Trade Reviews

Batman – Secrets of the Batcave
DC Comics

This is a fun collection of Batman tales that involve the cave and it’s history. Going back to the 40’s we get diagrams of what the cave has looked like over the years, and stories that tell us about some of the trophies. It’s ends with a nice imaginary tale(?) about a kid who goes there in a dream. A real nice cross section of Batman history.

Batman and Son – Hardcover
DC Comics

The heirs of Ra’s Al Ghul have been a thorn in Batman’s side as long as I can remember. A while back Talia tricked Batman into getting her pregnant and has now decided it’s time for Father and Son to spend some time together. Unfortunately the son has been raise by the league of assassins and isn’t exactly housebroken. Batman makes the effort anyway and seems to start getting through to Damian ( appropriate name) and takes him on patrol. By the end you’re not quite sure who’s side he’s on, but it doeas leave the door open for some great stories to come. Grant Morrison did a great job with this and I loved the art by Andy Kubert.

Complete Bite Club
Vertigo/DC Comics.

Howard Chaykin writing and doing covers, Frank Quietly Doing covers and David Hahn on interior art. Vampires, mobsters and Florida. This collection has it all!
The Del Toro family has been vampires for quite a while, and they now make there home in Miami, running drugs, and other typical mobster money making ventures. They have a chance at going legit, but the head of the family is killed leaving the kids and underlings vying for position.
Loads of fun with a great sense of humor this is a really enjoyable read. The characters are great as they all go back and forth with each other arguing and scheming. And the ending is truly terrific.
I really suggest reading this updated vampire tale, a bit Buffy meet Goodfellas.
Jon

DC/Top Cow Crossovers
DC/Top Cow

Fun interactions between the characters in these two companies. Darkness fits well with Batman and Witchblade interacts well with all the characters. Not as clumsy or forced as some crossover events feel. The Justice League crossover is brought about by a relationship between Oracle and Witchblade in their civilian identities. It works perfectly.Great art and strong writing make this a nice edition to any trade library.

DMZ 3
Vertigo
This third collection could be the most relevant yet. Set in a United States in civil war and divided Manhattan is a DMZ, stuck between both sides. Journalist Matty Roth steps up his involvement by going undercover working with the corporation in charge of rebuilding parts of Manhattan. The similarities between issues raised here and what’s going on for real in the middle east are glaring and in your face. As Roth struggles with who to trust so to does the reader struggle with finding the thin line between fiction and reality.
Brian Wood is a writer of his times and a voice that needs to be heard. It’s also extremely entertaining making it a real gem.

Flash: Greatest Stories Ever Told
DC Comics

Well, the title says it all doesn’t it? Any fan of the Flash will love this collection of some of the truly great stories of the generations of Scarlet Speedsters. While I no longer love the early days of Wally as the new Flash the way I did, the pick here was strong. And everything else here is even stronger. A must for fans and a great place to start for new readers. It’s really a history of a great character. plus the classic art is a real bonus.

Manhunter Vol. 3 – Origins
DC Comics

This is the second to last collection for now as the series has reached it’s end and it’s too bad. This is a great character and out of all the various Manhunters we’ve seen over the years this one is tied for my favorite with Paul Kirk as done by Walter Simonson.
We open with background on where the components of the suit came from in a nice flashback tale, We then kick into a reversal in Kate’s life as she becomes a defense lawyer. Being on the other side isn’t as cool, but it does give her more time as Manhunter. We also discover some Golden Age hero ties for Kate.
Andryko and company do a great job here and I highly recommend this title and this collection in particular to everyone.
Jon