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Week two of April, and my Comic Book Review Round-Up features Batman #68, the finale of Titans, "The Batman Who Laughs #4" and two Age of X-Man titles—"The Marvelous X-Men #3" and "Apocalypse & the X-Tracts #2."
Batman is still having Knightmares, and this time it’s about Catwoman and Lois Lane having an awesome bachelorette party in the Fortress of Solitude, while Batman bores the hell out of Superman. This issue is another excuse to retread the Bat-Cat relationship, and it’s really fun to read. But nothing is happening in this Knightmares arc and it’s getting a bit frustrating.
There are so many artists on this issue, but the art just doesn’t look right. The proportions of the faces are off, and the art changes for the final few pages. Always disruptive when that happens. Also, for an issue that has ladies in a male strip club on the cover, the inside pages have a giant panel of Lois and Selina naked in a tub, but no Magic Mike moments for the guys. What was I expecting? Even Magic Mike had more naked ladies than men, so that’s popular media for you. But hey, at least Supergirl finally gets to show up in someone else’s comic.
The last issue of Titans sees the team finally go head-to-head with Mother Blood to save the multi-verse and Unearth. Except the only active member of the team is Raven, because everyone else is either tied up, tired, or injured. Also, Nightwing flashbacks!
This issue concentrated too much on Raven to be a proper finale for the team. The other Titans hardly feature and have no characterisation. It’s a little disappointing. The series has been all over the place for the past year, so giving these characters and writer Dan Abnett a break might be the best way forward. I hope DC will bring Titans back, hopefully soon with Nightwing and the original gang together again. Not sure how they will do it, but they should.
"The Batman Who Laughs #4"
Batman has been infected by a toxin that is slowly changing him into the Batman Who Laughs. In this issue he’s seen donning the villain’s signature visor, but it’s not for the reasons you think. Batman has a plan, but is he smart enough to out-think the scariest version of himself?
This series is compelling, and I enjoy reading it, but for how long is Jim Gordon going to be captive? And for how many more issues is Batman going to be searching for the waterway? I feel like Snyder is far more intent on analysing Batman and the different versions of Batman, but he has to get the plot underway as well. Also, Robin is mentioned in this issue, but nothing much comes off it. I really thought there was going to be a tie-in with Robin at some point in the story, but there wasn’t.
"Age of X-Man: The Marvelous X-Men #3"
Storm witnessed something in Magneto’s quarters and she has to confront him about these visions of an alternate history. Meanwhile, the X-Tracts are rallying more forces with their love propaganda. This new threat to society divides the X-Men. Is their fate sealed?
I feel like the editorial team is making things up as they go along with this Age of X-Man arc. The world is supposed to make more sense with each issue, not less. But that is the case here. The strife seems contrived and not well thought out. The characterisations are even worse. There are too many people, but not enough focus. I had high hopes for this arc, but it’s a mess and I honestly don’t care what happens in this alternate universe any more. Never thought I’d say that about an X-Men title.
"Age of X-Man: Apocalypse & the X-Tracts #2"
Half the X-Tracts are on a mission in Kazakhstan—they need to rescue Omega Red. Except, they are interrupted by an unknown threat, who attacks the team and leaves them reeling. Elsewhere, Apocalypse is wrapping up his press conference about love.
This series is just weird. This AU that Nate Grey has created is a mess and has so much strife. Why would he make a world where no one even touches each other? Why wouldn’t he get rid of unsavoury elements who would get in the way? It’s all so complicated, but the main players are so boring. Also, the art in this issue is so wrong. Kitty’s eyes are going to give me nightmares. And Unveil is literally in here just to get naked. Like… didn’t that go out with X-Men: The Last Stand?
Here’s looking forward to more comic books next week!