Saturday, May 2, 2009
Detective Comics #853
C'mon, this is Neil Gaiman phoning it in, right? The book opens with an abbreviated version of what we got in Part I of "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader" with different heroes and villains describing how Batman might have died. We have Bats narrating a bit and talking about witnessing his own funeral, and we find out who he's discussing it with, which didn't seem like too big of a surprise. The 2nd half of the book is all pinups as Batman says "Goodnight" to each major aspect of his mythos in some scenes reminiscent of my daughters' book "Goodnight Moon." Only we get "Goodnight mechanical dinosaur. Goodnight Batmobile." Then the whole story ends with the loop of Bats' life beginning again as he's born.
I mean, c'mon. Don't get me wrong, I really like Neil Gaiman's writing and I will probably get bashed for having this opinion, but this is hardly his best work. I've read on the interwebs that this whole "Whatever Happened" idea was given to Gaiman and maybe he's just making the best of what he's got, but I'm not too impressed. There are some nice bits of dialogue in here, but still.
I will say Andy Kubert's art is breathtakingly gorgeous. He does a fantastic job aping different styles of pencillers so well that I could believe that other folks came in and helped with some of these pages. His closing pinups were great too. I'm tempted to raise this to Fair based on the art, but the breezy nature of the story and the lack of actual content keeps it an Average.