the Shield issue grabbed my attention by the cover, and since all four issues were present I grabbed the Legends of the Legion.

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I pretty much do not pass up Superman #75 in the bargain bins. In this case, a copy of the 2nd printing of the “Newsstand Edition.” I distinctly remember this Kamandi: At Earth’s End issue from 1993ish because of the Superman cover.

I don’t recall being consciously aware of the Dino Island comics offhand…but it’s by Mirage and Jim Lawson, so had my attention for the TMNT connection!

And then because there were 6 issues in a row…snagged the first volume of Rune, #s 1-6 for less than half the cost of a standard new comic.

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Finally, rounding things out, grabbed a Lady Pendragon #1…no idea at this point which iteration of the series this was–I remember there being several brief minis–but a bit of nostalgia there. And since it was in the quarter-bin, grabbed Savage Dragon 232 since I think I left off around #230 or #231 with buying regularly, as I’d fallen behind on my reading.

And apparently an extra copy of Rune #1 made it into the stack. But hey…an extra copy of Rune #1’s better than doubling up (or more) on new issues with variant covers!

Here’s hoping the new comics for May 23 are a small bunch and nothing too plentiful.

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