Three Quick Reviews: Nightwing and Flamebird, Superman: The Black Ring vol. One, and Batman: The Gates of Gotham

So, I’ve got three graphic novels to review today. Let’s begin with Superman then Batman.

Nightwing and Flamebird by Greg Rucka et al

I checked this comic out largely because I am a fan of Greg Rucka’s work on Checkmate. And I am pleasantly surprised to say that I enjoyed this story.

This story is part of the New Krypton arc that dominated various Superman comics for several years before the New 52. While Superman is off keeping Zod in check on New Krypton, his allies are protecting Earth.

This particular story covers the adventures of Nightwing (Chris Kent) and Flamebird (Thara Ak-Var) as they pursue Kryptonian sleeper agents employed by Zod and try to avoid the agents of the anti-Kryptonian Project 7734.

The story is good, especially the conflict between the heroes and Ursa. And the development of Chris and Thara’s characters through the arc is quite interesting.

I have a few issues with the story though, Ursa should have been more of a main antagonist rather than leaving half way through (to be replaced by Project 7734). And Flamebird is a little too similar to the Phoenix for my taste.

The art is very good, but I’m not a fan of the cover art. I don’t think the style really works, and it looks a bit deformed.

Superman: The Black Ring vol. One by Paul Cornell et al.

Of the three graphic novels on hand, this is my favorite. This is Lex Luthor being awesome. The quest elements mixed in with an ironic humor makes every chapter a joy to read.

The art is great and well done. And the various villain appearances are appreciated, especially Grodd and his spoon.

My only complaint- that the story ends.

Batman: The Gates of Gotham by Scott Snyder et al

I’m a fan of Snyder’s American Vampire and have wanted to check out his work on Batman. This miniseries is interesting and well done. But I do have some issues with it.

My big complaint is the backup feature at the end of the main storyline. Why exactly is the Nightrunner origin story here? It has nothing to do with the main story (unless it is to explain what Bruce is up to during the crisis).

My favorite part is the interaction between the members of the Bat family. I’ve grown to be fond of Damian Wayne, and the dynamic between him and the other members of the Bat Family is hilarious. Especially his caustic relationship to Tim Drake.

The art work is very good, and I like the steampunk take on Gotham City and the Architect.

Well, this is it for these reviews. I may have some more in the weeks to come. But, you should definitely check these out.

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Posted on March 21, 2012, in Books and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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