Click the pix for high res. No real spoilers this week, but still tread with caution if you're not up on your books.
Worst Splash Panel - Blackest Night #4
Now is the time to come clean; just about everyone on the Gnerd staff hates Blackest Night. So many splash panels like this. A sea of obscure characters made even more obscure by the fact that they're wearing stripped down black versions of their costumes. I LOVE zombies, I do, but splash pages likes this are so cluttered they're not scary, they're not shocking, they're just ill-defined and unpleasant. That's how I feel about Blackest Night as a whole, really.
Arkham gets a facelift, thugs get kicked in the face, and Jean Loring is awesome even in death, after the jump...
Most Unfortunate Remodeling - Arkham Reborn #1
So as you may or may not know, Arkham Asylum recently got destroyed for the, I don't know, 6th time? and some hotshot young doctor is trying to rebuild it as a more enlightened healing facility. Perhaps he will find out ideals are no so easily applied to reality in Gotham! But all that aside, I have to say making the entry way look like a giant mouth is probably not the sort of visual metaphor that is going to soothe the criminally disturbed mind. Not that it matters, I'm sure this building will be blown up or burnt down or frozen or eaten by a giant plant before the scaffolding comes down.
Signature Move - Detective Comics #858
In the past, I may have made light of Renee Montoya's fighting style, which mostly consists of kicks to the face. But I've reconsidered. Renee is a lady, a non-superpowered lady, and as any female member of a varsity crew team will tell you, women pack most of their power in their legs.
So I guess what I'm saying is, Montoya has found a move that works for her, and she's sticking with it. I respect that.
Most Triumphant Return - Blackest Night #4
Okay, so maybe my attachment to Jean Loring stems entirely from this fanfic/parody/deranged piece of performance art, but let's look at the facts; she shrank herself and stepped on someone's brain, and then proceeded to go crazy and became a god and spent a long time orbiting the sun trapped in a space diamond. She's pretty badass. I was saddened to learn that unlike every other comic book character, when she fell into shark infested waters and was presumed dead, she actually died! But on the plus side, Jean's status as deceased means she can come back as a Black Lantern and punch people's hearts out of their chest, like that guy in Indiana Jones. Ray, how did you ever let this one get away?
Best Visual Foreshadowing - Detective Comics #858
As we learned in the last issue of Detective (SPOILER ALERT!), the creepy Alice in Wonderland villain who faced off against Batwoman in the previous arc was in fact BW's own twin sister. Suspension of disbelief powers, activate! Writer Greg Rucka is now giving us some good childhood backstory, where we see the Kane twins growing up like normal military brats, except for a horribly traumatic kidnapping ordeal.
It's pretty hard to tell the two apart for the first part of the story, but when we get to this scene, all is made clear. Little Kate's winter gear mirrors Batwoman's costume, right down to the red boots, and Beth's pink and white ensemble foreshadows her psychedelic babydoll Alice outfit. With an art team of J.H. Williams and Dave Stewart, you expect these sorts of cool visual touches, but it's still nice to take a minute and savor them.
Best Arial Stunts - World's Finest #1 and New Avengers #58
I'm a sucker for when people are launched from moving vehicles by a sudden stop in momentum. Robin handles it a lot better than Motorcycle guy. I have to admit the Red Robin costume is finally starting to grow on me.
Meanwhile, here we have a classic case of unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. They bounce off each other with a resounding KTANG, leaving bystanders dumbstruck and gasping out censored curse words.