Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Batman #681

This was much better than last issue. I could barely understand what was going on in the muddled pencils last time, but this is much clearer. Morrison lays out the ultimate "prepared" Batman. No matter what the Black Glove has got ready, Batman has already thought of a way to beat them. The issue is full of neat moments. the arrival of the Batmen of All Nations, Nightwing getting some respect back, even the casual way Joker is taken off the board. The Black Glove remains a pretty cool villain group, and Dr. Hurt is still quite the mystery. I assume we are supposed to be a little unclear on exactly what his relationship is with Bruce Wayne. In any case, as a story, The Black Glove holds up quite well. However, as a story hyped as Batman R.I.P., I'm not quite so forgiving. Batman's "death" is an explosion in the water. That's a combination of the "easiest" to escape deaths in fiction. I do not believe Batman is gone. Not one bit of me believes it. So I'm enjoying this issue and story as a well put together adventure, but not as a status-quo changing event. As a side note, Morrison's flashbacks with the evil monk was fantastic. Sometimes Morrison just nails Batman, and he really does it in that flashback.

EDITED TO ADD: I'm starting to see more problems, the more I think. Why was Bats back in his blue suit? What happened to Gordon? How did Alfred end up with Damian? It is almost like we missed an issue...

Tony Daniel is still over-matched with this script. His storytelling is clearer than it had been in previous issues, but I'm still convinced another artist could have carried this story more effectively. It took me 3 reads of the page with Damian before I realized that's who it was. I'm afraid I'll be avoiding his Battle for the Cowl series. That said, the art was competent enough that it didn't dilute the story.



The Nerdy Bird said...

Funny you say that, I also felt like I missed an issue. I definitely thought there would be a solid answer at the end and it's a let down that there wasn't.

Tom said...

That page with the ambulance is possibly the worst visual storytelling I've ever seen in a comic. It made absolutely no sense

Timbotron said...

That page was awful, but I can find one worse. Last issue when that care blew up outside Arkham, I had NO idea what was happening.

The thing about the missing issue is, I'm not sure if it would have been an issue between 680 and 681, or earlier in the story to deal with Gordon and some of these other weird plot twists.