Friday, October 21, 2011

Batman Deux - Comic Book Rehab Issue #1, Volume Deux

I found issue #2 of Batman. Since I did not find issue #1, I have to go along with the old idea that every issue is accesssible, even in a chapter of  a long arc (it rarely ever is, only in the sense that you observed some things that have happened).

We get a new villain, The Court of Owls...that sounds more like a Daredevil antagonist to me - he has a villain named the Owl, and he could use better villains...why not The Court Of Bats? Whatever. They've got it in for Bruce Wayne, and we get a neat sequence where Bruce Wayne (Batman) gets pushed out the window of his office building (a location which is always featured in the comics but never used in the films or tv series, possibly because of its egg-shaped peak, like a kind-of rejected design for the Daily Planet building). He survives the fall in a way that pays off the wordy (in teeny tiny print) first page.

We get a interesting action sequence involving some stolen statues aboard a helicopter with Batman following on motorcycle that I guess the writer was bored with, because he ends it abruptly, but I thought it was more entertaining then this dull CSI scene with an autopsy that was run-of-the-mill, oh, and a Nightwing cameo (in which we are reminded that he still exists in this new continuity) and a very dull character named Lincoln March, who willl join Tommy Monahan in the Batman-villains-who-introduce-themselves-in-their-civillian-guise-first category - but if I'm wrong, then hats off to Scott Snyder.

What we're left with is mostly middle and set-up. I wonder if the 1st issue had anything going on at all - was it just Batman swinging around, doing his "I am the Night" schtick before finding a dead body on the last page? We get a preview of a Batman Graphic Novel, Noel, which reads like a story I might have read before, but New-er-er or "Like New".  What does work is the art. If the script seemed leaden, the art never lets on that it is, and Greg Capullo gives Gotham a look that reminded me of old Legends Of The Dark Knight comics from the late-80's-early-90's

I remember joking that once Grant Morrison was off the Bat-books, the tone and format of the comics would go back to the 90's Batman, which had him going after street gangs, ersatz Fu-Manchu/Mola-Ram types and beefed-up thugs with gimmick names...well, it's back, and we can expect a rematch with Bane next spring.

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