Posted by: Brian Hibbs on September 14, 2011
Damn it, the NEW ones are already out? Better write fast, then!
Bats, and more bats below!
BATGIRL #1: If there is one critical mistake that I believe the relaunch made, it is that some books fully rebooted, while others are trying to say that everything that happened, happened. I find this even odder in the face of the Didio interview where he asserts that Julie Schwartz told him continuity needs to reboot every decade. The bat-family has, certainly, had many changes in directions over the decades, but the one thing it never did was actually reboot.
So, for a hypothetical new reader (and while we’re getting a LOT of the “lapsed” coming back, I think there are vanishingly few truly new readers coming through), I think that BATGIRL #1 largely fails because it is absolutely predicated on a whole bunch of stuff that happened in the “old” DCU, and it spends a big chunk of its run time referencing “The Killing Joke”
While the IDEA of a superhero with (a narrow form of) Post-Traumatic Syndrome is pretty swell, I think it (you’re forgive the expression) cripples Barbara out of the gate in the “I like this character” sweepstakes. I don’t want to read about a character who flinches, y’know?
The funny thing is I largely enjoyed this comic, otherwise — it’s reasonably dense, and story is borne out of character, rather than the plothammer. It’s well written, and the art was just fine. But the whole time while reading it, I was thinking, “I’d rather be reading a just-post-origin story with a teenage Babs instead”.
(Its kind of like how, despite how much I love the new DAREDEVIL, “Shadowland” still “happening” kind of taints the entire character for me. I may suck, however)
So, yeah, I liked it as a read, as an “old” DC universe comic, but the fact that it isn’t a reboot really really turns me off. So: a completely unfair OK, to reflect my turmoil.
BATWING #1: For some of the same reasons, this one didn’t work for me either — there’s no “origin” here, there’s no explanation of why he looks like Batman, or any real comment from Batman whatsoever about the situation… I really had no idea what was going on. (yes, yes, “Batman, Inc.” — but how would a new reader know a thing about any of that?)
Then there’s the weird flashback structure, which left me really really confused about when the cliffhanger at the end happened — are we still in “six weeks ago” there? And, if so, then how is he superheroing there at the front of the book?
I also thought the art was really stiff and muddy.
In short, I did not care for this comic, although I thought the setting was an interesting change, and there’s certainly story possibility here for the character. For now, though, I’ll give this issue an AWFUL.
DETECTIVE COMICS #1: I’m confused when this takes place — is this “five years ago” like ACTION and JL was? It can’t be because it opens with narration about the Joker killing people for the last 6 years, but, then, why are the cops still shooting at Batman? No other (contemporary-set) DCnu hero is hunted by police, and, hell, in JLI the UN is at least considering Batman to lead the team! Except for that very first caption, I think the book reads like a “Year Two” Batman comic (Which I’m fine with, certainly)
That aside, I thought this was a professionally done Batman comic book. And it had what was a potentially interesting cliffhanger. However, I did feel like I was reading a distant echo of other Batman comics I’ve read before — all of those 16 panel laid out pages had a whole lot of Miller on them, for example. So, while I’m (just) willing to give this a GOOD, it’s a very very mild one.
What did YOU think?