Comic Book Reviews (Week November 4, 2020): Batman Issue 102, Happy Hour Issue 1, and More!

Batman issue 102 review
Batman Issue 102 (Image: DC Comics)

Welcome! In this week’s comic book review round-up (November 4, 2020), I will be covering Batman Issue 102, Happy Hour Issue 1, and more.

With the Joker War done and Bruce not having his billions anymore, our Caped Crusader’s living in a very different Gotham. Writer James Tynion IV has been quite excited about introducing new characters to the long-running Batman lore. I have been okay with Punchline and Clownhunter because they don’t necessarily retcon what’s been established. However, Tynion’s latest original character Ghost-Maker is a different story.

Apparently, Ghost-Maker’s someone whom Bruce knew since he was young and went on his journey around the world to train to become the best fighter. The two have a rivalry between them with both wanting to be better than the other. Believing Batman has failed Gotham, a grown-up Ghost-Maker entered the city to cleanse it (he’s okay with killing criminals). If you’re getting Azrael vibes, well, you’re not alone. Even though Ghost-Maker’s supposed to be an “original” character, he’s still operating in a manner Batman readers are quite familiar with.

Also, trying to retcon a character’s backstory to introduce someone they have always known (even though said character’s name has never been mentioned) always makes me go ‘meh!’ and my opinion was no different during Ghost-Maker’s introduction. Did Tynion really need to connect Ghost-Maker with Bruce in such a manner?

Ghost-Maker’s supposed to be as good as Bruce, if not better. And yes, that made me roll my eyes. I mean, even if the two had the same teachers, Bruce’s gone on to defeat Gods and monsters in the DC Comics Universe. What has Ghost-Maker done? The difference in experience and skill level should be enormous. As someone who has planned to take down the Justice League when needed, Bruce should already have a plan to take Ghost-Maker off the board. Sigh!   

In my opinion, unless the root of their ego-driven rivalry is revealed to be some kind of unresolved romance, I don’t think Ghost-Maker will be adding anything of substance when you look at the bigger picture. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Meh!

DCeased Dead Planet Issue 5 review
DCeased: Dead Planet Issue 5 (Image: DC Comics)

DCeased: Dead Planet Issue 5

There are only two more issues left in writer Tom Taylor’s enjoyable DCeased: Dead Planet run. With Trigon coming to Earth in three days (where the heck is Raven?), DCeased: Dead Planet Issue 5 showed John Constantine forming a team to help him with a very risky plan (which I don’t want to spoil). Will it work? We will have to wait and see.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Money Shot Issue 10 review
Money Shot Issue 10 (Image: Vault Comics)

Money Shot Issue 10

The hilarious and sexually-charged Money Shot series, from writers Tim Seeley and Sarah Beattie, came to an end this week. If you’re into a bunch of scientists filming adult videos (featuring aliens) to fund their research projects, you should consider reading this series. The final issue was quite enjoyable. The power-ups our leads got to protect billions of lives made me laugh out loud. And I think everything concluded in a satisfactory manner. However, having said that, I wouldn’t mind this series returning.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!  

Mighty Morphin Issue 1 review
Mighty Morphin Issue 1 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Mighty Morphin Issue 1

Writer Ryan Parrott‘s back with another enjoyable Power Rangers series. Mighty Morphin Issue 1 served as the opening of a new chapter for the Rangers. After defeating Lord Zedd, the young heroes started wondering about the identity of the mysterious Green Ranger who came to their aid. Is it Lord Drakkon? Is it someone else? I’m not so sure myself. So, of course, I’m very excited about finding out.

Trying to identity the Green Ranger’s not the only mystery, though. There’s something up with a particular girl. And the tidbits about Zordon’s past are definitely something I want more of.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP! 

Happy Hour Issue 1 review
Happy Hour Issue 1 (Image: Ahoy Comics)

Happy Hour Issue 1

I was provided with a free digital copy of Happy Hour Issue 1 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From Peter Milligan, Happy Hour Issue 1 introduced us to a fictional version of the U.S. where everyone’s demanded to remain happy. A death in the family? You better continue smiling. Did you lose your job? Keep grinning. It’s a very interesting premise. Of course, a couple of people don’t want to remain happy. As humans, it’s okay to be sad when something bad happens. The first issue followed a bunch of characters undergoing behavioral therapy because they’re unable to remain happy.

Stories that play around with human emotions isn’t anything new. However, having said that, I do think the Happy Hour series has got a lot of potential to deliver something exciting. Let’s see if Milligan gives us an answer about what it means to be really happy.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

You can read our review of Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story graphic novel here.

While we’re talking comics, Mark Russell’s Billionaire Island six-issue series (which I enjoyed a lot) will be available as a trade paperback on November 11, 2020 (bookstores on November 24, 2020).

Did you read Batman Issue 102? Which comic books did you pick up?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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