Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Batman #679 Review

Creative Team

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Tony Daniel
Inker: Sandu Florea
Colorist: Guy Major
Issue Rating
Story: 7/10
Art: 9/10
Overall: 8/10

Issue Development
Continuing from last issue, Bruce as Batman of Zur-En-Arrh is looking for the location of Black Glove by beating up some criminals for information. As his insanity continues to grow Batman starts to talk to some gargoyels at the top of a building Bat-Mite talks into his ear. Batman then proceeds to take out some masked criminals at the roof of the building he was in.

Bruce takes of his costume and goes to the bathroom of an abandon theather to heal up. Bat-Mite tells Bruce that Batman of Zur-En-Arrh is a persona Bruce created when he participated in the space isolation experiment in case Doctor Hurt or someone else tried to use the experiment to control him.
Robin continues his search for Bruce while being chaced by a member of the Club of Villains. Robin is able to steal the member's motorcycle and calls Squire and Knight from the club of Heroes for some help.

Bruce back in his Batman of Zur-En-Arrh costume beats the snot out of and torture's a Joker wannabe calling himself King Krakken for some answers about the Black Glove.

At Wayne Manor Commissioner Gordon and a cop go into the manor to ask Bruce some questions. But as they walk through the manor the cop is killed by some arrows the Club of Villains set as a trap for Gordon.

In the Batcave Doctor Hurt in his mask and cape with the Club of Villain waiting for Gordon to come into the cave while bashing Alfred in the head with a wine bottle. Hurt then berates the two members that were following Robin and tells them to go find him so they can deliver Robin to the Joker as promised.

At Arkham one of Doctor Hax's collegues questions the doctor about the lobotomy he wants to give the new patient ("Pierrot Lunaire"). But before Hax answers some of his goons in gargoyle masks attack his collegue.

Elsewhere Jezebell Jet, Bruce's fiancee, is attacked by members of the Club of Villains.

The issue ends with Batman heading of to Arkham Asylum with The Joker waiting for him.

Highlights of the Issue

"A psychedelic Batman still can kick some ass"

"Why so serious?"


Batman #679 was a bit of a disappointing read. While I don't mind stories taking up a slow and measured pace as long as something interesting happens in the issue like what Brubaker is doing in Captain America. But Batman #679 just feels like Morrison is trying to stretch out story and feels like it would have been better if he combined this issue with the last one because this issue still feels like Morrison is still setting up the story.

I know that Morrison is trying to weave a very complex storyline together but like I said in the review for Final Crisis#3 Morrison seems to be lost in his head with all the ideas he wants to happen. At times in this issue the transition between the scenes are very awkward and short because Morrison does not know who to get all his ideas down to fill a single issue.

Also this issue does not reveal anything a reader that has been reading this story and most of Morrison's run already know: 1) Batman's crazy, 2) Robin is searching for Batman, 3) Club of Villains are celebrating in the Batcave and 4) Alfred is being held captive by the COV. I could have cared less for the quick scene with Jezebell Jet being captured since that scene should have been in the last issue and I just get the feeling that if she is not behind Black Glove somehow she is just playing the damsel-in-distressed role for the story.

Now even though no new information about what Black Glove and the COV are really after, this issue did still build up the interesting points of the story. One of the things I continue to love about this story is Bruce continued desent into insanity and it doesn't help Bruce that Bat-Mite has appeared and is playing the role of devil on the shoulder. When Bruce was talking to the gargoyle statues and saw the grind of the city it shows how mentally unstable Bruce as Batman of Zur-En-Arrh is. Bruce has always given of the presence of someone who is always in control of the situation he is in. But now that Bruce has turned into Batman of Zur-En-Arrh he has simultaneously abandoned both the Bruce Wayne and Batman personalities that have kept it in control.

I also got to give Morrison credit because it seems that he does have a plan for Dick Grayson/Nightwing or known as Pierrot Lunaire other than just being locked up in Arkham Asylum. Considering that Nightwing was not the only one that is suppose to be in Arkham and that Robin is suppose to be there to for the Joker to "play" with. It is starting to seem that the scene at the end of Batman #676 were Joker picture's killing, or at least driving crazy, Nightwing, Robin, and Alfred may have some truth behind it. Overall it does not look good for the original Boy Wonder with the lobotomy Dr. Hax wants to give him.

Also talking about Arkham I can't wait to see the confrontation between Batman of Zur-En-Arrh and The Joker in the next issue. I have to wonder how Joker will react to facing a psycho Batman. It also looks like Robin will probably be heading towards Arkham with the help of his friends from the Club of Heroes. So it should be interesting Robin's reaction will be when he finally finds Batman.

Tony Daniel's art really help make Morrison story be above average issue. I love Daniel's art and it fits with the dark story that Morrison is trying to tell. Also the new Batman costume is just awsome and shows just how insane Bruce has become.