I love Alfred Pennyworth. And, man, it sucks to see him weeping in Batman and Robin #18. Ninety per cent of the time that we see Bruce Wayne's closest confidante, he's usually keeping a stiff upper lip, in spite of whatever horrible string of events is currently making Batman's life hell. But Robin is dead and even Alfred can't hold in the grief.
Bereavement is a core part of the Batman mythos. The character simply wouldn't exist death coming too soon into Bruce Wayne's life. But the thing I've enjoyed the most about the last few years of Batman comics is how he seemed a bit more well-adjusted. The notion of a Bat-family built around a vigilante loner didn't seem quite as dissonant as in previous decades, especially with Damian Wayne wearing the Robin outfit. That's why this particular page is my favourite from a very strongly done silent issue written by Peter J. Tomasi with art from Patrick Gleason and Mick grey. A lot of the other Bat-books that have been the Requiem tag has made only passing mention of Damian's death but this one is steeped in loss and hits excellently mournfully notes throughout.
The Best "Blinded Me With Science" Series Currently on the Stands : Nowhere Men #4
This book from writer Eric Stephenson and artists Nate Bellegarde and Jordie Bellaire deconstructs and multiplies the science-hero — at least as it's as exemplified in the Fantastic Four — and re-seats the concept in a world where science isn't immune from politics, greed, corporate gamesmanship and the foibles of human nature. The four super-scientists who formed reearch group World Corp made things that changed the world — bionic eyes, super-intelligent robot helpers, ultra-cool compact computers — but ultimately their friendships and legacy decayed into bitter, thorny cul-de-sacs. The book feels very talky at times but the visual sensibility of mad science mixed the design templates of 1970s magazine advertisements and icy-cool Steve Jobs/Jonny Ive-era Apple keeps your eyes happy. Highly recommended.
Best Redemption of a Terrible Origin Story: Wolverine and the X-Men #26
Every time a new issue of this series comes out, I shake my head in wonder at the fact that James Aaron — the guy who started off writing gritty books like Scalped — is the torch-bearer for the sensibilities of the Chris Claremont school of X-writing. The Marvel stalwart manages to get the mix of soap opera, teen angst As in the golden age of X-men continuity, the mutant house of learning takes the idea of a school as both a refuge and reflection of the larger world and The rough-and-tumble backwoods vibe that permeates all of Aaron's writing gets a focus here, in a story that single-handedly redeems the awful folderol that happened with Marvel editorial tried to give Logan a proper start-of-it-all story in Wolverine: Origin. The feral X-Man's older brother gets recast as a surprising and quasi-sympathetic villain.
What about you? What sequences or covers from this week's comics made your eyeballs happy? Share ‘em in the comments below.