Monday, 4 June 2012


2x04 Episode 4
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

9x13 Bikes & Bazookas
9x17 Flying Guillotine
9x16 Duct Tape Plane
In the first of these, they spend half an episode seeing if something from the film RED is plausible. I could've told them that in half a second. Still, it meant stuff blowing up, and that's always cool. The second episode, meanwhile, showed that C4 (as in the explosive) is pretty amazing stuff. (Though how Discovery UK decide the broadcast order of these episodes is beyond me.)

Comics: Night of the Owls

Night of the Owls continues!

For my thoughts on the first half, see yesterday's post. The next batch (according to this reading order) begins with...

Birds of Prey #9 by Duane Swierczynski & Travel Foreman

Not the strongest issue to get back into things with, as the ragtag group of minor characters that are the Birds of Prey battle another generic Talon.

There are some good touches -- the Talons-eye-view panels that re-imagine what he's seeing as being from the 1800s are neat, and Foreman (formerly of Animal Man) delivers good imagery all round -- but Swierczynski's dialogue feels awfully clunky, shoehorning in references to on-going plot threads for no good reason... other than perhaps as some kind of attempt to get the casual Night of the Owls reader to start buying BoP regularly. Well, not close to working on me.

Fine, but (along with Batwing) the least-essential tie-in yet.

Oh, and no beheadings, but a gory double-page spread at the start including slit throats and spilled intestines. Still rated T.

Nightwing #9 by Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows & Andres Guinaldo

Picking up where the previous issue left off, this finishes the flashback story of the first Talon Batman encountered, who is also (spoilers!) Nightwing's great-grandfather, while in the present day the relatives go head-to-head.

It's one of the best issues of the whole event, in my opinion. While Batman may be aiming for an epic main battle against the Court of Owls, Nightwing conveys the personal, emotional impact of events on such a key member of the Bat-family. It makes this storyline much more of a heavy-hitter, and proves that Nightwing is as essential to the storyline as the main title.

Detective Comics #9 by Tony S. Daniel

Batman turns up at Arkham Asylum, presumably at some point in the couple-of-hours gap between two panels near the end of Batman #9. There's also a brief reference to the end of Nightwing #9, and the implication Batman's off to find the Birds of Prey in their #9... which is interesting, because he doesn't turn up in that issue!

Anyway, despite the presence of Batman himself this is pretty much a standalone fight. Though he leaves with Dr Arkham at the end for no particular reason, unless that thread's going to crop up again in one of the few remaining issues. Considering he decides to drop him with Nightwing, I can't imagine which.

The Two-Face backup strip continues, nothing to do with the event. Szymon Kudranski's art is impenetrably dark and shadow-driven, making an already lacklustre story even harder to follow. Meh.

More tomorrow.