I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got two new comics:

  • Saga – 2
  • Thief of Thieves – 3
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

    ”Batman: The Black Mirror” by Scott Snyder, Jock, and Francesco Francavilla

    This book collects the last Batman stories before the big DC new 52 relaunch where they started their universe over by renumbering their comics and starting everything off with a new number one issue. In this book Bruce Wayne is no longer Batman and Dick Grayson, the first Robin, has taken up the role. Bruce Wayne was thought dead but by the time of this book he’s known to be alive but he’s still not Batman yet.

    I’ve never been a huge Batman fan but if I were to say there was a “My Batman” then it would be the 1970s Batman as super-hero detective. Since the late 1980s everyone has been riffing on Frank Miller’s Batman and we’ve had a lot of Batman as a borderline crazy person. That interpretation has been one of the things that’s left me bored with Batman.

    We don’t find psycho-Batman in these pages instead it’s more of a throwback to detective Batman. Dick Grayson just isn’t that crazy. He is a bit depressed though and we get a fair bit of mopey Batman. Overall there is a lot of detective work going on. Batman/Wayne Industries has a huge new crime lab that they’ve invited the Gotham city police to use but so far only Commissioner Gordon has shown up to use it. I guess that whittles out the unimportant cases.

    This is also a very high-tech Batman. It’s no longer a man and his utility belt against the world. He’s always jacked in and talks to his Bat-team on an ear piece all the time. That is unless the plot calls for him to be cut off. Then communications are jammed. I find all the tech stuff a little off-putting because it makes me ask myself why doesn’t Batman build himself a suit of armor like Iron Man does? It seems the logical conclusion but that doesn’t happen.

    The art in the book is good. Jock has sort-of a Neal Adams-ish Batman but more rough around the edges and Francesco Francavilla is doing a Dave Mazzucchelli kind of thing. They’re both a little off the beaten path from the usual DC house style these days and I like that. It’s some of the better Batman art that I’ve seen in a while and I like it better than the relaunched Batman art. I actually think the relaunched Batman took dip down in quality from these issues.

    I’m still not down with Batman as a particularly interesting character but this volume at least gave me a little more of what I like about Batman. Him figuring stuff out and using his brains as much as his brawn. It’s okay stuff.