Comics Review: Uncanny X-Men, Chew, Batman and Robin, X-23, Gotham City Sirens

It was OK
Uncanny X-Men # 539 – Losing Hope
I was hoping this was linked to what happened in Generation Hope #8, but sadly it does not appear to be. We do get to see how M-Day has affected some former mutants, and that’s neat. We also get to see why Wolverine acts so strange around her. (Although an astute reader probably already guessed why) This issue felt like a very fast read and I wasn’t left as satisfied as I’ve been with recent Gillen works. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

A Perfect Wrap Up of Previous Plotlines
Chew: Just Desserts # 1 – Chew: Just Desserts
It seems that, to round off the first 1/4 of the planned 60 issues of Chew, the author has chosen to bring together all the plots from the previous issues. We see the return of many characters including the awesome Poyo. And the cliff-hanger at the end of issue 15 is even a callback to something from the first book. I think this series continues to impress with its twists and turns. And the humor continues to be great. All these books should be in your library.

Some Satisfying Parts
Batman and Robin # 25 – The Streets Run Red, Part 3 of 3: Boys Night Out
Unfortunately, the chance to have an adventure with 3/4 Robins was blown on this story. While it’s been fun to see the interactions between these three, I feel this would have been better suited by a longer story arc. Perhaps we’ll see some more crossover fun once Red Hood gets his comic series after the revamp. Once again, I don’t think the painterly art works well with this book. (I think it works wonderfully in FF) I also think they got lazy with naked Jason Todd. He has time to get completely redressed in the middle of a firefight? I think he should have been kicking butt naked and then gotten dressed in the helicopter. It’s OK, but so far I am not liking Batman and Robin anywhere near as much as Detective Comics.

Actually Not too Bad of a Jumping in Point
X-23 # 11 – Touching Darkness , Part 2
I read X-23: Innocence Lost and a little background on Comic Vine and I found this issue to be just fine for jumping into. Even though I hadn’t ready part one, I felt I knew what was going on. (Partly due to Marvel’s wonderful intro pages)

So Jubilee the vampire, who we last saw in X-Men #11 (or thereabouts) is now wandering around with Wolverine and Gambit. (I really wish Marvel would get the timelines straight on their X-books because they’re both playing important roles in Uncanny X-Men and X-Men: Legacy, respectively) I think she’s the perfect partner for X-23. They’re both outcasts, both have a blood lust (in different ways), and they get to channel their feminine energy into each other. After all, X-23 hasn’t really had a good, constructive female relationship yet. (Other than her mom)

I love the art style and the writing is pretty good as well. I have the next issue queued up and I can’t wait to read it to see what happens. I’m not yet ready to add X-23 to my pull list, but depending on how I feel about issue , it’s a strong

One Step Closer to My Pull List
X-23 # 12 – Touching Darkness , Part 3
This was a good issue. Once again, the art, dialogue, and plot were good. A couple interesting plot twists. Although this new trigger scent that works on everyone but Jubilee could be hard to write correctly. X-23 and Jubilee do some more bonding and continue the theme of X-23 being like a Pinocchio. Still not 100% convinced this is a book I can keep reading, but next issue she goes to see the Future Foundation and I LOVE the FF! So I’ll definitely get that issue. Beyond that, we’ll see.

A Perfect Wrap-Up Issue
Gotham City Sirens # 24 – Friends, Part 2
There are only two issues left in this awesome, awesome series so Calloway’s on a mission to make sure he ties up loose ends. Catwoman finally gets her revenge for the mistrust the other girls had for her in issue 2. Harley finally has to decide whether to go with Joker or Ivy. In fact, Calloway did such a good job, I’m not sure what’ll happen in the next two issues. Perhaps he’ll help setup the upcoming Suicide Squad and Catwoman books?

What I loved the most about this issue was Joker’s attempt to foil Batman. They’ve known each other forever. Even if we only start from the 1985 reboot, they’ve still faced off numerous times. So, of course, Joker would know full well how Batman operates. In fact, my absolute favorite moment in the issue is when he predicts that Batman will do something and it doesn’t happen. And for a second he wonders if he’s wrong or if Batman’s just getting slow in his old age. And then Batman does just what he thought he would. Of course, it would be a poorly written Gotham book if Batman didn’t have an Ace up his sleeve, but it was still awesome to see Joker’s plan work for so long.

Early-on when Harley trying to get the upper hand on Ivy, she accesses her psychology knowledge to play mind-games with Ivy. First of all, it was great to see Harley capable of such thought. Especially in the Dini origins, she comes off as so bubbly she couldn’t possibly have been a psychologist at Arkham. I prefer to see her like this – like Joker – able to be acting insane one moment and perfectly sinister the next. (As in issue #23 when Joker laughs maniacally before delivering a flat “No” – complete with serious face) As part of the head games Harley suggests that perhaps their relationship is a little Les Yay. And while the linked TV Tropes page claims that Dini says it’s true, it seems, at least within the context of GCS, the relationship is one-sided. Which makes it all the more tragic that Harley uses that moment for nefarious means.

I found this issue had everything I wanted in a GCS book. I’m sad to see it go and I hope the girls can make up again at some point in the future. (It’s not as though they haven’t fought before) It’s tough because I love seeing them all working together, but it could also get annoying and tired to see the same patterns playing out over and over. I know I am torn about whether Harley should be with Joker given his abusive nature. I love it, but I know it’s so bad for her. I guess we’ll see what happens