Friday, October 30, 2009

Comic Book Review: Batman #692

Plot: As the new Arkham Asylum is being built, we find Batman teaming up with Catwoman to hunt down and stop The Black Mask and his clan of “False Face” henchmen. However, Batman discovers a familiar crime family returning from years of silence back onto the crime scene. We end of this issue with the Black Mask reviving an old alley, who he hopes will assist him in the defeat of Batman

My Thoughts: Tony Daniels has always impressed me with his abilities as a writer and as an artist. And even though I enjoy his art more than his story-telling talents, I’m very happy with the way he is approaching this first issue in his Batman resume since the Battle for the Cowl arc.

In this book, Batman and Catwoman team up to track down the Penguin and Black Mask. Now this would have worked fine with Bruce Wayne calling the shots, but with Dick taking his turn at Dark Knight Detection, Selena Kyle may not be the best team mate Grayson could have chosen for this task. Dick will always be fighting a constant battle in showing his allies and enemies that his way of continuing the Batman legacy will not necessarily equal Wayne’s vision. Selena Kyle, who still seems to be secretly in love with Bruce Wayne, shows her resentment and defiant behavior towards Dick, and he in turn shoves it right back into her face. One thing I had not thought about was the relationship adjustments Dick will have to make with Batman’s enemies, and especially with Selena Kyle. I’m excited to see if this will go downhill fast, or if Catwoman and the new Batman will become close as she and Bruce Wayne were.

I’m not a huge fan of the Black Mask, but I never have been in the first place. However, with DC bringing back villains from the golden age of comics, a team up of Dr. Death and the Black Mask has the potential to be very gripping and angst driven.

The art felt like true film noir, “detective” art. With the black and grey, gothic looking color choices, fused with the New York mobster atmosphere, I felt as if I was reading a batman comic that had a hint of film noir permeating throughout all of its pages. Being a fan of film noir, I can appreciate this as a wonderful shout-out to classic detective stories with the hero giving the audience (or in our case, readers) the narration of the events as they unfold.

Overall: This is a decent start for Tony Daniel in his return to Batman. It’s an interesting take and has the potential to be a great story. We’ll have to see if this follows through and Daniel’s give us mind boggling stories.

3 out of 5 stars

Next Month: Batman #693
Pandemonium breaks out at the inaugural ceremony of the new Arkham Asylum. Will the combined forces of Oracle, Huntress and Catwoman be enough help for Batman? Plus, the debuts of both the Gotham Shield Committee and Black Mask's Ministry of Death!

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