Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Batman #684 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Dennis O'Neil
Artist: Guillem March

Story - Last Days of Gotham: Part 2 of 2

As with all of their big events Marvel and DC have many of their ongoing titles go through filler issues that will usually be either tie-ins or stories that are just average to not spoil their event until their big event wraps up and it is the same with Final Crisis. It is clear with this issue of Batman, and the last issue of Detective Comics, that DC is going to have all the Bat-books go through a period were we will be getting pure filler issues until Battle for the Cowl begins in March.

It is for that reason I was disappointing about this two part story by legendary Batman writer Dennis O'Neil. This two part story reads as pure filler that deals with how depressed Commissioner Gordon, Bullock, and Nightwing feel with Batman's disappearance. If this is an example of how these and all the other Bat-characters are going to behave without Batman than it looks like Gotham is going to turn to be hell on Earth.

At this point even though all of the Bat-books are going to be filler issues these issue should focus more on character development and how each Bat-character should accept their new roles in Gotham and in the DCU. But instead what we get here is characters that are depressed and are afraid to get out of their shells and do something about what is going on in Gotham.

Also if DC wants to go head into Battle for the Cowl with some great set-up than all the issues in Batman, Detective Comics, Nightwing, Robin, Birds of Prey, and Batman and the Outsiders as strong players who can take over the role Batman once filled. Even though we see a strong and confident Nightwing at the end of the issue it is nothing new since Tomasi has been giving us that Nightwing over on his title already.

I was also disappointed that the plot with that scarred actress/singer didn't really go anywhere since we do not find out much more about her character and how exactly she new all this information about Batman and all the other characters. As of now she is nothing more than a filler character that only serve the purpose of being a narrator for the story that we will not see again.

With all that said I did enjoy O'Neil's portrayal of Alfred in this story. Alfred provided a nice fatherly wisdom to Dick that I think he will need to provide in the upcoming Battle for the Cowl.

I also enjoyed Guillem March's artwork in these two issues. His artwork had a provided the book with cinematic feel and did a great job with the expressions on all the characters faces. I hope that I see more of March's artwork down the future.

Issue Rating
Story: 6.2/10 - This was a disappointing story by Dennis O'Neil and I hope O'Neil gets another chance to write a Bat-book so to not let this be his last Batman story.
Art: 8.1/10 - March provided some nice artwork that help convey the various character emotions.
Overall: 7.3/10 - This issue was nothing but DC stalling for time until Battle for the Cowl begins.


Captain Elias said...

I completely agree with you. What's worse is that Battle for the Cowl is only going to be three issues, and we'll probably get even more filler after THAT.
I hope Denny O'Neill gets another chance as well. He's got such a big spot in Bat-history that it would be shame if this was it. Next time, though, either he needs to have Bruce back to write for, or he needs to get up to date on Nightwing. Because i'm pretty sure the whole I'm-Not-Batman-Im-My-Own-Man How can i live in his shadow melodrama has been done repeatedly.
Anyway cool blog. Always LOVED that ensemble picture on your heading. Happy new year.

Kevin said...

@Captain Elias: Thanks. You make a great point. I find it questionable that DC would only have their big Batman event only be three issues long as well. With Battle for the Cowl being only three issues long it feels like we will have to get all the mini-series involved in that series.

Happy New Year