Wonder Woman Wednesday!

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Magnus: Between Two Worlds by Kyle Higgins

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Magnus: Between Two Worlds by Kyle Higgins is one of the comics that makes you forget you are reading a comic and not, instead, holding in your hands a science fiction novel that helped to shape and warp your childhood. Like the best in science fiction, this is at heart a morality tale. Does greed overshadow doing the right thing. As in case of slavery in the past, does the AI robot have any rights of its own. What happens when humanity loses its…humanity.

AI beings work alongside human beings, more servants than equals but with many of the same perks. Once of which is vacation time. But where do robots go on vacation? To a digital universe where they have families and children and a home of their own. A universe without humans. But this digital world has had another effect on AIs. A desire to make it real. A desire to have their own lives and families and rights.

When AI’s lose their place in the world, they are taken to Magus, a human psychologist who knows how to navigate between the flesh and blood world and into the world where the AI’s live. She helps them cope and learn to adjust back to the reality of the human world. But she has had other talents as well. She was a hunter once. Someone who went into the AI world and forcibly brought them back into the human world to pay for their misdeeds.

Now the government needs her to do it again. There is a rogue AI who has killed a human and may be planning an even more horrifying act. An act of AI terrorism. Can Magus find the AI and bring him in on time, or worse, how does she deal with the conflicting sense that perhaps he has a point.

This is a really good story and a very fresh take on Magnus the Robot Fighter of the past. This new female Magus understands the angst and pain of the AIs and sees them as far more than the shell of servitude that they represent. But her thinking is far different than others and the concept that the robots could feel any emotion is beyond the realization of the rest of her world. Magnus knows this vacation world very well, having lived there herself for a time. A human girl trapped in the world of artificial intelligence.

At what point is an artificial intelligence its own sentient being? Science Fiction writers have wrestled with this concept for ages. Asimov and Clarke. Blade Runner to Terminator. Robots becoming beings. When does human rights become, universal right?

A terrifically written comic. This one should not be missed!

Batman: Detective Comics, Vol 4: Deus Ex Machina

 

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Batman: Detective Comics, Vol.4: Deus Ex Machina by James Tynion IV continues the theme in this series of telling tales that don’t directly involve the Batman. In the prior tales they were the story of Batwoman and Red Robin and more recently Orphan. In Deus Ex Machina Tynion brings forth two very under used and under appreciated characters in the Batman and DC Universe at large/

Azrael and Zantana.

The death of Tim Drake has devastated the Batman team. With the Spoiler angry and petulant the team is left with little recourse to face the upcoming threats. But one comes from a place they are not ready for. The avenging angel is back only this time it is not, Jean Paul Valley. Azrael is called back into action to face another with his same power. But can he do it alone and is the Bat team in any shape to deal with this in the face of Drake’s death.

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Batman must call on an old friend and one time romantic interest to help the team. Zantana. But what will Zantana’s magic and Azrael’s mysticism unlock. What secret will they reveal?

There has always been something of a sibling rivalry between Detective Comics and the Batman comics and now, with two different writers at the helm, the books seem to be going in a completely different direction from one another. The competition for readers may have ramped up but the stories are vastly different. With the new team created by Batman in Detective Comics, the supporting cast has actually taken a far greater role and that has come with mixed reviews.

I however find it refreshing. I enjoyed the Orphan aka Batgirl aka Cassamdra Cain and I also loved the Batwoman aka Kate Kane storyline. But with the Catwoman and Batman storyline in the Batman comics, the Detective Comics line may be being overlooked and that is too bad. With Batman taking a backseat, we are seeing these characters take a stage, with good writing and really good stories, and being worthy of being headliners.

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Jean Paul Valley has been dealt a rather harsh hand in the Batman universe after he took the mantle and responsibility of being the Batman when Bane broke Bruce Wayne’s back. He was quickly cast into the role of a bad guy. An overly violent vigilante in the Batman costume that Tim the wienie ass Drake had issues with. Of course we all thought the Cowl should have gone to Dick Grayson but for the moment Jean Paul was cast into the role and it was an unfair trial. But if we were honest about it, the team of Jean Paul as Batman and Damian as Robin would have kicked some serious ass in Gotham.

Then there is Zatanna . Is she really a hero in the DC Universe to be taken seriously or is she a poor man’s version of Marvel’s Dr. Strange. For my part I never gave her much thought. To my knowledge DC certainly didn’t invest much in the character for me to look into her. But in this storyline we see a character that is very much like Talia Ah Ghul without the blood lust. Just how powerful is she? And if she is capable of what this tale offers, DC you are seriously missing the boat here.

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Then there is the Spoiler and for my view, at this point, the best thing she did was die.

Detective Comics is a very good read but if you were going to kill Tim Drake, who at this point is the fifth most likable Robin, seriously do the the math; keep him dead longer that two storylines.

Batman Annual #2 by Tom King

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Batman Annual #2 by Tom King is a fabulous read. What it does best is that it brings to bear the humanity behind the mask. Whether it be a bat or a cat. The problem with Annuals is that they far too often are not part of continuity of the storyline and Batman Annual #2 by Tom King stays true to that. But for those following Batman, the romance between Catwoman and Batman has taken center stage as has their impending wedding. King has handled this masterfully. From the introduction to Lois Lane and Superman, to the visit to Talia Ah Ghul, the mother of his son. King has infused this event with all the emotion and fear that accompanies any relationship that becomes serious enough to turn to marriage.

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Batman Annual #2 takes us from the first date to the final day and the death of Bruce Wayne. Not by some evil villain, but illness in his old age that finally takes him. It is a story told with tenderness as Selina watches the man she loved, the Batman begin to waste away. You begin to see that it was an incredible love that held them together.

This is not your typical Batman story, there is no Joker and no Riddler and no great threat to Gotham city. It is just the Bat and the Cat. Just Bruce and Selina.

King tells this tale very well and for those who love the Batman, it is one not to be missed.

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Jimmy’s Bastards by Garth Ennis

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Jimmy’s Bastards by Garth Ennis is the kind of tongue in cheek, warped vision of cultural icons that Ennis is a master at perverting. Its funny, violent and with just a touch of social consciousness that will make you smirk at every James Bond movie you ever watched.

Jimmy Regent is Britain’s super-spy. Even though modern times may have cast a sardonic eye upon Jimmy’s misogynistic ways, Jimmy was immune to the critique. He had a license to kill and charm that no woman seemed able to resist. But with a new partner, who seemed bent on resisting Jimmy, there seemed to be a change in the air.

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With London under attack, Jimmy must save the day. But what he finds at the root of the intrigue is his own irresponsibility, come home to roost.

There are two words that make up all the reason you need to read this comic. Garth. Ennis. If the popularity of the comic and then TV show; Preacher, have not hooked you yet then obviously you cannot recognize genius when it stares back at you. Garth Ennis is the Abyss, stare into it and let him stare back.

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Jimmy’s Bastards is for every guy out there whose girl was dumb enough to love Bond. See! See! See what a pathetic ass he really is! Not that this ever helped. But here Jimmy Regent is, getting his comeuppance! Because really, British Super spies do not use condoms!

Jimmy’s Bastards is fun, ridiculous and just more than a little bit of pure genius. Don’t miss it!

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Dark Nights Metal by Scott Snyder w/ Greg Capullo’s artwork

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Dark Nights Metal #5 hit the comic book stands today and as expected, the multi-covered book was selling out everywhere. If you don’t plan on making it to your friendly neighborhood comic book shop until the week end, you may well be out of luck on this issue.

Dark Nights Metal is a complex tale and at the heart of it the Batman. But to say it is only a Batman story does it a great disservice. In fact I would not call it a Justice League story either, it is a restructuring of the DC Universe with a terrifying glimpse into its darker side.

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The cover of book #5 features Wonder Woman through many of the variants but let’s not kid ourselves about who is the real main attraction here. It is the Batman who laughs. This hybrid of Bruce Wayne and the Joker, with his chains of rabid robins held to his lease. This is Batman via Hellraiser. This is a darkness that the Dark Knight could never exist in.

The Justice League is falling piece by piece and they are being slaughtered in a bloody mess. Will book #6 bring a good over evilĀ  solution or will it instead bring in a new night for the DC Universe? One thing for certain, the DC Universe may never recover from a Scott Snyder allowed to run wild.

A terrific series that lives up to the hype!