A week in ink

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The Spectrum

X-Men: Curse of the Mutants #3

Marvel jumps on the vampire bandwagon with the "Curse of the Mutant" story arc and, for the most part, does a good job.

Issue No. 1 begins with a bang when a vampire kamikaze attack infects half of San Francisco's Union Square as well as Jubilee of the X-Men. It seems that a mysterious vampire overlord is playing puppeteer and uniting the undead masses against the mutants.

Issue No. 3 advances the plot by bringing in famed vampire hunter and world-renowned tough guy, Blade, to take down the fanged threat. This issue is jam-packed with surprises and moments of sheer sanguinary excellence as Blade and Wolverine assault a vampire stronghold. However, if things go the Vampire Lord's way, this fight will shatter the X-Men once and for all.

These comics are highly recommended for all Marvellites and even a few Twihards looking to get into comics, but don't expect any shimmering heart throbs in this series – the Marvel universe is all about kicking "butt" and taking names.

Daken: Dark Wolverine #1

Though first issues rarely contain a ton of plot, Daken: Dark Wolverine manages to summarize the entire history of a character in its last eight pages.

For those who are unfamiliar with Daken, he is the son of one of the scariest and most powerful mutants, Wolverine. He has had anything but an easy life.

Born with his father's incredible powers of regeneration and claws, Daken is stolen away from his dad before his birth. Romulus, a mysterious lupine figure who haunts Wolverine's life, cuts open the womb of Wolverine's pregnant wife, killing her and stealing baby Daken. Romulus then corrupts Daken, raising him to resent his father and persuading him to kill Wolverine.

This comic certainly isn't for those with weak stomachs, as Daken quickly continues his hellish upbringing by murdering his foster mother and two of her children. The art in this series is dark and gory yet incredibly well done, setting a gloomy, foreboding stage for the story to be told.

For comic book vets, this story is worth its $3.99 price tag. However, for those breaking into the world of claws and jumpsuits, this is better left on the shelf.

Batman #703

As Dick Grayson dons the mask of one of the world's greatest superheroes, the new dark knight must find a way to take out criminals in Gotham City and play baby sitter to Bruce Wayne's assassin-bred son, Damian, at the same time.

Batman #703 is one of the more nostalgic comics in the series, as Batman sees parts of himself in the young Robin. As Damian ages, he faces the challenge of understanding the legacy his father left and the impact he has had on the city. A return of the classic villain, The Getaway Genius, tests the new duo as tension builds between the aged Dick Grayson and his new apprentice.

As The Getaway Genius confounds the caped crusader, the only clue lies within the Gotham Gazette and Bruce Wayne's old flame, Vicki Vale.

Capturing a genius is never simple, but with a little help from Red Robin, – known to others as Tim Drake – they eventually catch their prey, or so they think.

Bruce Wayne's disappearance has indeed been a troublesome affair, though Dick Grayson has done an incredible job replacing the world's greatest detective.

This series is easy to get into, fun to read and works out those deductive reasoning muscles as the reader is left to piece together Vicki Vale's cryptic comments at the end of the story. While it's definitely not a mandatory read, this certainly provides insight into Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn.