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Nick White - Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

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Nick White
  • All-Star Batman #6
  • Birthright #21
  • House of Penance TPB
  • Ninjak #23

Chalk it up to scheduling weirdness that can invariably accompany team changes, or sheer luck, but we’ve been handed a second issue of All-Star Batman in under a month.  Personally, I’ve observed this weird phenomena with other books (Aliens: Defiance has pulled this stunt two or three times this year already, whenever Tristan Jones takes a break), and it’s always a fun surprise for one’s monthly budget.  With this new arc, Batman ventures to Alaska to head off Mr. Freeze’s attempt to extract an elderly ice core and catapault us into an ice age, but one free of wooly mammoths voiced by Ray Romano.  Aka, not the good type of ice age.  Early concept art has been gorgeously angular, which is how I usually describe penciler Jock.  Also, joining Jock on cover duties is Francesco Francavilla.  Or as I call him, “DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT I GUESS I’M BUYING BOTH COVERS FOR THE REST OF THIS RUN *sigh* FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU–.”

Oh, Birthright.  I’ve illuminated my issues with this book several times over, in addition to also falling behind on it.  Here’s what needs to happen: I need to catch up on this book, and put my foot down, one way or another.

You know, I think House of Penance is the first trade on this list in a while.  Trades are more spontaneous, happenstance purchases these days, things I come across on store shelves and less as calculated orders from a catalog.  But I picked up the first issue of this Peter Tomasi/Ian Bertram work when in NYC with Mikeylodeon Rappnageddeon…only stumbled across it a month or so back, and was wondrously surprised with how good it was.  You’ve got a weird lady who lost her husband and child, and something, something is compelling her to have her house in a perpetual state of assembly.  We’re talking stairs that lead nowhere, doors that open onto nothing, the cadence of hammers all hours of the night…for if it stops, something bad will surely come.  Moody pencils too, from the guy that drew the most artistically polarizing issue of Batman Eternal’s 52 books.

Man, oh, man…is Matt Kindt a master of breadcrumb-droppage and nth level plotting or what?  Yes.  Yes, he is.  And Ninjak is the progeny of his intellect, accompanied by slick action set pieces.  This week, it’s King’s Watch artist Marc Laming providing these lush visuals..but there’s more.  WHAT’S THAT, THE THOUGHT DECEASED VILLAIN OF BOOK OF DEATH, MASTER DARQUE, RETURNS?  AND NINJAK’S GONNA HAVE TO SIDE WITH THE SHADOW SEVEN?  *Buckles in, prepares for a bumpy ride.*