Review: ‘Doom Patrol’ Season 1 Episode 1 – “Doom Patrol”

“Doom Patrol” Writer: Jeremy Carver Director: Glen Winter Starring: Diane Guerrero, April Bowlby, Alan Tudyk, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser and Timothy Dalton Review by Steve J. Ray

The 11 stellar episodes of Titans set the bar on the DC Universe streaming service incredibly high. This means that any new series premiering on the online network has a very tough act to follow. The clever part is that this new show won't be coming in from the cold to an unprepared audience, like its predecessor.

Episode 4 of Titans wasn’t just a great look into the background of Beast Boy, it also served almost as a back door pilot of sorts for Doom Patrol. DC had already primed viewers for the weird and whacky world of this extremely unusual band of heroes.
Titans shocked many with its adult themes, and the strong language used by its characters. Yes, this was a comic-book inspired tale, but it definitely wasn’t aimed at children. From Doom Patrol's opening titles it’s clear that this show will follow sui…

Review: Teen Titans #27

Writer: Adam Glass
Artists: Bernard Chang and Cam Smith
Color Artist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Review by Steve J. Ray  Summary“Let It All Out.” In the previous issue, Damian received a beating at the hands of his former mentor Jason Todd; A.K.A. The Red Hood. Now the boy wonder must come to terms with the fact that he’s no closer to discovering the secret of The Other, and that he’s failed in his mission. We also see D’Jinn coming clean about her past and Emiko trying to help Crush with her rage. Roundhouse and Kid-Flash aren’t left out either, as Wallace visits the Wu residence for a family meal that will stick in readers’ memories for a long time to come. PositivesAdam Glass has written some really great character pieces in this issue, and I love them all. He’s also been very clever in revealing enough about D’Jinn to gain the reader’s sympathy, but without taking away any of the character’s mystery. I’ve been suspicious of her from the start, and while this “Origin” story has…

Review: Nightwing #57

Writers: Scott Lobdell and Zack Kaplan
Artist: Travis Moore
Color Artist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Andworld Design
Review by Steve J. Ray Summary“Heroes Without A Home.” In the last issue Ric Grayson finally felt compelled to help the new team of Nightwings; a group of law enforcers who had adopted his old costumes. Together they took down the Scarecrow, who had adapted his fear gas to remove all fear from the citizens of Bludhaven. This issue deals with the repercussions of this decision, and introduces an all-new scriptwriter to the series. PositivesWith the threat of Scarecrow behind him, one could be forgiven for thinking that Ric Grayson’s troubles were over. This comic balances the difficult line of dealing with the aftermath of the last arc, while simultaneously setting a new story in motion. We get some insightful character moments, development of the budding romance between Ric and Beatrice Bennett, and changes within the new team of cops turned vigilante crime-fighters. I will …

Review: Detective Comics #998

“Mythology: Hell And Back”
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Doug Mahkne, Jaime Mendoza and Mark Irwin
Color Artist: David Baron
Letterer: Rob Leigh Review by Steve J. Ray

This series is on fire! The road to Detective Comics #1000 is raging with a heat powerful enough to rival perdition’s flames… quite literally. On his quest to save his mentors, the people who helped make him the man he is, Batman encounters the Demon Etrigan. Hot stuff! After another encounter with the morphing monster that can assume the shape of all the Dark Knights enemies, and his closest allies, Batman tracked down Hugo Strange at the end of issue #997. I must admit that after reading the “Night Of The Monster Men” stories, Strange was high on my list of suspects too. Peter J. Tomasi’s love for Batman, and clear knowledge of his backstory, is a joy to read. It’s so logical that Batman would seek tutelage in the mystic arts, both for defence and to help instil fear in his enemies. His training with Zatara and Zatanna dur…

Review: Justice League Dark #8

“The Lords Of Order” – Chapter One
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Álvaro Martínez Bueno and Raül Fernandez
Color Artist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh Review by Steve J. Ray

The Upside Down Man was scary enough on his own, but last month we met the rest of the Otherkind, his siblings; The Soup, The Conjoined, The Offspring and The Rip. I don’t know what inspired James Tynion IV to create these nightmare creatures, or what possessed Álvaro Martínez Bueno when he designed them… and I don’t think I want to. In this issue the invaders attack, and I wonder if the League have any chance of defeating them. I love the way the team splits up, each having their own missions and agendas in this issue. Swamp-Thing and Detective Chimp are helping the survivors of the Otherkind’s attacks, after the apparent deaths of Constantine and Lucifer. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and Zatanna are on a quest to enlist the aid of one of DC Comics’ most powerful wizards. This leaves Man-Bat alone to try and release Kh…

Review: The Batman Who Laughs #3

“The Laughing House” – Part Three
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Color Artist: David Baron
Letterer: Sal Cipriano Review by Steve J. Ray

If it takes a thief to catch a thief, what does it take to catch a remorseless mass murderer? With Joker out of action Batman and Jim Gordon decide to recruit James Gordon Jr. Gotham City’s most infamous psychopath. Can this former serial killer be the one to help our heroes put an end to the threat of the Batman Who Laughs? Scott Snyder is writing a real thriller, disguised as a comic-book. I love crime fiction, and this tale ranks as one of the finest examples of the genre I’ve ever read. The Batman Who Laughs is as twisted and malevolent as any Hannibal Lecter, and The Grim Knight makes Frank Castle look like Frank N. Furter. It’s fantastic seeing James Gordon Jr. again, even though the character scares the living bejeezus out of me. Scott Snyder’s Batman: The Black Mirror made him one of the best bat-villains of the modern era. Turning to him as a mea…

Review: ‘Gotham’ Season 5 Episode 6 – “13 Stitches”

“13 Stitches” Writer: Seth Boston Director: Ben McKenzie Starring: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Cory Michael Smith, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cameron Monaghan, Shane West, Morena Baccarin, Chris Chalk & Sarah Schenkkan Review by Steve J. Ray

Blasts from the past and ominous portents of the future; this episode of Gotham has it all. This week Ben (Jim Gordon) McKenzie directs and stars in a pivotal episode. Secretary Walker and Eduardo Dorrance make their play, revealing an important figure from James’ past, and we meet another vintage comic-book villain in Magpie. She wants shiny things, even if they’re not hers. Birds Of A FeatherNot many people who aren’t obsessive comics aficionados, like me, will know Margaret Pye. This character was created for the comics by John Byrne in issue #3 the classic Man Of Steel six-issue mini series. This issue also gave us a refreshed and rebooted post Crisis On Infinite Earths Superman (1986). The st…