Batman: Fortress.


Can the Dark Knight Stop an Invasion of Earth?

The lights are out in Gotham City. Something sinister is afoot. As the Dark Knight wrestles with the unfolding enigma, the situation grows worse! Suddenly the entire world is plunged into Blackout. What can it be? To solve this potentially cataclysmic dilemna, the Dark Knight must look to the skies for answers. Aliens?

Cover Art

First up, let me say I absolutely love both covers for this issue. Darick Robertson and Diego Rodriguez are responsible for the artwork of Cover A, found below. Batman is standing before his monitor array, shoulders slightly hunched, watching as the worldwide drama unfolds before him. An excellent foreshadowing the apocalyptic events about to occur wthin the pages of the issue.

Cover A

The variant cover, by Doaly, is brilliant in a different way. We all know that Batman lives for his city, his heart beats for Gotham. The pollution, corruption, and seething evil are the adrenaline that pumps through his veins and keeps him sharp, alert, and ready for action. Doaly masterfuly captures this theme by literally merging Gotham into Batman! The whole right side of his bust is the city. He is truly one with Gotham. Brilliant! Interestingly, the right side of the brain is the more visual side. It processes information at a more intuitive level. Perhaps why the artist chose the right side of Batman to be Gotham. Gotham is what he sees, it is what povides him his intuition for danger. But then again, maybe I’m reading way too much into the piece. Either way, it’s an epic piece of art.



For the few weeks prior to the release of this new limited issue Batman series, I must have seriously been living under a rock, because I only found out about it a few days prior to its release on 24 May. Of course I wasted no time and immediately ordered it online (since there are no local comic book stores anywhere near my area).


Spoiler Alert!!

The story starts with a citywide blackout in Gotham. Attempting to take advantage of the darkness and lack of security systems, a gang of dimwitted thieves break into Wayne Manor in an attempt to nick as many valuables as possible. Including, apparently, a fifty grand salt shaker!

But of course, Bruce and the ever-present Alfred, foil their plans.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon is having troubles of his own. Not only does the power loss mean all communications between cops is down, but the Bat Signal isn’t working! He has to jury-rig it with car batteries! 

Back at the Batcave, Alfred reveals that break-ins and Gotham with no power are actually the least of their troubles. It seems Gotham isn’t the only city with no power! It’s spreading. Worldwide!

One of the things I’m loving about returning to the Batman universe is seeing the evolution of the Batcave over time and spotting pieces of Batman’s artifact collection that we’ve all come to know and love. And Fortress #1 doesn’t disapoint. The good old T-Rex, which first appeared in Batman #10 on 7 Feb, 1942, makes a sneaky appearance in the background of one panel.

Howdy Fido!

The giant penny, which first appeared in World’s Finest Comics #30 in 1947, makes an appearance.

Giant Coin

While on the subject of the Batcave, Fortress definitely brings it on the tech front. Batman’s control station is freakin’ awesome! It bristles with an acceptably cool overabundance of monitors and desktop delights. It’s a visual feast. I was very impressed.

Returning to the story for a moment, the very clever power loss plot mechanic enables the, albeit, short appearance of a handful of Batman’s arch-enemies. The security at Arkham Asylum has shut down. Oh dear! Enter Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin and the maniacally dangerous fiend, The Joker!

The Penguin
The Joker

My one criticism of this first installment, and it’s only small, is the rather expedient nature in which Batman rounds up these cunning foes. Perhaps a bit too quick? But then again, this story has a different, perhaps otherworldly, premise, so it was probably for the best not get carried away with these tiny subplots. But being a fan of The Joker, I always wanna see more of him!

It is while the bad guys are being rounded up that another potential subplot reveals itself. Batman inquires on a few occasions, where is Superman? He seems strangely missing during what can only be described as a global catastrophe.

Picture if you will, ALL power EVERYWHERE going out! I tried to and couldn’t even begin to imagine the scale of such a disaster. I was truly terrified at the thought! Kudos to Gary Witta, the writer, for imagining such a scary notion. But does the mention of the caped crusader mean he’ll make an appearance in this story? Is he, being of alien origin himself, somehow linked to this global phenomena? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.


Before ploughing into my conclusions I have a couple honourable cool moments to mention. First up is Commissioner Gordon’s passing reference to The Purge movie franchise. A very nice little “real world” touch.

Next up is a funky Alfred moment. When discussing the Wayne-owned satellite feeds, Alfred suggests the satellites be called Batellites. I really like this sudden moment of humour during what is shaping up to be a calamitous time in history.

Batman gifting Alfred a souvenir T-shirt commemorating the blackout is a corny, but very cool, final touch of levity. Made me chuckle!


Overall, I reckon this is an awesome introduction to a new series. Old villains return with a bang, however briefly. The citywide, then worldwide power outage is a truly scary prelude of things to come. We can only imagine the horrors about to unfold. Gary Witta’s writing is tight and inspired, and backed up by some great artwork. I especially enjoyed seeing the Batcave control station in action. Watching Batman and Alfred watching the dire worldwide events unfold on the multiple screens turns the control station into a vital character. And of course the appearance of Fido in the Batcave is noteworthy. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Until next time…

My Batman Confession!

“You can never escape from me. Bullets don’t harm me. Nothing harms me. But I know pain. Sometimes I share it. With someone like you.”


I have a bit of a secret. Secrets can gnaw at you, demanding to be let out. Well, mine isn’t quite that dramatic, but I felt it was time to come clean! I’ve been a huge Batman fan for as long as I remember. I love the caped crusader. The best detective in the world. Yet despite my adoration (which some might label obsession) I have never read the first appearance of the Batman.

Yep! Cat’s out of the bag. I’ve never read Detective Comics #27. Shame on me. Why then? Why has such a devout fan committed this heinous crime? Well, the answer to that is twofold.

The first reason begins with a small history lesson. Batman, or as he was referred to in those days the Bat-man, first appeared in Detective Comics #27, which was published on 3 June 1939. It was a seven page story entitled “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate”. The character, the Bat-man was the brainchild of writer Bill Finger and Artist Bob Cane (who also did the cover for this issue). This comic book is now exceedingly rare and therefore ludicrously expensive. Obtaining, let alone reading, such a rare comic is near impossible these days. Currently the website Key Collector has the price of a low quality copy at $250k U.S. And a high end copy at a whopping $2.2M U.S. So … yeah!

So why not just read a digital copy, I hear you ask? To put it simply, I just never got round to it. I’ve never been a huge fan of reading much stuff digitally, so I just never found the space to do it. Until recently!

About a week ago I stumbled across an app called DC Universe Infinite. For a monthly subscription you can read literally thousands of DC comics, including oldies. So I thought I’d give the 7 day free trial a go. I’m glad I did! I finally got to read Detective Comics #27!

And I loved it!

Right from the very first panel where we’re introduced to a young socialite, Bruce Wayne. Groovy threads!

First visual appearance of Bruce Wayne

I’m not going to bore you with a full review of a 90 year old story, but what I would like to share with you are a few select panels that made an impression on me. Having said that, I do recommend reading this story if you haven’t already. It’s a great little murder mystery, even though it’s kinda solved by the Bat-man behind the scenes. It’s got action, some suspense, and of course Bat-man using the “little grey cells” to get out of a few tight situations along the way. Well worth the read!

The most important panel in this story must be the first visual appearance of the man himself. Dated writing styles notwithstanding, this appearance packs a real punch! Do you guys agree?

First ever panel illustrating the Bat-man.

After saving the day a couple times, Bat-man hones in on the killer. But one more henchman stands in his way.

Dispatched in style!

Finally the killer is revealed

Absolutely brilliant. Reading this story, immersing myself in noir-age language is an amazing trip down memory lane, the nostalgia of a childhood spent buried in the musty pages of crime stories so thick I could almost grab onto it. Wonderful!

Then right at the end of the story, the true identity of the caped crusader is revealed to the audience.

The identity of the Bat-man revealed.

Guys! Wow! Just wow! Dated, yes. But full of character. And laced with the charm of a bygone era. What do you guys think of this story, this first Batman appearance?

Until next time …

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Issue #1

A Storm Approaches…

The following is not really a review. It is more the impressions and observations of a keen reader. Off the bat, let me just say I’ve been really looking forward to reading this first installment of Star Wars: Obi-Wan since I first heard tell of it several weeks ago. I’m getting old, so I can’t recall exactly when. I did a bit of an intro to its upcoming release in a previous blog. Click Here to read it. Since I have to wait till May 27 to watch the first of the new Disney series Obi-Wan, this comic book would be a yummy aperitif. It turned out to be more than that. Much more! In fact, I dare say, more in line with a three course banquet!

I received my copy of Star Wars: Obi-Wan in the mail this week, and upon enthusiastically tearing open the package, I was greeted by this magnificent sight…

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Cover A

Wow! What a magnificent piece of art. Phil Noto has captured the essence of the journey ahead in this series in masterful fashion. At top right we see an aging Obi-Wan staring pensively into the distance. The future, perhaps? His image is almost a watermark, fading, yet maintaining clarity and strength. Dominant in the image is Obi-Wan at the age when his world began to crumble. Betrayed by his student and friend and now an outcast from a galaxy he vowed to protect with his very soul, Obi-Wan still stands strong, determined to fulfill his last mission: to watch over the child, Luke Skywalker. Which draws us down to the ominous presence of Darth Vader, lurking beneath all this. How will Darth feature in this story? I look forward to finding out. And of course this whole scene is set against the backdrop of Tatooine, its twin suns now an icon cherished by fans the world over. This truly visceral cover had me all but yearning to turn to the first page!

The story opens with an aging Obi-Wan pondering the nature of an impending sand storm. “This will be a bad one,” he says, staring into the distance, as if he can sense something. Something “elusive” perhaps! The colourist, Carlos Lopez, uses rich sepia tones here to reflect the hot, barren nature of Tatooine.

Then back in his home, we discover that, yes, Obi-Wan has sensed something. He tells us that he doesn’t chronicle every sandstorm on this barren rock. There’s not enough parchment in the galaxy for such a feat! But this storm…

Star Wars: Obi-Wan, art by A. Anindito & C. Lopez, p. 8.

Suddenly, we are whisked back in time, back when Obi-Wan was still a young Padawan. The colourist, Carlos Lopez, now switches from the warm sepia tones of the desert to a cold palette of blues and black to depict night time in a sprawling city. Obi-Wan wakes with a start in his quarters in the Jedi Temple to discover the bed next to his empty, the bed of fellow Padawan, Gehren Rand. Worried, Ob-Wan goes in search of his friend.

He eventually finds Gehren on the roof of the temple, staring miserably down at the city below. She is being plagued by nightmares of her father. He is terrified and in great pain. She tells Obi-Wan that she cannot stay at the temple. She has to go. Her father needs her help. Shades of Anakin’s dreams about his mother here. But Obi-Wan doesn’t want her to leave…

Star Wars: Obi-Wan, loc. cit., p12.

Nevertheless, Gehren chooses to leave. She leaps down into the “metropolitan abyss” of Coruscant. Obi-Wan, perhaps rashly, decides to leap after her. Into the underbelly of the city, he goes. And almost immediately he is set upon by a gang of ruffians. The confrontation that followed was awesome! Padawan Obi-Wan using the Force to fight them!

Star Wars: Obi-Wan, loc. cit., p16.

But there are too many of them for the young Padawan. Oh no! Poor Obi-Wan! Suddenly, in drops Gehren – literally – to save the day. Then the fighting ceases when the leader of the gang, Nodrus Cay, appears. She looks none-too-happy. But the Padawans strike a deal with her to take them “offworld”. But is this too easy?

Yes! The moment the Padawans turn to get on the ship, Nodrus Cay has them shackled. Betrayed! But then, Gehren reminds Obi-Wan who they are. What they can accomplish together if they focus. The pair, as one, close their eyes and reach out to the Force…

And “KRAAAK!” their shackles shatter, freeing them. They make a leap of faith. A leap to freedom!

Star Wars: Obi-Wan, loc. cit., p18.

Once free, Obi-Wan wants to return to the temple. But Gehren can’t! She still has to leave. And leave alone. So Obi-Wan watches his only friend leave. The one person who has always had his back and watched out for him.

Upon his return to the Jedi Temple, we witness the first appearance of my all-time favourite character. Yoda. Sooo cool! Yoda tells Obi-Wan that the only person who can truly watch out for him is himself! Yoda then gives him a broom and tells him he can ponder this “new wisdom” through the night while sweeping! Classic. Yay for Yoda!

The story ends back on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan reveals that he would never again see Gehren. I was definitely surprised by this. And a bit sad. Gehren really has the makings of a kick-butt character.

To wrap up, I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment of Star Wars: Obi-Wan. It promises an exciting and revealing insight into the life of a much-loved character from the Star Wars universe. Hats off to writer, Christopher Cantwell, for weaving such an engrossing and dynamic storyline. And artist, Ario Anindito, who also drew Star Wars: The High Republic, provided me a visual feast! Not to forget colourist, Carlos Lopez, who set the moods of the barren Tatooine to the multi-textured layers of Coruscant with epic style. Brilliant! 10 out of 10. Can’t wait for Issue #2 in June!

Until next time…

Mail Call Monday!

This week has seen some exciting new arrivals at Comic Dayz HQ. Today was no exception!

Batman: Three Jokers

First up, the package I’ve been awaiting anxiously. The 3 book set of Batman: Three Jokers. These covers are absolutely gorgeous! If you haven’t already guessed, the Joker is my absolute favourite character in the DC universe.


The other package that arrived today was a bit of an impulse buy a couple of weeks ago after reading a terrific review in a comic shop bulletin. Maria Llovet’s Porcelain. A 5 issue story which sounds fascinating. Can’t wait to read it!

Better pics and in-depth reviews of all of the above – plus many more – coming soon. Stay tuned!

Until next time, guys…

Solving A Sticky Situation!

A couple of weeks ago I purchased a near complete run of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The below pic was all I had to go on…

Photo of Collection

The first thing that drew my eye was the top two issues in the pic. They were news-stand editions. Awesome! The instant question in my head: are these all news-stand? At this point I had no idea, and I was reluctant to ask the seller in case he didn’t know what he had and upon finding out would hike up the price (happened to me before) or simply remove the lot from sale. Not that I wanted to cheat the seller or anything (I ain’t that guy!), but he was already asking a fair bit of dosh. I wanted them, but they also came with issues.

Which leads us into the main plotline of this story. Three of the four books pictured had the dreaded price stickers on the covers. And they’d been attached for a long time! Since 2006, to be exact. Consequently, removal of said annoyances would not be easy. Unfortunately the seller confirmed in a quick correspondence that 98% of them had price stickers. Bummer! But I still went for it … after haggling a bit of a deal.

Skip forward a week. The collection arrived, and after a quick perusal, my fears regarding the stickers were confirmed. Stuck fast is an understatement. But on the plus side every single issue was news-stand. Woohoo!

I must admit I’ve never attempted to remove really old stickers. Doing so is fraught with danger. Many, many things could go wrong. I was so nervous about bolloxing the whole affair that I considered just leaving them be. But I couldn’t. Every time I tried to admire the cover art my eye immediately went to that gross square of ugliness in the top corner. Why do newsagents insist on subjecting our poor comic books to this barbaric practice?

No. The stickers had to go.

But how to do it safely? To the internet! After some searching, I was quite shocked to discover there wasn’t really a lot of info out there. Did this mean that most just didn’t do it? That stickers were generally just left in place? This possibility made me even more nervous! But my mind was made up. I had to push through the fear. Those blasted stickers were on borrowed time. They had to go. No backsies!!

The consensus of opinion of those who did remove stickers was to use a hairdryer. Sure. I could do that. I watched a couple of YouTube videos illustrating the technique. Simple enough. With the hairdryer on low, place it really close to the offending sticker, and blast away for about three minutes. With nervous anticipation, I grabbed the hairdryer and the guineapig comic, which happened to have a damaged cover, anyway, so all wouldn’t be lost if I messed it up.

Thank goodness the cover was already rooted, because mess it up I did! Royally! As you can see below, a chunk of the cover came away with the sticker.

The screw up!

What caused this? The best I could figure is while I held the hairdryer to the cover it was getting ridiculously hot and was starting to wrinkle. I felt that I was holding the hairdryer way too close. I don’t know if the hairdryers in the tutorials were weaker on the low setting than mine, but whatever the case, I needed to adjust how I executed the task. Problem was, I had no more damaged covers with which to practice! I needed to just go for it! I grabbed the next comic, and fired up the hairdryer. But this time I held the hairdryer about 30cm above the sticker. I also moved the hairdryer around in mini-figure-8s. The moment of truth.

I started peeling …

… and

… success!

It actually worked! No sticky residue. Emboldened, I did another. And another. Pretty soon (well, a after a few hours) I had the majority of thee stickers off. All were a success, but some I did have to put a little extra work into to remove a bit of glue residue. I did this by reheating the glue for about 30 seconds, then, with the side of my thumb, I gently massaged away the small areas of glue.

As you may know, this comic series has two major keys. Issue #9 and Issue #42. I left these till last. Even though I had done over 40 comics successfully, I was still “shaking in my boots!” I grabbed Issue #9, first appearance of Revan. A stunning cover. Apologies for the blurry pic! I didn’t realize this till after I’d removed the sticker.

Issue #9 with sticker

Seeing this beautiful cover in front of me made me even more anxious. I was literally shaking (could’ve been the Red Bull I’d just chugged, I guess!). Taking a deep breath, I had at it.

It worked!

Sticker removed

And boy does the cover look sooo much better! Epic!

Next I grabbed Issue #42, first appearance of Malak. Another sweet cover. I don’t have a before shot of this cover, but suffice to say, it looked ugly. And now it doesn’t!

Issue #42

To conclude this rather long-winded story (apologies), always test whatever you see on YouTube first. Never assume that your results will be the same. We live in a chaotic world, guys. There are so many variables. We must, if we hope to succeed, devise our own methods through trial and error. But all in all, I have to say I really enjoyed this process, and I’ve learned a new skill. Cool! Comment below if you’ve tried doing this. Did it work or flop? Or do you just leave price stickers on cover?

Until next time, guys …

Star Wars Day!

Happy Star Wars Day everyone! Time to pull out the Star Wars saga, grab some popcorn, and shout “May the Fourth be with you!”

This year Star Wars Day heralds the beginning of an awesome month of treats for fans. On 27 May the long-awaited and highly anticipated (for me, at least), TV series Obi-Wan premieres on Disney+. Ewan McGregor reprises his role of Kenobi, which will be epic to say the least. The show was originally scheduled for release on 25 May to coincide with the release date of the original Star Wars: A New Hope way back in 1977, but the date was pushed back a couple of days. Bit of a bummer. Would’ve been a nice homage to the original. If that’s not exciting enough, though, apparently we get a double dose on 27 May with the first two episodes being made available to stream!

But hold onto your seats! Before all that yummy screen goodness drops, we have the release of the new comic series Obi-Wan in just three days! That’s right! On the 7 May we get to the first in a series of Kenobi adventures in comic book form (in Australia, anyway)!

Standard Cover

From what I’ve heard, these stories are narrated by an aging Obi-Wan (probably not long before the events of A New Hope). We follow Obi-Wan as he reflects on his past adventures, some even going right back to his childhood. I’m beyond pumped to see how his story plays out!

Gist Variant Cover

As one would expect, Issue #1 will be released with several different covers. So far I’ve found four. I’m sure there’s probably more! As for my humble self, I’m sticking with just the two covers shown above. That’ll do me! Variant covers can get quite overwhelming to try to collect!

May the fourth be with you, guys!!

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is going on a road trip! That’s the premise of the upcoming DC Comics Poison Ivy series. I must admit, I’ve not read much in the way of Poison Ivy in comic form, but this new series definitely has me intrigued!

This new series promises to delve deeper into the relationship between Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, two brilliantly fleshed out anti-heroes IMHO. This series will also probe deeper into just who Poison Ivy really is. Is she vegan? Or perhaps a carnivore? And what are her personal philosophies? Is she an environmentalist? Or is she making the world a greener place, not through any sort of altruism, but simply because she is what she is?

What do you guys think? Gunna give it a read? Be sure to check out my review of Issue #1 when it is released!

Until tomorrow…

Mail Call Monday!

Isn’t it great to start the week with a bunch of comic-laden parcels delivered to your door!

I love it! And some pretty exciting stuff, which I’ll be sharing with you all in upcoming posts, turned up in this batch. Here’s a peek…
A bit more Scooby Apocalypse for the collection, including the TPB edition vol. 3 (for reading!). Knights of the Old Republic #4 makes its long awaited appearance. Love KOTOR? I’ve got you covered! I’ll be doing a whole host of feature posts for this series. So stay tuned! Also lurking in the batch are a couple of Batman Detective Comics for the collection! The Detective Comics series will feature heavily in this blog over time. Very exciting!
I also grabbed some silver age boards to fit the bags I got recently. And damn, boards are harder to find than a sailboat in a 3d picture at present!
That’s enough rambling for today. What are some of your most recent buys? Leave a comment below!
Until tomorrow…

New Beginnings!

Many, many decades ago, a young boy, the gleam of a wild imagination in his eye, stepped into a newsagent. Little did he know his life would be changed forever, the scope of his imagination stretched immeasurably. While browsing the glossy magazine covers, his eye caught a particularly interesting cover. The artwork intrigued him. He reached out to grab it, unaware that this action would alter his destiny forever! It was a comic book!
I still remember that moment like it was yesterday. Back then I pretty much collected what grabbed my eye on the news stand, but I did particularly like Detective Comics and anything Batman related. Granted, when I was a kid there wasn’t a huge selection to choose from here in Australia. I spent many long hours immersed in amazingly vivid, wonderful, and dangerous comic worlds, some even late at night by torchlight hunched under my bed covers. Those were the days!
Then life evolved. I went to university, got married etc… The world of Comics seemed forever forgotten. Then a few years ago, my life drastically changed. I was no longer married and all obligations I once had were gone. I was free to start exploring hobbies from my youth again, such as model building and, of course, comics! 
But so much has changed. The comic scene has literally exploded with myriad amazing options. I’ll freely admit, it was difficult when I first started looking up stuff again a few weeks ago to rein myself in! I wanted everything I saw! But then the reality of that dreaded word “budget” kicked in!
So now here we are. What are my plans for this blog? What am I going to collect? Well, my plan, for now is to write a daily blog reflecting on my new journey, such as my current reading and the new new issues I’m collecting. As to what I’m collecting, it’s still early days, but my interests so far are:
– Batman Detective Comics (and in future some other Batman issues.
– Scooby Apocalypse
– Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
– Star Wars High Republic
– Spencer & Locke
And a few others! I’m super excited about my new comic collecting, and I hope you enjoy following along! The eye candy below is just a glimpse of what’s to come, so buckle up, guys!

 Until next time…