Review by: akamuu

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 3.9
Users who pulled this comic:
"DC 75th Anniversary" variant cover by MIKE MIGNOLA
"DC 75th Anniversary" variant black and white cover by MIKE MIGNOLA

Size: 56 pages
Price: 4.99

Batman #400 was the start of Frank Miller’s epic Year One storyline.  #500 was the merciful end of Knightfall.  #600 was the beginning of the Bruce Wayne Murderer/Fugitive arc (technically 599, but, you know, technically).  Each of those issues involved some cleansing.  The status quo changed.  You could either hop on at one of the 00 issues, or you could see the end of a big event, knowing that the 01 would be something new.  #700 is just mired in continuity.

No, not as in you have to be reading Batman & Robin.  No, it’s not really connected to the current Detective, or recent Arkham Asylum arcs.  It’s connected to issues you’ve probably never read.

One of my coworkers summed up his main problem with Morrison’s Batman: “It’s like he’s subtly referencing all these things from the Batman books I read when I was a child.  I’m almost fifty.  I should not be the target demographic for Batman.”

I’m closer to 30 than 40.  I’ve read a good chunk of Batman, but most of it is post-Miller.  I think a majority of Morrison’s Batman (not all, but most) is absolute poison to any new reader.  This is no exception.

Artistically, it’s nice to see Quitely do more Batman, but the leap from him to Kolins is jarring in all the wrong ways.  Kolins either needed his own time period to draw or he should not have been included at all.  Tossing him in during the last three pages of the Quitely section made me grimace.

All the rest of the artists did what they’ve recently been doing on Bat titles.  If you like Daniels, he’s very Danielsy.  Same with Finch & Kubert.

I picked this up, hoping to get excited for Batman again.  I am not excited.

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. I’m not exactly sure I’d agree with your assessment on Morrison’s Batman. I’m 21 years old–I wasn’t even born when Miller’s stuff came out.* And yet Morrison’s done a lot of amazing work with this book. Yes, it has a lot to do with older stuff, but it’s done in a way that feels fresh and contemporary, and done in a way that makes sense even if you’ve never read any of those books in your life. 

    I dunno, maybe I’m an oddity, but I think that if he is pandering to a silver age, he’s really doing in the right way–taking the ideas and feel of them, without any of the convolution and cheese.

    It is sad to hear  that Quitely’s portion isn’t completely his. Guess he’s still recovering from his back injury.  

    *Apologies if I made you feel old with that statement. 

  2. Oh that doesn’t make me feel old.  I didn’t read Miller’s stuff when it came out, I read it a few years ago.

    If it’s working for you, that’s great.  There are certainly people who love what Morrison is doing.  Personally, I’d like to see more character development.  Morrison is very plot point/reference/plot point without a lot of breathing room.  I don’t know why I expected him to write differently for this issue, but I did.  And I left disappointed.

  3. I think there’s been a lot of character development throughout his run, especially with Damian–he just wraps it all in huge fights and high concepts that it’s sometimes overshadowed. 

  4. Though I am still enjoying Morrison’s Batman Run, I have to agree with akamuu that the run has been bogged down with references. Though Damian Wayne has been developed and is becoming one of my favorite characters, he is a completely new creation by Morrison. I really feel like Morrison has not done Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson justice at all. I enjoyed the first arc because, as Alfred said, it was about Batman learning to be Bruce Wayne again. After that, however, I feel like Morrison sacrificed any potential character development (the man learned he had a son, and what with how much his relationship has influenced him you think he’d be more focused on that rather than chasin’ Jezebel Jet) and played up the whole Detective thing (esp. with R.I.P. and RoBW). Similarly, Dick Grayson was sidelined in a major way during the whole R.I.P. storyline and only got a chance to shine in B&R. Furthermore, the slight development of the Tim Drake and Damian Wayne rivalry introduced in the first arc was never touched upon again by him. Morrison has had a bunch of really good ideas, but never fully develops them. THEN AGAIN, a lot of Morrison’s runs only make sense in their entirety; judgement should be reserved for when he finally finishes his Batman epic. SIDENOTE: Akamuu, out of curiousity, what is/was your favorite Batman era/writer/storyline?

  5. You know, honestly. I’m new to comics. And I hear Morrison alot when I came in. but I’ve nevere really been impressed by ANY of his work.

  6. Well, you should be impressed by much of Morrisons work. Seek some out and open your mind! I assume in a few years, you will be pro-Morrison.

  7. @NathanNicdao – Have you read We3?  That is my favorite Morrison book.  If you don’t want to have to buy it you might try your library’s interlibrary loan.

  8. Thanks.  You just saved me a five spot.

  9. Nice review; worries me a little, as this is my most anticipated book of the week. Also, I hate to be picky (but I’m gonna be): Batman #400 was the final pre-Crisis issue featuring the final battle of Batman and Ra’s al Ghul. Year One didn’t start until #404. Sorry for being that picky, but I just thought I’d chime in with it. 

  10. Sorry to be a nit-picker, but Batman 400 was not the first part of Year One, it was a terrific issue written by outgoing bat-scribe Doug Moench, featuring many of the great artists of the day, an interesting intro by Mr Stephen King, and a gorgeous cover by Bill Sienkiewicz. Year One started months later.

    I’m enjoying Morrison’s run on the character, even though I’ve been reading Batman comics for 30 years now and still don’t have a clue about half the stuff he’s shovelling in there!

  11. I like some Morrison stuff but I truly despise We3.

  12. This issue was hardly "mired in continuity". Aside from Professor Nichols (with whom you can aqquaint yourself after a two-minute visit to DC Wiki), I fail to see what pre-Miller knowledge is required for the reader to avoid being "poisoned". In fact, with all the references to Batman Beyond, DKR, and DC 1,000,000, one could argue that it focused more on the future (or possible future) of the Batman.

    Now, the rest of Morrison’s Batman does draw a good amount of material from the silver age. So you may have an argument there. But you’re not reviewing the entire run here, you’re reviewing #700.

  13. @WheelHands: "In fact, with all the references to Batman Beyond, DKR, and DC 1,000,000, one could argue that it focused more on the future (or possible future) of the Batman." Ok,that’s still continuity.  Just because the books were written ABOUT the future doesn’t mean that they’re not part of continuity.

    @RKB: My favorite Batman writer?  Probably Rucka or Brubaker.  Though really they both seemed to write more about Gotham than Batman.  But between Gotham Central, the War Drums/Games saga, Murderer/Fugitive, The Man Who Laughs, Batwoman Detective, and even some of Rucka’s Wonder Woman work, they’ve written my favorite moments of The Batman Universe.

    @nathannicdao: Feel free to ignore thinwhiteduke.  While I haven’t liked much of Morrison’s recent stuff, I’d recommend checking out Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earths, which I really enjoyed.  Or you can skip all his work.  There’s no law about having to like any comic book creator.  I don’t think there are many who would argue Stan Lee and Chris Claremont are two of the most influential voices in comic history. It doesn’t mean you have to read or enjoy their work, and don’t let any obnoxious comic fan like thinwhiteduke tell you differently.  What writers do you like so far?

    @comicbookguy37 and glcfarmboy: Good catches.  I haven’t read the pre-Crisis Moench stuff in ages.  I’ll go back and check that out.

  14. The references aren’t necessary to the story though so they’re just fun references. I jumped on with this issue and thought it was easy to understand and at no point felt like it was aimed at 50-year-olds

  15. I’m really not big on all the old era Batman references.  That bothered me in R.I. P. I don’t want to have to wiki or look up old issue to get every reference just to understand what is going on.  I grew up watching reruns of the campy TV show and Superfriends cartoons. Most of the Batman comics I read were from the 90s. Mostly Knightfall and No Man’s Land type of Batman.

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