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GKO: MADHOUSE

Here you will find our rambalings on all area's of Batman, interviews and speical features!

JL: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS REVIEW

We review Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.

BATMAN OF ZUR-EN-ARRH

We take a look at the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh from Batman #113.

GREG RUCKA INTERVIEW

Gotham Knights Online - Interview with Greg Rucka.

BTS: MUSIC MEISTER

A behind the scenens look at The Music Meister.

REVIEW: SB: PE

We review Superman / Batman: Public Enemies.

J.H. WILLIAMS III INTERVIEW

Gotham Knights Online - Interview with J.H. Wiilams III

REVIEW - BATMAN: AA

We review the most eagarly anticipated game this year!

BATMAN CRIME JAZZ

Composers talk crime jazz for Batman

GKO: BATTLE FOR THE COWL: ORACLE #2 REVIEW

Posted by Bob Tilley Monday, 20 April 2009

Title: "Big Trouble in Hong Kong"
Written by - Kevin Vanhook
Art by - Don Kramer and Jay Leisten
Cover - Guillem March
Colors - Bit and Norm Rapmund
Editor - Michael Siglain
Published - April 15th, 2009
Retail Price - $2.99

Official DC Comics Synopsis:
The Calculator will go to any lengths to save the life of his daughter Wendy – even if it means using remnants of the Anti-Life Equation to do so! But when Oracle intervenes, she soon finds out that the Calculator has been killing Internet hackers from across the globe to get his hands on the Equation, and the final name on his list is hers!

REVIEW BY: Gary Allegra Jr.

Barbra Gordon has done a lot after she was paralyzed and gave up the Batgirl mantle; as Oracle, she has done a lot of great work, for both her previous mentor and his Bat family and other heroes in need of her research, coordinating, or tactical skills. Battle for the Cowl has shown us a little bit more of the good ole' Babs we used to know, as well as where she is headed, in the new "Oracle: The Cure" miniseries, and the second issue continues to do that; and then some.

It opens up with Barbara just arriving in Hong Kong, where she heads off to meet up with some hackers whom she has associated with as Oracle; unfourtunatley, three muggers jump her while she's on her way. As she takes care of the three punks, she chastizes herself for being so "soft"; in her Batgirl days, she never would have been caught off guard so easily.

Then she meets with the hackers, who instantly assume that she is Oracle's "scout" or "assistant" - the great Oracle could not be a woman, of course - and let her in. They have stored large amounts of cached internet files and pages, which they've been sorting through to find the equation for her. After seeing the "convergence points", data trails that they're finding to get peices of the equation, Oracle then realizes she has to get in contact with Chaos Larry to warn him about Cheese-Fiend(Hey, I didn't pick the names)'s fate. Larry tells Barbara that it isn't that simple anymore, because now he has gotten an invitation from "Babbage" (aka The Calculator) as well, so he knows where to find him. The Oracle tells Larry to leave as quickly as he can, with no credit cards, cell phones, or anything traceable - he has to run and run quickly, otherwise he could end up like Cheese-Fiend.

Barbara immediatley goes to action, telling the hackers to load up the convergence points and data they had just showed her. Once they do, she tells them to download them to Oracle's personal drives before deleting them all from the net, effectively taking every peice of the equation away from the grasp of The Calculator. That would be a good thing, except at the same time Larry foolishly decides to fight Babbage one-on-one in the virtual reality game called Alta Viva...the same game that Cheese-Fiend was killed through by Babbage/The Calculator! Larry is quickly defeated as the Calculator reveals his true self (in the form of a crazed, virtual monster), who gets enraged as he notices that files containing peices of the equation are dissapearing one by one (thanks to Barbara and her friends). In the final panel, we see the Calculator, in all his virtual-monster glory, shouting through the hackers' compter screen that he will "kill [Oracle's] little hacker friend, then I'm going to tear you apart!".

I kinda enjoyed this ish, because we see a few neat things. Firstly, the art.....all I can say is Oh...My...LANTA. Barbara Gordon has never looked so good as she does in this issue, especially in Guillem March's cover art. Va-va-voom! But really, the whole issue had some great art, by Kramer and Leisten. It reminds me almost of Batman Beyond, with the darker colors, more green and purple accents, and the overall kinda edgier style - and I really dig it, it feels perfect for the whole underground/hacker/computer vibe. The next thing that I really enjoyed was during the mugging scene, we see a bit of Barbara's wishfulness that she could return to the days of fighting crime, because now she sees herself as "soft", which was pretty cool to see - especially when there is big speculation that she will somehow heal and become Batgirl again this summer. It's also fun that we get to see both sides of Babs in this book, from the feisty, take charge "Don't mess with me" Barbara (when she's dealing with Jin being a "jerk"), the compassionate Barbara (when she tells Larry about...ugh...Cheese-Fiend), and a little bit of the heroic fighting Barbara in the opener and the mugging.

However, it wasn't perfect. I don't really like that they failed to re-mention the pain in the legs from the last issue, which I was really hoping was to show that her legs were starting to get some feeling back in them. Who knows, maybe it's the anti-life equation that will bring her legs back, but still, I think at least one mention of the "phantom pains" would've been nice. Other than that, the only problem I can think of is that the story seemed a little short, but that might just be a credit to the storytelling of Kevin Vanhook, making it flow quickly without missing a beat. Oh, and that name, "Cheese-Fiend", still irratates me every time.


Overall though, it was a good story with some great beats, but overall it's pretty lukewarm...not much really grabbed me, and it was kinda short. So I guess I'll give it 4 high-tension telescoping batons through Jin's temple out of 5.

Score: 4/5

LISTEN TO THIS WEEKS PODCAST ONLINE COVERING NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS WITH GUESTS FROM ALL BATMAN INDUSTRIES!



GKO: PODCAST #43

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. 4th to 17th Oct, including Batman: Knightfall Pt11.
23-10-10

GKO: PODCAST #42

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. 20th Sept to 3rd Oct, including Batman: Knightfall Pt10.
09-10-10

GKO: PODCAST #41

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. 13th to Sept 20th, including Batman: Knightfall Pt9.
14-09-10

GKO: PODCAST #40

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. Aug 30th to Sept 12th, including Batman: Knightfall Pt8.
14-09-10

GKO: PODCAST #39

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. Aug 23rd to Aug 29th, including Batman: Knightfall Pt7.
31-08-10

GKO: PODCAST #38

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. Aug 9th to Aug 22nd, including Batman: Knightfall Pt6.
24-08-10

GKO: PODCAST #37

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. Aug 2nd to Aug 8th, including Batman: Knightfall Pt5.
03-08-10

GKO: PODCAST #36

This week we have a new host and review Batman: Under the Red Hood along with all the news from the week.
03-08-10

GKO: PODCAST #35

This is our SDCC '10 coverage special covering all the news from July 19th to July 25th.
26-07-10

GKO: PODCAST #34

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. July 12th to July 18th, including Batman: Knightfall Pt2.
19-07-10

GKO: PODCAST #33

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. July 5th to July 11th, including Batman: Knightfall Pt1.
12-07-10

GKO: PODCAST #32

This week we interview writer Judd Winick about the Red Hood.
05-07-10

GKO: PODCAST #31

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. June 14th to June 20th.
21-06-10

GKO: PODCAST #30

This week we cover the amazing release of Batman #700. June 7th to June 13th.
14-06-10

GKO: PODCAST #29

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. May 31st to June 6th.
7-06-10

GKO: PODCAST #28

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. May 24th to May 30th.
31-05-10

GKO: PODCAST #27

This week we cover the usual news in the Batman Universe. May 10th to May 23rd.
24-05-10

GKO: PODCAST #26

We return for a quick April round table episode.
10-05-10

GKO: PODCAST #25

This week is our 25th Anniversary episode including a new co-host.
21-03-10

GKO: PODCAST #24

This week we interview with artist Lee Garbett to talk about his current run on Batgirl
01-03-10

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