Nightwing; Knights of the Dinner Table; Patty Cake and Friends; Tomb Raider
by Devin Grayson, Mike Lilly & Andy Owens
The title of this chapter of "War Games" is "Clarification," which is ironic since this issue is anything but clear. Rather than presenting any sort of narrative, it's just a set of scenes strung together with no coherence at all. Many of these individual scenes are well-written, but there's no context and no explainations; for example, who is the guy in the dorky purple costume on page 6? Perhaps he's shown up in other Bat-titles before, but he's never been in Nightwing, so one would think that a caption or two would be in order. This is a perfect example of what not to due for a chapter of a huge cross-title crossover.
Rating: 2 (of 5)
Knights of the Dinner Table #95
by Jolly Blackburn
After what seems like an eternity, the long-running saga of Tremble and the Doomsday Pack finally comes to a close. In other words, this is not a good place for new readers to come in. The end comes at halfway through the issue, leaving Jolly to start off the telling of the next campaign. It wold have been wiser, I think, to throw in a couple of non-related strips instead, thus leaving the start of the new campaign to the next issue, which could have been a good jump-on point. As usual, the art is primative, but if you've ever been around a gaming table, this will be a fun read.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)
Patty Cake and Friends #12
by Scott Roberts with Raina Telgemeier
Keith, José and Irving invite Patty Cake to spend a day in the woods. What could possibly go wrong? A fun story, though a little of Keith goes a long way, and I actually prefer the stories that have the kids interacting with the adults. The two page strip drawn by Telgemeier seems odd; it's well-drawn, but the style seems totally wrong for characters so long associated with Roberts' style. What makes this issue is the strip on the last page, a loving tribute to the 50's-era Peanuts Sundays.
Rating: 3 (of 5)
Tomb Raider #38-39
by James Bonny, Wilson Tortosa & Jonathan Sibal
These are the last of the Tomb Raiders from the quarter box, and at least the plot is different from the previous six issues (not better, mind you, but different). Next to living in Cabot Cove, being an old friend of Lara Croft must be one of the most dangerous positions to be in on the planet. Bonny sure knows how to give Tomb Raider fans what they want, including a shower scene, a ripped shirt, and lingerie for Tortosa to draw.
Rating: 2 (of 5)