Monday, January 18, 2010

Comic Book Review: Batman #695

Book Information
Written & Drawn by Tony Daniel
Inks by Sandu Florea

Both Batman and the Penguin must fight as allies in order to defeat their newest and biggest problem, the Black Mask.  His slow rise to power and control over the city of Gotham is throwing Batman for a loop, but he will stop at nothing to bring the murderer to justice.  However, an old adversary returns to stop the Caped Crusader and finally have his revenge.  Will Batman defeat his powerful nemesis or will his blade pierce the heart of Batman causing a chorus of cheers from every crook and murderer in Gotham to echo throughout the dark city streets?

My Thoughts
Finally!  Dick Grayson finally takes his rightfully earned place as the heir to the cape and cowl.  I had my doubts as whether or not Dick Grayson could ever live up to Wayne’s legacy of merciless and unrelenting crime fighting.  He’s hanging criminals by their ankles from ropes, burning down crime lord’s houses, chucking himself head first into the villains, Grayson is holding nothing back and doing all he can to bring Black Mask behind bars.  Tony Daniels did a bang up job with this issue and I applaud his masterful storytelling skills in the way he progressed through this book.

Daniel’s artwork has been continually growing on me, but this book locked me in as a Daniels fan.  The lines are crisp and clear and have incredible shadows following every character.  I usually hate it when a hired freelancer does both the writing and the artwork, typically because it’s too much of a daunting task to put on one person.  But Daniels is not disappointing me and I certainly hope fans realize that Daniels is “bringing it” with this issue.

Of course, every great story has to have one tiny flaw.  With this issue, it’s the idiotic choice Grayson makes in entering the house of mirrors.  Now aside from the fact that the house of mirrors is an overused plot device in the world of Batman, to knowingly enter into such a confusing and brain twisting place feels like a bad choice to make since I’m sure Grayson knew the bad guy would have the upper hand.  It was in this moment where Grayson deviated from his training and acted the fool.  “Someone ran into the fun house.  No doubt they’re expecting me to follow…I won’t disappoint.”  That quote made me slap myself in the face in embarrassment for Batman.  And it makes me wonder why, in that moment, I’ve suddenly become smarter than the Dark Knight.  But really, if that’s the only faulty aspect of the story, I can accept it as a needed twist in the plot.

A fantastic issue, best comic I’ve read this month so far.  It was nice to see the Riddler back in action.  Sometimes these newer villains get too much panel time and DC forgets to keep the classic villains alive and fresh.  The Falcone family struggle and mystery is increasingly getting better and Dick Grayson as Batman is getting more intense as the months push forward.  Tony Daniel can keep writing for Batman as far as I’m concerned.

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming February 17th, 2010
Batman at the mercy of Black Mask! While trapped in the crime lord's headquarters, The Dark Knight must find a way to escape before all of Gotham City falls prey to the Mask's lethal toxins. Guest-starring Catwoman, Penguin, Robin and the Reaper!

No comments:

Post a Comment