It’s a special week for Weekly Weeklies. Why is that? Because we are adding another series to the fold: Genius. That means we have Batman Eternal #19, Futures End #15 and Genius #2 ready for AiPT analysis. Let’s check them all out and see what we’ve got:
Warning: Spoilers Below.
Batman Eternal #19
Lead Writer: Tim Seeley
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, and James Tynion IV
Artist: Emanuel Simeoni
Batgirl is stuck under the hypnotic control of the factory’s owner and is attacking Red Hood and Batwoman. Jason has Batwoman go find the man behind this ploy while he keeps Batgirl occupied. Meanwhile, Killer Croc leads Batman and Jason Bard deeper underground to find the people responsible for the kidnapping that took place last issue. Croc has an idea already: reanimated corpses he’s fought before which come from far beneath Arkham Asylum.
A full scale riot has broken out at Blackgate Penitentiary and everyone is in the crossfire; however Prison Warden Zorbatos, inmate Marcus Row (father of Harper Row), and another guard manage to get to safety in the section that houses Jim Gordon. When he hears that a group of guards are being held hostage, Gordon volunteers to go rescue them.
Back in Japan, Sergei suggests to Red Robin that Harper Row should be trained. Harper clearly has talent and is a tech-savy individual and Red Robin somewhat of agrees she should be trained as well.
While Red Hood and Batgirl fight it out, Batwoman confronts the person who hypnotized Batgirl, a man called Dr. Falsario. He tries to hypnotize her as well, but Batwoman gets the drop on him and incapacitates him with Fear Toxin. In the midst of it all while high on the toxin, he remarks that he indeed hypnotized Gordon into shooting. He is also confusing Batwoman with his boss during this, referring to her as a red haired devil (anyone familiar with other Batman villains with red hair?).
Red Hood manages to snap out Batgirl out of her hypnotic daze and bring her back to reality. Just in time too; Batwoman’s been overwhelmed by some of Dr. Falsario’s other hypno-slaves, allowing him a chance to make a run for it. Batgirl gets the word and takes off after him.
Finally reaching their destination below Arkham — Batman, Croc, and Bard discover where the missing girl, Jade, was brought: a small, makeshift shrine where the Ten-Eyed Man and a bunch of zombies plan on sacrificing her on account of her “pure soul.” The heroes and anti-villain aren’t having any of that and jump down to fight them.
Ultimately another very fun and exciting issue of the comic. While the comic didn’t have any big surprises or even that much of cliffhanger this time around, it still offered up a high level of enjoyment as usual. Great characters, enjoyable moments throughout, solid characterization and dialogue (Red Hood had the best scenes), decent action, and a good amount of story progression.
What hurt this issue the most however was the artwork, which looked pretty subpar at many points (there were some good bits though). Oh well, there’s always next time.
Futures End #15
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: Scot Eaton
Masked Superman has caught up with Rampage on a bridge and fights her, hoping to get some information regarding the whereabouts of Ethan Boyer. Rampage nearly causes a school bus to go over the edge the bridge; Masked Supes saves the bus but Rampage escapes (she’s pretty fast for a massive, hulky yellow monster).
After the battle Lois Lane meets up with Masked Superman to see what his deal is, considering he has been acting so differently. He tells her it’s nothing and that he is just fine, before leaving to resume his search.
Back on that distant planet Frankenstein, Hawkman and Princess Amethyst are being held captive. While Amethyst and Hawkman bicker about random things (and possibly flirt from a certain point of view, which would be a bit creepy), Frankenstein awakens from a long dream he has been having: a dark future with the robot/cyborg/Brother Eye monsters which he believes the three of them could bring about.
On Cadmus Island, Grifter and Deathstroke are bickering about what has been going on. When Mr. Faraday shows up, Grifter informs him about the stealth OMACs and he has the two follow him.
In the Earth 2 Cells on Cadmus Island, Hawkgirl and Rita (who I don’t recognize) are talking to each other when Scott Lang/Mr. Miracle appears before them. He informs them about his special tech that allows him to remain invisible and undetected by anyone.
At the Horn of Africa, John Constantine and the gang arrive at a small port where the cargo ship that was attacked a few issues prior has docked. The lone survivor from the attack tells them about the monster that blitzed them (that Red Tornado/possibly Brainiac looking android). Constantine reasons that the robot is after a certain alien and if they don’t stop it, the planet may be in danger.
Remember when I said that I thought the comic might be getting somewhere last time and that I hoped the story would be more aptly progressing its storylines now? Yeah, didn’t happen with this issue.
Outside of maybe one minor point and connecting two storylines together — this issue went in circles and the story barely made any headway. That’s really irritating, especially since there isn’t much here to talk about otherwise; no character progression, forgettable dialogue, below average artwork, etc. What a disappointment after last issue.
I thought you were normally like that.
Writers: Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman
Artist: Afua Richardson
All hell is breaking lose in South Central, with war breaking out between the police and L.A. gangs (the latter being led by Destiny). The war is dubbed the South Central Siege and local news station boss/owner (not clear which) Izzy wants her station covering the action despite all of the danger.
As Destiny is trying to win over the country’s support with emotionally manipulative sob stories about the area’s residents, Detective Grey is trying to find a way out of the battlefield and who the ringleader is in all of this mess.
The police and SWAT are losing a lot of ground fast, including the moral high ground. This includes a very biased media looking to make the general public sympathize with the gangs and demonize all of the cops in the situation.
Detective Grey makes a run for it back to safety and Destiny and her gang notice him on their cameras. Destiny wants them to let him go because he has no weapon and he’s freaking out.
With the power cut in the neighborhood, Destiny moves her “soldiers” and weapons into position to fight the advancing SWAT members. Izzy arrives on the scene herself with a camera to get live footage of the chaos up close.
Grey is taken to a safe zone as the SWAT teams and gangs face off against each other. Destiny calls for her troops to fall back as the SWAT continues advancing. Grey realizes what is happening and tells the SWAT Commander to stop the advancement, but it’s too late. Destiny springs her trap and blows them all up, including a lot of the gang members. The scene is all caught on tape by Izzy; the Commander calls in for the National Guard and the gang members confront Destiny about her sacrificing and using them as pawns.
The more I read Genius, the more I realize how screwed up the morality and viewpoint of the comic is. It definitely seems like it wants us to really sympathize with Destiny and her crew at points, because they have been pushed around and hurt by the police a lot in the past. However, it doesn’t really work since Destiny herself is pretty awful at trying to take a higher moral ground considering all of the crap she has pulled and when you take into consideration what these gangs are normally like, it’s really really hard to side with them as well. The police themselves aren’t exactly spotless either, but the whole comic makes it really hard to give a crap about either side.
The writing itself is pretty mixed. The story structure and timeline are better than they were in the first issue, but the story itself is still pretty slow progression wise.
The dialogue is decent, but there aren’t too many memorable lines despite this. The pacing is fine and the ending is at least interesting. The artwork for the comic is fine as well, though it has some hiccups here and there with the shadows and coloring.
Wait, is that girl shooting a rocket at that range with only one rocket?! Yeah, she’s totally dead.