Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 3.9
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Written by ALAN GRANT
Art and cover by NORM BREYFOGLE

Size: 56 pages
Price: 4.99

Since I was born in 1989….wow I’m old….anyways, since I was born in 1989 I technically grew up in the 90s in regards to comics. But I never really read that much comics when I was little, it took until the late 90s and early 2000s to really get into them. So the Batman I technically grew up with was the Bruce Timm animation version and the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher film adaptations for the most part. But looking back at older Batman comics, I did love reading the Alan Grant/Norm Breyfogle era of the character. It was action packed but it had this weird, campy value to it. Plus Breyfogle is a pretty damn fine artist. So the Retroactive book I was looking forward to the most was this 90s one-shot. Is this one-shot a great blast to the past? Or should we just stick with the original?

Well it definitely feels like a 90s comic, that’s probably the biggest praise I can give to this thing. Alan Grant certainly hasn’t changed in the twenty or so odd years since writing Batman. This book can be preachy at times and at other times it’s nothing more then just a huge punch-fest. But to be honest the story really isn’t that strong. I mean it’s enjoyable in one aspect but in another it just feels like another Batman story and nothing is really special about it. The moments involving action is pretty fun to read, but Grant really does nothing with The Ventriloquist here other then to be a macguffin for this bizarre plot of a dead mafia guy coming back to life killing people. It really feels like Grant had no idea how to get twenty pages or so out of this new story.

It’s also amazing to see just how different the style of Breyfogle has changed. I guess not doing a Bat book in twenty years will do that for an artist. But when you look at this new story in regards to the reprint in the back of this thing, the change is staggering. In this new story, Breyfogle just looks so cartoony now, although not as cartoony as it shows on the cover. At first I thought I was looking at a Bruce Timm comic more so then a Breyfogle comic. It doesn’t help that there are two colorists involved in this issue, even though I think the colorists are the least of the concern here. His Batman just doesn’t look the same as you see in the reprint. He actually looks like Scott McDaniel to be frank….which isn’t a good thing. At the end of the day it’s something good to look at, but I would’ve preferred to see the old Breyfogle if that was somehow possible.

I don’t think this is a disappointing comic by any means. The story is good enough to get a new Grant script out there and Breyfogle’s art, while incredibly different then before, is still good to look at. But when you read the reprint in this comic I think you’ll be with me in that you really can’t go home again when it comes to particular creators. Again I’m glad to see these two work again a Batman comic, but it’s not as strong as I thought it could be. I’m sure we’re never gonna see another Retroactive series again because of the reboot but how about this for a creative team for the 90s: Doug Moench and Kelley Jones. Now THAT’s a comic I wouldn’t be disappointed at!

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 3 - Good

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