Book Review: Batman: The Widening Gyre by Kevin Smith and Walter Flanagan

Batman: The Widening Gyre by Kevin Smith and art by Walter Flanagan Is the sequel to Batman: Cacophony, which I really enjoyed and rated 5 stars Batman: Cacophony review This story asks the question of what does it take for Batman to trust in both love and in partnership. In this graphic novel both relationships will be tested. This book features Batman, Nightwing, Robin (Tim Drake), Superman, Aquaman Catwoman, Joker, Poison Ivy, The Demon, Killer Croc, Deadshot, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face and a plethora of D list villains from the history of Batman’s Rouges. Baron Blitzkrieg anyone? though he is one over the cooler ones for the new era. This book does have Kevin Smith patented humor which is not all dick and fart jokes, this one is a little bit more mature than Cacophony and thankfully no rape jokes. There’s a lot of great moments Catwoman’s reaction to aging and getting called a cougar. Robin’s callback joke to being a man. Batman not trusting when a person or situation is too perfect, Alfred finding out about Bruce Wayne’s sex life and Aquaman rushing to the surface because dolphins reported a woman screaming in the ocean, which was a result of sex.

The Plot: Bruce Wayne meets a woman from his past that seems to perfect, but in his world as Batman too perfect leads to bad, can he let his guard down to find something real. As Batman he meets a new vigilante calling himself Baphomet that helps him time and again, but can he trust this new vigilante, or not. We go through Batman’s troubled past with trust issues and when he finally started trusting Robin and his trust issues with Superman. This comic will end in one of the most shocking twist I have ever read in a Batman comic.

What I Liked: The humor and observation that only Kevin Smith could bring to the world of Batman. The brutality and carnage of these villains, especially Mr. Freeze, we see people frozen but also death by shards of ice. Bruce Wayne happy and letting his guard down for a second. The personal tour of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude on a date. Baphomet and his secret origin. The hilarious Batman and Aquaman scene. The theme of trust throughout. The Demon as a villain is terrifying and I liked that he brought him from him Green Arrow run. When on the tour of the Fortress of Solitude there’s a Dinosaur, and batman has a line about he had one before they were cool to have at your hide out. It is double the size of Batman Cacophony.

What I Disliked: Every female character is sex crazed. There’s too many religious minded crimes, it’s Batman and I want to escape reality. The romance moves too fas, in regards to feelings. The story arc takes too long too develop. The Book ends at a cliffhanger and says to be continued except so far Kevin Smith has not continued it’s been 9 years!

Recommendations: I will recommend Batman fans check this comic out for the questions and conversations that are asked and answered. If you’re a fan of Batman: Cacophony then you have to check the sequel! I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars, while I liked the first one better this is a worthwhile read, and I will continue to read any works Kevin Smith.

Book Review: Aquaman & Justice League: Drowned Earth by Scott Snyder

Aquaman and Justice League: Drowned Earth by Scott Snyder is an epic tale of alien gods of oceans determined to see Earth’s ocean waters raise and drown the earth, after the oceans on their home planets have dries up or frozen over. Scott Snyder uses the type of story telling that I fell in love with his writing in the first place like his Court of Owls run on Batman, where he starts with a theme and then reinforces it in flashbacks and present action, what I love is there is an over arcing theme but also an individual comic theme as well, he handles this better than anyone in comics, it reminds me a lot of what Joss Whedon did on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel so well in the TV storytelling landscape. This novel feature to many character’s to name them all, If you read DC’s Metal comics or graphic novel’s this story is still dealing with those changes like Atlantis is no on the surface not at the bottom of the sea. I have not read DC’s Metal, I read Dark Days: The Road to Metal and was not a fan, you can find that review here https://readingwithmyeyes.wordpress.c… but this work does a good job of catching you up and actually got me excited to finally explore those titles. A thanks to netgalley and DC comic’s for letting me download this title, (Note : I was not able to open this title and had to purchase it) I’m an honest reviewer and did not let this reflect in my view at all of this title. It was released on April 16th of 2019.

The Plot: Aquaman, Wonder Woman, other Justice League members are searching are searching for a rumored Graveyard of the Gods. As legend tells this is the place the where gods would dispose of there human form, but it’s rumored Poseidon the actual god is down there. They find a graveyard of ships from the past that got lost in there searching. When they arrive they find something they did not expect, they find the entrance to the Graveyard of the Gods is opened with a trail of heat signatures. It is reveals that the Legion of Doom have released alien gods of the ocean from other planets that were trapped by Aquaman’s ancestors and they want revenge on earth. They start by a massive flood of the Earth then they release a new Kraken that infects the flooded waters where if the breathe in the water it turns you into a controllable sea creature who’s goal is to drive you into the waters to change more. Evacuations have started in Gotham with people going to the highest towers to get flown to higher ground, Jim Gordon in an emotional scene is dragged down to the water by sea creatures as he saves a family. Superman has a force wall over Metropolis that keeps most of the water back. Atlantis is the first place hit having only Mera and an imprisoned Ocean Master survive. Aquaman rushes full steam ahead and is easily defeated not knowing the true power of his enemies and his powers are taken and given to Black Manta Aquaman’s greatest foe and member of the League of Doom. Can the justice league survive and can a powerless Aquaman prevail a Drowned Earth?

What I Liked: The writing and theme work is so good the overall theme for Aquaman is exploring new oceans and ideas, plotting and finding the unknown. The Sea creature reminded me of Cthulhu like creatures and there were nods to the Trench. I liked that Flash get’s infected but is able to stave it off longer than anyone due to his metabolism. Jim Gordon turned into a sea creature is powerful and to his character. Ocean Master’s dialogue to Mera that convinces her to trust him to fight for Atlantis. The ending is pretty good and satisfying, there’s a real nice double cross at the end. Really nice character study on Aquaman in the Graveyard of the Gods.

What I Disliked: The art especially the wide drawings closeup are just fine but 80% I was just turned off by the art. There needed to be a synopsis especially on the Teen Titan book I was very lost on what they were doing and it took me a couple of pages to get oriented, I was a little bummed to only see one of those characters do anything further in the novel.

Recommendations: If you are up on current comics then you should definitely read this. If you are not you might be lost for a little bit because there is no real synopsis, but the writing is really good and it doesn’t take too long. If you’re a fan of Scott Snyder’s writing like in the Court of Owls, End Game, and White Knight then this is a great graphic novel that shows off his skills. I rated Aquaman & Justice League: Drowned Earth 4 out of 5 stars.