Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Comic Book Review: Batman #691

Written by Judd Winick
Art by Mark Bagley and Rob Hunter
Cover by Tony Daniel

Plot: Two-Face, unable to accept the fact that the man running around Gotham in the cape and cowl is the Batman he has fought for so many years, breaks into the Bat-cave and beats Dick Grayson (while still in costume) to a bloody pulp. As Two-Face spills his guts while attacking Batman, he is attacked by, to his surprise, Batman!

After this weird twist in events brings Two-Face down, we find Dick Grayson making a very earth shattering discovery. As Dick and Alfred clean up the Bat-Cave, Dick stumbles upon an old case file involving the murder of two people very close to him…The Flying Grayson’s!

My Thoughts: For as long as Judd Winick has been on this title since Grant Morrison’s pathetic storyline R.I.P., I have neither been impressed with Winick’s writing and his storytelling abilities. However, I must say this issue was a complete 180, but not for the reasons you might think.

Villains these days seem to give their arch nemesis a certain amount of respect, almost like a twisted sense of friendship. It was interesting to watch Two-Face almost whimper at the fact that the Batman he knew was gone and someone was trying to take his place. I almost felt sorry for Dent when he said, “Lots of things change. Cultures, the tides, land masses, and people…people change. But not Batman. He’s one of the few constants in the universe. Batman does NOT change.” Two-Face continually stated this to Dick Grayson as he beat him to death, that he was not Batman. And he said it with such fury and hatred that I had trouble telling if Dent was truly convinced that Grayson was not Batman, or if Dent was just trying to convince himself of it. And that would make sense to seeing as how he was determined to break into the Bat-Cave and beat THIS Batman. This is a testament to most villains these days and how much they, in a twisted kind of way, show a lot of respect towards the heroes they hate so much.

This was a much needed chapter in the Dick Grayson era of Batman, for it established Dick Grayson as the one true Batman in the eyes of villains, and within himself. And even with the knowledge that Bruce Wayne will return from the dead, this was also a great book to help show that Dick Grayson can and will be a great Batman for future issues to come. I think now we can move on from the terrible tragedy that was Bruce Wayne’s death and morning his passing, and start progressing forward into the new era of the Batman storyline.

Overall: Fantastic! Definitely worthy of top marks for this month. Winick put a lot of effort into this conclusion of “The Long Shadows” story arc. Next month should be interesting as we find out more about the mystery revolving around Grayson’s parent death and how Dick will cope with that.

4 out of 5 stars.

This Month: Batman #692
BATMAN double-ships this month with Tony Daniel returning to the series as the new writer and artist after his best-selling BATTLE FOR THE COWL miniseries! With Batman pounding the pavement in search of Black Mask, Penguin on the run, and the completion of the new Arkham Asylum looming close, Gotham City has reached a boiling point! Guest-starring Catwoman and the Huntress and featuring the return of Gotham City's most notorious crime family!

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