We talk about a ton of books on FUNNYBOOKS, but not every book we read makes the weekly podcast, especially when only one of us has read it.  Still, there’s a bunch of good stuff (and horrible stuff) out there that you’re curious about, and that we’d love to tell you about.  Welcome to From the Cutting Room Floor, where we can tell you about the books that got excised from the program, and whether you should spend your hard earned money on them.  After the jump, short reviews of…

  • Batman and Robin #17 (DC Comics)
  • Detective Comics #871 (DC Comics)
  • Hollow Point/Damaged Radical Premiere (Radical Comics)
  • Chew, Vol. 3: Just Desserts (Image Comics)

Batman and Robin #17

Paul Cornell seems to be all the rage nowadays, but I just can’t get into his run on Action Comics, so when he was announced as the fill in writer for Batman and Robin #17-19, while Pete Tomasi and Patrick Gleason get a little bit of time to catch up on the beginning of their run, it was kind of a “meh” announcement for me.  Neither displeasure nor pleasure…just “okay.”  Not only that, his artist was Scott McDaniel, who’s work sometimes feels rushed to me, but who I have been a big fan of from back during his stint on Green Arrow.  Still, given that these were fill in issues, I knew they’d be rushed, both story and art wise.  I’m thankful to say though, that I was wrong – sure, this may be a rushed book, but it doesn’t feel like it.  It fits in perfectly with the feel of the Batman and Robin book set up by Grant Morrison, with the quirkiness you’d expect from Morrison, but in a story that actually makes sense.  An ex-girlfriend of Bruce Wayne has been found dead, and Dick and Damian investigate, leading to one of the oddest endings you’ve ever seen in a Bat-book.  Cornell gets the chemistry between Dick and Damian perfectly, and you get some fantastic character moments with both them and with Alfred.  Not only that, it’s got the best McDaniel art I’ve seen in quite some time.  Verdict: Buy it

Detective Comics #871

Here’s another highly praised writer on a Batbook.  Scott Snyder is getting a lot of praise for his work with Stephen King (and actually his work is getting better marks than King’s) on Vertigo’s American Vampire book.  Teamed with highly acclaimed artist Jock on a Batbook and you’re sure to knock it out of the park, right?  Well…not so much.  Detective Comics sure is a pretty book, and it’s got some great moments in it with Dick and Commissioner Gordon, but overall the story just lacks a bit of punch to it.  It does feel like a callback to the classic Batman tales of Bob Kane, with a similar feel, and plenty of detective work, setting it aside from Tony Daniel’s more superhero-y Batman and the more action movie-ish Batman and Robin.  Not sure how I feel about Dick in this type of setting yet, and the book isn’t bad…it’s just not great.  Verdict: Wait and see

Hollow Point/Damaged Radical Premiere

Saw this on the shelf at my comic shop and decided to pick it up.  It’s a flip book preview of two Radical books, Hollow Point and Damaged, neither of which I’ve really heard about.  Both stories are less science-fictiony than other radical books, rather focusing more on crime drama (with a bit of a supernatural element, at least according to the description, on Hollow Point).  Damages reads like a Punisher book told from the cop’s point of view, as a policeman is hunting down his ex-partner, who’s now a vigilante.  It’s a good read, though nothing entirely new or spectacular.  Hollow Point is a little more interesting in premise, about a hitman who works for dead people but you don’t see any of the supernatural element in the preview.  Still, it’s a pretty decent read, and the ending definitely sets up for an interesting story.  Overall, for a book, worth checking out.  Verdict: Buy it

Chew, Volume 3: Just Desserts

I made the decision after the first story arc of Chew to read it in trades and, though it sucks to wait so long in between stories, I’m really enjoying it much more reading it like this.  Plus, the trades for the series come out pretty soon after the issues, which I wish more books would do.  I think Chew #15, the final book in this collection, just came out a couple of weeks ago.  I love Chew, and have really enjoyed the first two trades.  The third, however, feels a little disjointed to me.  Though it’s all collected as Just Desserts, and there are loose ties in between issues, it doesn’t feel as much of one cohesive story as previous trades.  Still, if you enjoy the world of Tony Chu, the Cibopathic detective, I don’t need to tell you that this is a fun read with tons of gross moments and great humor.  We great a great face off between two side characters, and the introduction of some interesting new key players.  I was definitely thrown off at the end of the book though – though the end of the first storyline hinted at certain aspects that start to come to play, it definitely caught me off guard…though maybe that was the point.  Verdict: Buy the first trade…if you dig it, I don’t need to tell you to buy this.