This week’s comics came out today, thanks to labor day. This week we’ll be looking at the two big Batman releases.
The latest issue of Batman is a textbook example of a “filler issue”. It’s still too early to “officially” return Bruce Wayne to the DC universe, but they’re gotta put out a Batman issue, so here we get a decent, if unmemorable, story from Fabian Nicieza and artist Cliff Richards.
The issue finds Dick Grayson, Damien Wayne, and Tim Drake (or Wayne now) dealing with the recent emergence of someone named “The Getaway Genius”, an art thief whom Dick had tangled with way back when he was the original Robin. We also get an appearance from Vicki Vale, although not looking like Kim Basinger like I remember.
Everything about this issue was average. From the story to the art by Richards. While it was nice to get some of Damien’s feelings on his relationship with his “dead” father, even the revelation that is revealed to him seemed like something I had read before. Again, this issue is just “filler”. It doesn’t move the whole “Return Of Bruce Wayne” story forward nor add any new details or insights. It just exists. Unless you are an absolute die-hard Batfan, save your cash for something that actually contributes to the ongoing Batman saga.
Batman and Robin #14
Remember how I was complaining about Grant Morrison and his plan for Batman a few weeks ago? Well, it’s incredible how he can come up with really stupid ideas and be completely maddeningly cryptic in one comic, but be easily accessible and firing on all cylinders in another. This is an example of the latter.
B&R issue 14 is the second part of “Batman Must Die!”, in which the new dynamic duo must try and survive the deadly machinations of not only Dr. Hurt and Professor Pyg, but also The Joker. Fraser Irving’s art is amazing in this issue, and his Joker is one of the creepiest recent incarnations of the character. I won’t spoil the issue, but I actually enjoyed this issue and I’m anticipating the next issue, mainly because I really like the way Morrison writes the clown prince of crime. Plus I find Prof. Pyg to be delightfully disturbing.
Morrison’s pacing is spot on in this issue, and it almost makes up for the last issue of Batman that he wrote. Almost. It’s really frustrating having a writer like Morrison sometimes, mainly because of his tendency for epic, potentially ground-breaking ideas. When they work, they are awesome, but when they don’t work, they go train-wreck-meets-school-bus-accident horrifyingly wrong. The unfortunate thing is that it’s extremely hard to tell what kind of book you’re getting until you read it. Batman and Robin is still the safest bet for casual Batman fans, as it appears that Grant Morrison has YET to deliver a bad issue.