Friday, May 15, 2009
Batman: Battle for the Cowl: The Network #1
The Battle for the Cowl 1-shots seem pretty random and unnecessary. Fabian Nicieza's story opens with some Batman-garbed villains kidnapping some random people and then challenging the new Batman to save only one. When this message is intercepted by Oracle, she dispatches the Birds of Prey plus Batgirl and Ragman to deal with their "mystery" kidnapper. It doesn't take long for Hugo Strange to reveal himself, but I really didn't care for him being used this way. Hugo has been behind some of the best and most mind-bending adventures in the Batman history, so this seemed distressingly straight-forward for him. Other than the setup, he doesn't really affect the outcome of the story at all. Batgirl is all over this book as the uber-hero, and I was totally bored by it. I don't care for the character at all and I found myself rooting for Huntress most of the time. I don't buy that Huntress would be ok with killing someone either, Gail Simone spend years making Huntress more heroic, so I'm not digging this take on her. It was kind of amusing seeing Misfit used as a normal hero too. She even goes so far as to team up with Ragman, making her essentially into another pretty generic hero. Misfit always worked best for me as a comedic character, but there isn't any of that to be found here. So a generic story starring characters who aren't acting in character... not exactly my thing.
Don Kramer and Jim Caliafore are fine. I've liked both of them better on other work, but they do a good job on the costumed heroes here.