Reviews of trade paperbacks of comic books (mostly Marvel), along with a few other semi-relevant comments / reviews.

24 June 2016

Silk, v. 1: Sinister

Collects: Silk #1-6, story from Amazing Spider-Man v. 4 #1 (2015-6)

Released: April 2016 (Marvel)

Format: 144 pages / color / $19.99 / ISBN: 9780785199571

What is this?: Silk goes undercover for SHIELD inside Black Cat’s organization as the Black Cat accumulates technology and battles against Goblin Nation while she also works for the Fact Channel and looks for her parents.

The culprits: Writer Robbie Thompson and artists Stacey Lee, Tana Ford, and Veronica Fish

I’ve been trying to write this review for a few weeks now, and I just haven’t been able to put my thoughts down. But now that I’ve published my review for Spider-Gwen, v. 1: Greater Power, I feel I have to review the latest title from the other female-led new-character series that came out of Spider-verse: Silk, v. 1: Sinister.

The review hasn’t been hard for me to write because I don’t know what I thought of the book. I enjoyed Sinster, just as I enjoyed the first volume of Silk (confusingly numbered v. 0). Silk is a solid series; it’s a series I’ll continue to read, although I’m not sure I’ll be excited about it.

Silk, v. 1: Sinister coverSilk … I don’t know. Silk has lost its new car smell, but it’s reliable and can still surprise me at times . I expect to have Silk for a long time, and I expect to remain satisfied by it. But it’s a little disconcerting how quickly how quickly it’s gone from invigorating to a solid performer.

Sinister picks up eight months after v. 0. I was concerned Silk would abandon some of the changes made at the end of The Life and Times of Cindy Moon because of Secret Wars, but I needn’t have worried. Cindy Moon has been promoted at the Fact Channel, where she works for the gruff-but-caring J. Jonah Jameson. Cindy is still looking for her parents, but she has found her brother, who’s seeking treatment after his memory loss. Cindy’s heroic identity, Silk, appears to be working for crime boss Black Cat, but that is revealed (in the first issue, so no real spoilers) to be an undercover gig for SHIELD. Since Cindy’s brother was previously affiliated with Goblin Nation, Silk has a vendetta against the green-faced tribe of kids and young punks.

Writer Robbie Thompson has established a status quo that is nearly ideal — a classic Spider-Man status quo without being obvious about it. The balance between Cindy’s personal life and work life and between Silk’s heroism and her selfish desires are fascinating. Cindy is obviously trying to fit too much into her life, but that’s what heroes do, right? And Thompson does as good job of showing that Cindy’s suffering from her attempts to run in four different ways at once; her behavior, her friends’ reactions, and her sessions with her psychiatrist all show someone who is beginning to fray.

The supporting cast is excellent, with Cindy’s work friends serving as a nice counterweight to Silk’s allies and rivals. Jameson’s faith in Silk is as touching as it is surprising. Peter Parker returns to offer his ten cents of advice; a wise choice, as Peter’s appearance serves to link the book’s continuity to the pre-Secret Wars stories and shows why Peter probably won’t be showing up very often going forward. Thompson even uses Killer Shrike, who works for Black Cat. Killer Shrike! Silk also has a mystery ally, Spectro (named only in the sketches at the back of the book), who seems primed to be the Angel to Cindy’s Buffy.

I’m not sure about Spectro; he’s mysterious without having a character. I’m really not sure about using Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), though. Jessica presents herself as a mentor figure to Silk — they have regular brunches — but Cindy already has more effective adults she can work out her issues with: Mockingbird, who is her SHIELD partner / handler, and her psychiatrist. My resistance to Jessica’s presence may be because the two characters met in the Spider-Verse crossover, and I’m opposed to anything that reminds me of that crossover. It may also be because Jessica serves as mentor to Spider-Gwen, and I think Silk and Spider-Gwen should be differentiated as much as possible. Mostly, though, it’s the redundancy that bothers me.

I like Silk being a superhero who visits a psychiatrist, and every panel with Jessica is one that can’t be used on one of Cindy’s sessions with Dr. Sinclair. In an era in which thought bubbles and narrative text boxes have gone out of style, it’s nice that Thompson has given Cindy someone to whom she can admit her darker thoughts, her true thoughts, without fear of repercussions. (Well, there could be repercussions, but Cindy doesn’t think there will be.) That doesn’t mean she blurts out what she thinks to Dr. Sinclair; she’s still concerned about what her feelings say about her true character, as anyone would be.

I’m not convinced by Black Cat’s full transformation to ultra crime boss. Thompson has set her up as a major crime lord, one who has the resources to create an antidote to the Goblin serum. Even given that Cat has been back to being a criminal for maybe a year, Marvel time, that’s not really believable. The Goblin serum is a hard nut to crack; Spider-Man had a great deal of difficulty doing that. But Black Cat’s scientists — seen only on one page — manage to not only come up with a cure with no side effects but to aerosolize it. I’m not sure how Black Cat, a character who was a lone operator for so long, gets to build an organization like that. I can see her intimidating a small crew, but a large operation … ? Well, I suppose this is a small quibble, and my skepticism might be unfounded. After all, a year seems like a short time to build what Black Cat has, but it’s a long time in the Marvel Universe.

I love Stacey Lee’s art, and I’m sad she doesn’t do more than the first issue (plus the story from ASM). Lee’s art is fluid and clear; she has no trouble making Cindy stereotypically cute while making the Goblin Nation thugs creepy. She even (almost) makes Mockingbird’s mask look normal, which is something that Giuseppe Camuncoli completely failed to do in Spider-Man: Worldwide, v. 1. What causes a goblin glider to fail during Silk’s battle with Goblin Nation could be clearer, though.

Tana Ford’s art doesn’t match the tone Lee established in #1 and in Life and Times. Everyone Ford draws looks disheveled; everything feels unpolished and rough. Her wobbly faces look like their features are all going to start rolling away in opposite directions. (Also, Ford’s Mockingbird at the beginning of #6 looks incredibly like Songbird from Thunderbolts, which caused me to do a double-take.) Ford’s style could work for a different title, but Lee has established Silk’s look as the complete opposite. If I knew Ford was taking the title over full-time, I could get used to that — I’d have to, I suppose — but Ford draws only three issues (#2-3 and #6). Issues #4 and 5 are drawn by Veronica Fish, whose style fits wonderfully with Lee’s.

Silk is a title with a lot to like, although I admit I have to sit down and make myself write my thoughts out for me to really see it all. I have a feeling my enthusiasm for each future volumes will have a lot to do with who the artist is and how much the stories involve other Spider-women.

Rating: Spider-Man symbol Spider-Man symbol Spider-Man symbol Half Spider-Man symbol (3.5 of 5)

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18 June 2016

Spider-Gwen, v. 1: Greater Responsibility

Collects: Spider-Gwen v. 2 #1-6 (2015-6)

Released: May 2016 (Marvel)

Format: 136 pages / color / $17.99 / ISBN: 9780785199595

What is this?: Gwen fights Lizards and learns what has happened to Peter’s Lizard serum; ol’ pal Harry Osborn returns, seeking revenge for Peter’s death.

The culprits: Writer Jason Latour and artists Robbi Rodriguez and Chris Visions

I didn’t like the first Spider-Gwen book, Spider-Gwen, v. 0: Most Wanted?, but I wanted to give the next book a chance to see if the series improved. Unfortunately, Spider-Gwen, v. 1: Greater Power isn’t an improvement.

Given how well received the series is, though, I had to figure out: what is it that made me dislike the series so much?

Spider-Gwen, v. 1: Greater Power coverThe easy answer is still the color palette. I find Spider-Gwen a series that’s physically hard to look at: the pinks, purples, and greens that dominate the book are unpleasant on the eyes. I’m not sure what colorist Rico Renzi is going for in the book. Is he using the colors usually associated with villains to show us this is a world gone wrong? Is he trying to undermine Gwen’s heroism with villain colors? Or is this a battered world, and the shades of bruised flesh are the only hues that can properly portray it?

The story itself doesn’t give an indication of which of those is correct. Instead, writer Jason Latour gives us a world and a hero who are enigmas.

And that’s my main problem. The hook for Spider-Gwen is a classic What If? hook: What if the radioactive spider had bitten Gwen Stacy instead of Peter Parker? What would be different then? Apparently, the answer is, “The world would have a Spider-Woman instead of a Spider-Man.” Not much else changes, and I understand how for some people this is enough. The reasons may vary from un-refrigerating Gwen Stacy to increasing the presence of women heroes in comics to merely wanting a beginning-of-career Spider-Man-type book or something else I haven’t thought of and could never think of, because liking is a much more complicated and yet simple (private) emotion that we generally believe.

And that’s fine. It’s more than fine, in fact. I hope Spider-Gwen lasts as long as its fans want it to. But what I’ve seen in two trade paperbacks (covering about twelve issues) is not enough to retain my interest.

Everything feels like a mere reshuffling of continuity; the elements of Spider-Man are just redealt, with Peter and Gwen switching spots. Spider-Woman is a vigilante hero whose secret identity jeopardizes her only guardian, whom she leans on for moral guidance and emotional support. She runs into the same villains Spider-Man did: the Vulture, Kingpin, and Frank Castle in the previous book, the Lizard and Green Goblin in this one. Harry Osborn’s grief leads him to become the Green Goblin. Jean DeWolff and George Stacy are still cops. (Ben Grimm is one as well, which … sure, OK, that’s a little different.) Even the trade’s title is there to remind readers of Spider-Man.

Sure, Gwen has her drumming, although she doesn’t do that in this book; that sets her apart from Peter, who was too busy for hobbies. But that raises questions about what she’s doing with her time. She’s not in school, and her job lasts a negative amount of time.

What has changed in Spider-Woman’s world? Not much. Tony Stark never gave up his warmongering, and he has a coffee franchise called Starkbucks, which is not a good name at all. (It just emphasizes the company is a rich man getting richer, whereas the coffee company was at least named for the chief mate who tried to avert the Pequod’s disastrous end in Moby Dick.) Frank Castle is a cop instead of the Punisher. Captain America is a black woman, but she still gained her powers during World War II, missed most of the intervening time, and reports to a one-eyed spymaster she served with during World War II. The Kingpin is Matt Murdock instead of Wilson Fisk, although that might be because Fisk is in prison. (In #5, Latour and artist Chris Vision even refer to the recent Mark Waid / Chris Samnee run by giving Murdock a “I’m not the Kingpin” shirt, which recalls Murdock’s “I’m not Daredevil” shirt in Waid / Samnee’s run. I’m not against references to other stories; hell, I love them, and celebrate them. But the story making the allusions has to differentiate itself from those stories somehow.)

The only new character is Bodega Bandit, a hold-up man who looks like the Hamburglar. Well, I suppose Gwen traversing universes to talk to her mentor, the main Marvel Universe’s Spider-Woman, is different as well, but I try to block out anything that refers to Spider-Verse, a crossover I hated. Also, “dimensional travel” doesn’t really fit in with the rest of Spider-Gwen, which is a book about a street-level crimefighter who plays in a band and hangs out with friends when she’s not web-slinging.

The new Captain America has the most worrying implications. I admit: a black, female Captain America is a nice twist, and it can work. But we never see the world around this character change. Would America have accepted a black, female supersoldier during World War II? I have my doubts. I also doubt an African-American woman would have been allowed to be a candidate for the role of Captain America, given that neither women nor African-Americans were allowed to serve with white men. I have even more doubts that a newsreel narrator would use the phrase “ready to fight for freedom at home, abroad” while describing her; the line is too close to the Double V campaign (“Double Victory — at Home, Abroad”) used by African-Americans during World War II. (The campaign wasn’t exactly popular among white folks, as you might imagine.) So this world must be different than ours — different, and at least in one facet, better. But we never see any evidence that it’s different in the book; most of the characters are still white. This is the same ol’ world.

The best parts of book are the mere glimpses of Gwen, Peter, and Harry before Peter dies. The dynamic is something we haven’t seen before, and Peter’s bitterness, his desire to be more than he is, is heartbreaking. Harry’s acceptance of who he is is encouraging, even if it’s undermined by his future actions. But those interactions take up less than four of the book’s 136 pages.

What is the timeline for this book, anyway? The Spider-Woman task force is geared up to search for Spider-Woman because of Peter’s death, which seems to be a recent event. But Harry Osborn, who was there the night of Peter’s death, has been gone for two years. I’m beginning to think George Stacy was replaced as head of the task force because he’s not very good at his job. And whether it’s been weeks or years, Gwen has been completely unable to protect her secret identity, which means someone should be ending up dead or arrested soon.

I haven’t talked about the plot of Greater Power, which mostly involves further use of the serum that turned Peter into the Lizard, or the art, which is by Robbi Rodriguez (#1-4 and 6) and Chris Visions (#5). I didn't like either of them, but that’s hardly the point. The point is that after two trades, it’s clear Spider-Gwen has the legs of the average What If? story: entertaining (at least for a while) if you buy into the continuity tweak, but quickly becoming dull if you don’t have an attachment to that change. Like Mutant X, for those of you who remember it, but with more coherence.

Rating: Spider-Man symbol Half Spider-Man symbol (1.5 of 5)

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10 June 2016

Midnighter, v. 1: Out

Collects: Midnighter #1-7 and Convergence: Nightwing / Oracle #2 (2015-6)

Released: February 2016 (DC)

Format: 160 pages / color / $14.99 / ISBN: 9781401259785

What is this?: Midnighter, the gay Batman, has split up from his lover and is trying to find himself. Unfortunately, someone has stolen a bunch of superweapons, and Midnighter has to find them and the culprit.

The culprits: Writer Steve Orlando and artists Aco, Stephen Mooney, and Alec Morgan

I really wanted to be able to recommend Midnighter, v. 1: Out, but I just can’t do it.

Before I read Out, all I knew about Midnighter is that he was, essentially, a gay Batman, originally from the Wildstorm Universe, whose lover was Apollo, a gay Superman. In Out, I quickly learned that second part is out-of-date, as Midnighter dates a string of men. In the second story, I found out Midnighter has a computer in his brain that allows him to see all possible outcomes of a fight, which allows him to choose the path that will lead to victory.

Midnighter, v. 1: Out coverBy the end, other than the reason Midnighter and Apollo broke up, that’s still all I know about Midnighter.

Out’s plot kicks off (in the book’s second story) with the theft of a super-arsenal from the Gardener, who also created Midnighter. Between dates, Midnighter follows the trail of the weapons, trying to find the thief. Writer Steve Orlando and penciler Aco (#1, #3, #6-7, and the story from Convergence) are trying to tell a complex, nuanced story, but their attempts come across as needlessly complex rather than interesting.

The text is littered with plenty of Warren Ellis sci-fi items, which I’m guessing is a relic of Ellis’s role in co-creating the Authority and Midnighter. Some of these terms and descriptions don’t have any logic behind them; for instance, a terrorist group from Modora (which I’m assuming is a country and not an insurance conglomerate or medical NGO) has blasters that kill people with their own anger. The rest could mean anything; the Gardener threatens her attacker with “doubt darts” and “manticore drones,” and items taken from her include the “six killing sounds,” which are rendered in Chinese, and “Holt-Griffin skin,” which is “invisible to technology.” Such vague, sci-fi items are meant to intrigue, but they annoy me instead. If a writer is going to use them, though, he needs to double down and make the text thick with them. Instead, they pop up as the next item to check off on Midnighter’s quest, and that’s not enough to justify their use.

Aco’s style makes it easy to figure out which stories are his and which are fill-ins: all of Aco’s issues have fiddly little blow-up boxes littering the page. The boxes don’t help the reader understand what’s going on, and their tiny size doesn’t actually magnify anything, but they are all over the place, so readers will have to get used to them. Aco’s art is tight and almost admirably miniaturized, but his ability to get a lot of art on a page doesn’t increase the amount of information that is conveyed, as Midnighter’s super-brain allows him to do things the art has trouble showing.

Admittedly, Aco isn’t aided by Orlando’s occasional forays into non-linear storytelling — the transition from #2 to #3, which goes from “now” to “hours earlier” to “later” to “back to now” ten pages later, is needlessly confusing and would be regardless of who was drawing #3. The switch from Alec Morgan (#2) to Aco doesn’t help things, either.

(Also: Would it kill DC to label each issue? I mean, even leaving a small number in one corner of the cover art would help me immensely; it also would have let me understand why what looked like Midnighter #1 was so short. It turns out the story was actually Convergence: Nightwing / Oracle #2, which is listed as part of the contents in the indicia’s tiny print but not on the cover.)

Confusing storytelling and high-sounding but disappointing Macguffins can be forgiven if the character at the center of the story is interesting. Unfortunately, we barely know him. What is it that drives Midnighter? He tells Apollo he’s leaving their relationship to find out who he is, but the reader never discovers what that is, other than a Batman copy with a computer in his brain. What other abilities does he have? He can teleport. Maybe he has superstrength? Maybe not. Maybe he’s just Batman with a fight computer in a brain but fewer detective skills.

Midnighter says he enjoys employing violence against bad people, and he specifically chooses the villains in this book because they robbed his … mentor? of a cache of superweapons. He seems to be irritated by criminals more than outraged. He has a small coterie of friends and a hangout; is this different than his status quo when he was dating Apollo? Midnighter seems to lack complexity; he’s a blank slate that likes to punch people.

What a lot of heterosexual men mean when they leave a relationship to “find themselves” is that they want to sleep with a lot of different women. Midnighter certainly succeeds in the homosexual version of that, sleeping with numerous men in Out. Morally, I don’t have any problem with that, but I am unconvinced that Midnighter’s dating pattern is a wise idea, from a security standpoint — and as it turns out, I’m right. It’s hard to respect Midnighter’s intelligence by the end … or maybe this is just another example of a man thinking too much with his little brain rather than the one in his skull.

The choice of the villain in Out is perfect: Prometheus, a villain who can download (and use) the knowledge and fighting skills of the world’s greatest martial artists. The battle between someone with these skills and someone who can calculate the future, like Midnighter, should be epic, as much a chess match as a physical encounter. Instead, Aco and Orlando give readers a straight slugfest, with two fighters trading bloody punches. The most innovative move shown is Midnighter smacking Prometheus with a poker. What a waste.

Dick Grayson, the original Robin and Nightwing who is now a secret agent, guest stars in #4 and 5. Contrasting Midnighter and Batman would be interesting, but other than Midnighter’s crack that Grayson must be “used to taking orders from a man in black,” the comparisons are all in the reader’s mind. Grayson seems almost to be humoring the ersatz Dark Knight by accompanying Midnighter on his mission; Midnighter handcuffs himself to Grayson because he claims a fight is boring him, but I find it hard to believe the protégée of Batman would remain handcuffed to Midnighter during a fight for any reason other than pity.

I enjoyed a few elements of Out. Midnighter’s glee at discovering he would be fighting Multiplex, a criminal who makes copies of himself, because it would give him so many bodies to beat up was a great character moment, and it’s amusing as well. The same goes for his approval of a fake vampire using insects and rats to fight him (“The vermin thing. Old school. Your respect for obscene tradition does not go unnoticed”). Midnighter’s final words to Apollo in their last argument — “I already know how this fight ends” — echoes his boasting from his physical fights. Those touches show up too seldom to save the book, though.

I have some sympathy with the assertion that a sex-positive comic book has value in and of itself; I also understand the idea that it’s good to show a gay hero who actually dates multiple men. And I admire that the creators of Out had ambitions; aiming high and missing is often better than aiming low and connecting. But the book itself isn’t interesting, and its misses aren’t that entertaining.

Rating: Batman symbol Batman symbol (2 of 5)

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03 June 2016

Batgirl, v. 1: Silent Knight

Collects: Batgirl #1-12, Annual #1 (2000-1)

Released: January 2016 (DC)

Format: 328 pages / color / $19.99 / ISBN: 9780785199571

What is this?: Coming out of No Man’s Land, a new Batgirl, able to predict the movement of others, joins Batman’s fight against crime.

The culprits: Writers Kelley Puckett and Scott Peterson and artist Damion Scott (and others)

My interest in the Batman titles waxes and wanes, but I rarely read the second-tier Bat books. For some reason, I made an exception with Batgirl, v. 1: Silent Night, and I’m glad I did.

The Batgirl in this book is Cassandra Cain, a character who debuted in 1999’s No Man’s Land event. Cassandra is the daughter of assassin David Cain, who trained her to fight from nearly birth but neglected language of any kind; as a consequence, the language centers of Cassandra’s brain were entirely dedicated to interpreting body language, which allows her to foresee her opponents’ moves but leaves her with little language ability.

Batgirl coverIn Silent Knight, Batgirl doesn’t have a ready-made archenemy, nor does she acquire one. She beats up on Gotham’s mooks and killers, usually experiencing little trouble. She’s not perfect, however; sometimes, she is injured while fighting crime, and sometimes people she wants to save die.

The lack of an overarching story is for the best, really, as it allows the story to concentrate on Cassandra herself, who is more interesting than a recurring supervillains. The book’s plot is driven by Cassandra’s personal evolution, with Cassandra having to fit into the Bat-family while she changes as a person. Her identity is wrapped up in her fighting ability, and anything that threatens her greatness at that has to be overcome at any cost. She has lived a life insulated from so many things that normal people take for granted; her only real human contact has been the father who expressed his feelings for her through violence. Because of this, she responds to male authority figures, obeying Batman’s commands and even showing concern for him.

The Batman / Batgirl relationship is touching in its way, but it’s also disturbing, given Cassandra’s relationship with her father. Cassandra rejected Cain long before the series, just after he sent her on her first assassination, but she still has feelings for the man who forced her to become a fighting machine. Batman is absurdly concerned that Cassandra might have killed a man when she was a little girl — she wasn’t legally or morally culpable, and she’s certainly repented — and as her surrogate father, he beats the tar out of her biological father because Cain “made her like us.”

(I have to admit: I like Cain, even though he’s despicable. He taunts Batman over his inability to accept Cassandra’s origins, and even hobbled by injuries, he’s resourceful and hard to defeat. His lingering affection over Cassandra — or what he created — is a nice Achilles heel for him as well.)

Cassandra lives with Oracle (Barbara Gordon), the first Batgirl, but despite sharing living space and a codename, Cassandra doesn’t show Barbara the sort of tenderness she does Batman. I’m not sure why this is. The generation gap isn't to blame, since Cassandra doesn’t interact with anyone her age. Is Cassandra rejecting the emotions Barbara exudes when she offers Cassandra help? Or does Barbara’s paralysis distance and reliance on communication her from someone who defines herself by motion? I think it has more to do with the latter than the former, but it’s hard to say.

Silent Knight is a great value: thirteen issues, one of them an annual, for $20. DC has always been better at getting older series like Batgirl reprinted for a reasonable price, but that has sometimes come at the cost of the quality of the physical book. Silent Knight has a higher quality paper and better binding than previous DC offerings, like the reprint of Chase from four years ago. A Marvel trade of this size … well, because I like picking on it, Cage: Second Chances, v. 1 is eight pages shorter and costs $15 more. Also: It’s filled with reprints of issues of Cage, so Silent Knight could have been 300 blank pages and still come out ahead.

On the other hand, the book does have some dead space. The issue that’s part of the Officer Down crossover (#11) feels like it’s acknowledging the event while giving Cassandra something to do with no real consequences; because it doesn’t engage with Barbara’s connection to Commissioner Gordon other than to mention it, the issue seems like a waste. The annual at the end of Silent Knight is filler — Batman and Batgirl in India — although it does show Cassandra watching a movie for the first time.

I’m not overly thrilled about the appearance of Lady Shiva either, but that’s mostly because she and Cassandra are hinted to have a connection because their skin colors are near each other on the color wheel and they have a similar ability. I’m not sure what my feelings will be as their connection is explored, though.

Damion Scott’s art is very, very ‘90s, even though these issues were coming out at the beginning of the 2000s. Scott’s work is sometimes described as being influenced by hip-hop and graffiti, which is fair, but comics readers who remember the ‘90s will see similarities to Joe Madureira’s work, full of thick lines and jutting angles. Scott is from the school of thought that a character’s mask should represent their emotions, so Batgirl’s (and Batman’s) mask have widened eyes, and the sewed-shut mouth of Batgirl’s costume widens and twists as necessary. (That sewed-shut mouth is delightfully creepy, I have to say.) I can’t say I am fond of Scott’s style, but it took no time before I became accustomed to it as the style of Batgirl, just as a quirky authorial voice often becomes part of the background — or even beloved — after you’ve been exposed to it long enough.

What never becomes part of the background is the way Batgirl is sexualized. When drawn in street clothes, Cassandra is a teenage girl of normal proportions, or as close as a comic-book female generally gets. As Batgirl … Batgirl is absurdly busty, and I can’t think of a reason why. Nothing about Cassandra in either persona justifies such objectification, and Scott’s depiction of Cassandra shows he understands normal female proportions. Is it a problem with the prominence of the costume’s logo? I dunno. Whatever the reason, it’s distracting.

Silent Knight is a solid superhero book that doesn’t rely on stunts or cheap traumas to shock readers. It develops a character with an interesting hook by putting her into situations readers are familiar with and seeing what happens. I liked this book so much, in fact, that I’m disappointed now that I didn’t preorder the second volume, To the Death. Guess I’ll have to pick it up after it comes out.

Rating: Batgirl symbol Batgirl symbol Batgirl symbol Batgirl symbol (4 of 5)

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