I’m a fan of Batman, as am I a fan of thrillers and horror. While I really wanted to like “The New 52 Batman”, I found it just a shade too dark for me. The writing seemed to use violence in place of plot twists. There were several loose ends that were either not explained, didn’t make any rational sense, or were just unbelievable. I’m hoping that these are setups for the next installment, but I’m not holding my breath. These are after all compilations of individual comics, so I expect some wandering of storylines, but some over-arching cohesion would be nice.
At this point in the review, I’d normally give an overview of the plot, but since it doesn’t appear to have one, I’ll just give some bullet points (spoiler alert I guess):
- Joker arranges to have someone cut off his face.
- Dollmaker kidnaps Gordon to lure Batman in to kill him.
- There’s a strange aside where Catwoman is using Hugo Strange’s son to rip off criminals
- The mayor’s daughter helps Penguin with a convoluted scheme. She also happens to be the sister of Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend.
It’s not all bad. While sometimes gruesome, the artwork was good; the coloring was well done, however some of the detail seem over the top. The cover, for example – what kind of material is that cape made of? Does he iron it every hour to keep the wrinkles out? It’s not quite Rob Liefeld territory, but it’s getting there.
I have the second volume, Scare Tactics, sitting next to me, and I intend to read it to see if they can fill in the details that seem to be missing in the first volume, Faces of Death. If they don’t, I’ll probably cancel the subscription.