Review by: akamuu

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Avg Rating: 3.2
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Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea
Cover by Tony Daniel

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

Tony Daniel is not the worst writer to ever take the reigns of Batman.  The Caped Crusader has had many terrible tales twisted around his myth.  The most common denominator to a bad Bat-story is “too many villains”.  The writer forgets that Batman is a detective (hence, the whole Detective Comics thing) who sets out to solve mysteries.  And while his rogue’s gallery is one of the richest in comic books, it shouldn’t be what defines him.

It is completely possible to tell a six issue Batman arc without using Batgirl, Oracle, Nightwing, Robin, Red Robin, Huntress, The Joker, The Riddler, Mad Hatter, The Penguin, Clayface, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Black Mask, The Reaper, Catwoman, Ra’s Al Ghul, Hush,  and Dr. Arkham.  Writers used to do it all the time.  These days, there’s never a cool villain reveal because every villain is in every story.

Tony Daniel can’t even really blame Grant Morrison for this clusterfuck of a plot.  Judd Winnick somehow managed to eek out a very personal Batman issue right after Morrison’s RIP debacle without using anyone but Batman, Robin, and Alfred before he fell into the too much continuity crap trap, and hurled up a giant hairball of a Two-Face story.

Daniel just plowed right into Morrison’s RIP plot, and threw even MORE characters on to the pile.  Did we really need the Falcone family to enter into this?  I’m reasonably certain they were the only characters not already involved.

If Daniels really wants to learn from Morrison, he should check out “Batman & Robin” where Morrison is utilizing newer characters, and keeping Batfamily appearances to a bare minimum.  Rucka’s “Detective” is another example of Batwriters using the many established characters very sparingly.  And those are the two best selling, best reviewed Batbooks in years.

This issue dizzied me, and not in a good way.  Daniels very obviously wanted to stun you with a last page reveal, but there was just too much detrius for it to have any effect.  I’m not even sure what type of story he’s trying to tell other than An All Encompassing one.  And he’s just not good enough of a writer to pull that off.

Florea’s art is not bad, but very flat.  Every face looks like a fingerprint (I don’t mean unique, I mean covered in swirls and lines).  And all the eyes in this issue look the same.  Apparently everyone in Gotham has orange eyes and a squinting problem except Damien, who has blue eyes and a squinting problem.  There are some good things about his work, though.  His panel placements are interesting, and I love his use of onomatopeia (the type of grammar, not the villain, though I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before he shows up, too).

Unfortunately, I’m only really reading this for continuity’s sake.  I’m hoping this whole debacle wraps up soon, and we can get to some smaller stories where the characters can breathe a bit.

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 3 - Good


  1. I was actually enjoying this arc in the first two installments.  Can’t say I hate it though.

  2. Err, based on your second-to-last paragraph, you know that Tony Daniel also drew this, right?

    I understand how people feel there are too many characters involved in this. I’m just having a good time with it, though, because I haven’t been reading too many Bat-books, so seeing all these characters together is a treat.

    Not sure what you mean when you say that Daniel "plowed into Morrison’s RIP plot, but through more characters in". I don’t see this has a continuation of RIP plotlines at all (except for the fact that Bruce is absent). RIP had a large cast, but most of the supporting cast in that story are absent in this one (unless they all return in this issue or something). If what you’re referring to is how Daniel has kind of been dropping pointless allusions to the "Devil" in these issues (like having a place called Devil’s Square or whatever), then I can see what you mean, though, and yes it does feel tacked on and pointless.

    Regardless, it’s always good to see your early reviews, and, when I actually read this issue, you know I probably will rate it a 2 and a 3 also. The only difference is that I’m actually happy with something that’s average/good.

  3. @flapjaxx: I’m glad you’re having a good time with this.  I feel that, were this the only bat title coming out, it wouldn’t stand out as being subpar, but with Batman & Robin, Batgirl, and Detective absolutely knocking out of the park, it just seems flaccid to me.  Also, wasn’t the Black Mask storyline at the core of RIP?  Or was that another Black _____?


    @Robby: I don’t hate it, either.  I think it’s just getting beyond him.

  4. @akamuu: It was The Black Glove in RIP, not Black Mask.

  5. @conor: Thanks.  Blask Mask was involved, though, right?  I"ll admit, I’ve been doing my best to forget the events of RIP.

  6. I agree with the reveiw Tony Daniel doe’snt seem to have any idea what he wants to do with the story , other than throw a villan in every other panel . Maybe he should go back and reread some of the classic Batman stuff and Grant Morrison’s run to see what made them so good . I am afraid that I will have to drop this one from my pull until Tony moves on to another project .

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