The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

The Weekly Comics Wrap-up: Dec. 27, 2007

Written by: Ron Bricker

Image The world of comics is complicated, with multiple companies (and universes) to keep track of. Luckily, CC2K has Joey Esposito, our resident expert on all things pulpy and good. Each week, Joey will break down what's happening in the world of comics, so you can pick up right where he left off. Today, he discusses the ramifications of Ra's al Ghul's resurrection in the world of Batman.

This week is a turning point for the DC Universe in many ways. The two month long "Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul" story arc that ran across all of the Bat-family books (minus Catwoman) has finally come to a close with Detective Comics #839. Cross-book story arcs are tricky in that consistency is always an issue. Whether it be art, dialogue or story beats, assigning what are essentially chapters to one overall story to different creators can breed storytelling problems. Unfortunately, this is the case with this past arc. While there are many great moments, the cohesiveness of the story is severely lacking.

The whole "Resurrection" story, spearheaded by current Batman scribe Grant Morrison, essentially comes off as unnecessarily complicated, spread through too many books and too many chapters; the purpose of which, I assume, is to create another "mini-event" that publishers seem to be loving to do. The result is a scattered tale about the sanctity of family ties and the depths to which we will go for them. The concept is top notch, but the execution leaves plenty to be desired.

To be fair, this last issue was extremely well written by regular Detective Comics writer Paul Dini, and probably my favorite issue in the arc. It gave the story a strong, albeit predictable, finish and allows readers to enjoy the strange dynamic of the Bat-family to the fullest. However, I must say that I'm growing tired of story lines coming to a close with a giant battle of some kind. Yes, I know it's the "climax" and I know it's supposed to be "exciting" but there are other ways of piquing a reader's interested rather than physicality.

In other news, the up-until-recently lackluster weekly series Countdown to Infinite Crisis hit a new stride with issue #19. The Pied Piper/Trickster story is finally paying off and becoming extremely interesting. In fact, all of the story lines touched upon in this issue have improved sevenfold over the last three issues, the exception being the Challenger's search for Ray Palmer. For what is apparently supposed to be the most integral part to the prevention of the "Great Disaster", this book is really having an issue with making the reader care about what the Challenger's are up to. Instead, they seem to be more concerned with showing off a new Earth of the multiverse every week. This series still has nothing on 52 and I think it's pretty safe to say that it's not going to. However, if the quality of the book can stay at this level (and hopefully the art can improve too) then I think even the naysayers will find themselves being led into Final Crisis with excitement.

One thing before I go, who here isn't picking up Catwoman every month? If you aren't, you should be shot. This is DC's most underrated book and it deserves to be read at all costs. The importance of Ra's al Ghul being resurrected pales in comparison to the hardships that Selina Kyle has been enduring as of late. If you are looking for DC's answer to Brian Michael Bendis' amazing run on the Daredevil series, look no further than Catwoman, written by Will Pfeifer and pencilled by David Lopez. I promise you won't be disappointed.