Comic Book Review: Battle For Bludhaven #4

The Revolution has not been shy about how much we love Battle For Bludhaven. This mini-series has been fun to read and has gotten me excited for the upcoming Freedom Fighters comic book. Battle for Bludhaven is better than an El Camino with the bed full of cold cerveza, hot chicas and some Reggaeton blasting over the stereo! Let’s see if Battle for Bludhaven #4 keeps the ball rolling.

Creative Team
Writer: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artists: Dan Jurgens & Jimmy Palmiotti

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: The issue starts with “The Man” Father Time in action. Finally, we get to see Father Time kick some ass. During the battle, Father Time mentions that he is indestructible and was alive back when real knights wore suits of armor. The Atomic Knight eventually neutralize Father Time with a liquid metal that coats and immobilizes him. The Atomic Knights then get Captain Atom and take him back to their HQ.

We then cut over to the Nuclear Legion crossing paths with the Nuclear Family. The Society has sent the Nuclear Family to assist the Nuclear Legion in finding the source of Bludhaven’s radiation leak. The scene includes some pretty funny dialogue between the two groups. The Nuclear Legion doesn’t feel like they need any help especially not from a silly group like the Nuclear Family. The Nuclear Family pretty much calls out the Nuclear Legion for the losers that they are. The best is the bratty little brother who tells the Nuclear Legion that he carries a plutonium core and if they so much as look at him sideways then he will detonate on general principle. (I love it!)

We then shift over to S.H.A.D.E. HQ. The team returns with their captive Atomic Knight. Father Time then shatters the metal coating that was immobilizing him. He orders the team to place the captured Atomic Knight in the interrogation room. Father Time then tells Phantom Lady, Major Force, Doll Man and Lady Liberty to go recover Captain Atom. He then instructs Replicant, Human Bomb, Bigfoot and Silent Majority to hunt down and kill all of the Atomic Knights. Replicant then tells Father Time that the Teen Titans have illegally infiltrated Bludhaven.

On that cue, we then cut over to the Teen Titans outside the Black Baron’s HQ at Rabe Hospital. The Black Baron then confronts the Titans. The Baron has his two ho’s from last issue strap bombs to themselves and they run to Monolith as one of them yells “Viva La Revolution!” (Hey! That’s our tagline! Except this Revolution would never blow up a hot chica!!) The girls explode and Monolith is shattered to pieces. It is officially a braaaaawwwl! During the fight, Monolith re-assembles himself. Robin is fighting Black Baron when Monolith pushes Robin aside saying that Bludhaven is his city and his responsibility and that Black Baron does not deserve to live. And with that, Monolith grabs the Baron by his neck and tosses him over a building far far away. (Wow! That Monolith is a hard ass. I was not expecting that.)

We shift back to Father Time allowing his torture specialist, The Face, to begin torturing the female Atomic Knight for information.

We hop back to the Bigfoot, Silent Majority, Replicant and Human Bomb looking for the Atomic Knights. Replicant locates some non-armored Atomic Knights in a building. He tells Human Bomb to destroy it. With a touch of his hand, the Human Bomb levels the entire street. We see the other S.H.A.D.E. members across town watching the explosion. They suddenly stumble across the Teen Titans, and it’s official, we have another braaaaaawwl! One by one, the Titans get taken out. The last Titan standing is Ravager. Ravager pops out of hiding and guts Lady Liberty with her sword!! (Damn! That is the second Lady Liberty killed in just 4 issues!) Ravager then gets taken out by Bigfoot. The rest of the S.H.A.D.E. members arrive on the scene. That leaves only Firebrand and Monolith still standing to take on all of the S.H.A.D.E. members. End of issue.

The Good: First off, it was great to see Father Time kicking some butt! We learned two interesting facts about this character. One, he is indestructible. Two, he is evidently extremely old since he was around during the middle ages. I really find Father Time to be a fantastic and interesting character. I’m exited to learn more about this character as they continue to flesh him out. I hope that Father Time sticks around for a good long time. He is too good of a character to junk. I still believe that there is a connection between Uncle Sam and Father Time. There are just too many similarities.

I loved the Nuclear Family! They are hilarious. The 1950’s Mom, Dad, big sister, little brother and family dog. Perfect. And the scene with them and the Nuclear Legion was great. It was funny they way the sister and the brother just broke balls on the Nuclear Legion. Gray and Palmiotti do a good job mixing in some humor to keep this title from being too dark.

The scene with the Black Baron was good. I mean, c’mon, of course I’m going to dig hot chicks yelling “Viva la Revolution!” The best is that this scene really helped to flesh out Monolith’s character. For the first time, we see a more hard core side to his personality. I liked his stance that this is his city and his people and that Baron does not deserve to live. It makes sense considering that Monolith was created in WW II under the Nazi oppression.

I really liked the scene where Human Bomb takes down an entire street. The Man in Black is a total badass. I liked how he told Replicant that he wasn’t taking orders from anything that wasn’t human. And when Replicant got in his face and told him that failure to comply with Father Time’s orders will result in execution or imprisonment, Human Bomb gave the perfect retort. “You’d better start walking in the opposite direction.” I loved it. And with that, he took down an entire street with his hand. I am love this new Human Bomb. Gray and Palmiotti have created a great character here. I can tell that he must be one of their favorites because it seems that they really enjoy writing him and have done a great job establishing his character in just the past two issues.

I like the ending with just Firebrand and Monolith standing and having to take on all the members of S.H.A.D.E. A sign of a good comic book is that you immediately wish you had the next issue in your hands once you finish the comic book. That is how I felt at the end of Battle For Bludhaven #4.

I am enjoying the story that Gray and Palmiotti have weaved in this mini-series. I think that their pacing has been just right. There have been plenty of sub-plots from the start and new ones that pop up with each issue. It seems that once we resolve one sub-plot then another springs up to take its place. The story for this mini-series was obviously well planned and plotted.

I also like the dialogue. Each character has their own unique voice. Plus, there is plenty of entertaining and humorous dialogue that makes this issue enjoyable to read. Also, Gray and Palmiotti have done a solid job developing each character. And that is quite difficult when you are dealing with a cast as large as the one in Battle For Bludhaven. It is easy for all the character to blend together or all sound generic with such a large cast. Gray and Palmiotti have done a good job avoiding that problem.

There are so many interesting plotlines still to be resolved. Will the government’s corruption in Bludhaven be exposed? What will happen when S.H.A.D.E. inevitably will split to form the Freedom Fighters? And what is Father Time’s story? And when will Captain Atom finally awake from his coma? So much to look forward to.

The Bad: I only have one very small complaint about the writing. I think the Titans got dropped way too easily in their fight with S.H.A.D.E. I know that this mini-series is about establishing the characters who will be in the new upcoming Freedom Force comic book. And I know, that by jobbing the Teen Titans rather quickly to the members of S.H.A.D.E. will help get them over with the readers and establish some credibility. But, it was just too fast and easy.

The artwork is the only Achilles’ heel to this comic book. The art is not horrible, it is just extremely average. It doesn’t add anything to the story. It certainly doesn’t make this an interesting comic to look at. The artwork has little pop or sizzle.

There was also a small goof on the cover. We see the Titans attacking the members of S.H.A.D.E. which includes the white Lady Liberty who got killed back in issue #1. This issue has the black Lady Liberty who also gets killed.

There is no doubt that the strength of Battle For Bludhaven is the great writing. This issue continues the fun ride I have been having with this mini-series. I think that this is one comic book that is worth your hard earned money.