Thursday, October 7, 2010
Review: Batman Reborn
Did you know that Bruce Wayne is dead?
Well, I didn't until I picked up the first issue of Batman & Robin. The day-glo yellow cover with beautiful artwork by Frank Quitely caught my eye and I started to flip through the comic, and it turns out there is a different dude under the bat-cowl and Bruce's son (also a surprise to me) is Robin! Dick Grayson, the original Robin from back in the day, A.K.A. Nightwing, has taken over as Batman and along for the ride is Damian Wayne as Robin.
Ok, so now you are somewhat up to speed on what's been happening with The Caped Crusader. At the very least we're on equal footing.
Batman Reborn picks up on Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne's first day on the job as Batman and Robin. To make the first day all the more sweet, they have a brand new, pimped out Batmobile to cruise around in...or fly if they want, yeah, the new Batmobile can fly.
The graphic novel opens with a sweet chase as the Dynamic Duo pursue a Toad-like criminal through the streets of Gotham. Mr. Toad is eventually captured, but his apprehension and subsequent shake-down don't really give the detectives too many solid clues to go on. The Toad is part of an all new cadre of circus freak criminals infesting Gotham, who all appear to be connected to bigger and deadlier things.
The new Dynamic Duo soon discovers that the job of vigilante crime fighters is pretty tough, as they also have to contend with a nutty professor who performs nightmarish facial surgeries to his victims, and another set of deadly costumed vigilantes looking to clean up the streets of Gotham once and for all.
I want to make it clear that you do NOT need to know all of what has gone down in the Bat-world to enjoy this graphic novel. I haven't read an issue of Batman in years, and found that this was a pretty solid starting point. Granted, I sort of feel like I opened a very large can of worms, but this is definitely a place to start.
Not only is it a good, and logical place to start but it is also a very good looking, and well written place to start. The comic powerhouse team-up of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely easily smash the first three issues of this graphic novel out of the park. The plot and the new bad-guys are cool, and interesting, and Quitely's artwork is top-tier as always. Halfway through the book, the art duties shift to the capable hands of Phillip Tan. His art style is quite different looking in comparison to Quitely, but it is still very high quality. This is one of the better looking graphic novels out there.
All in all, this is a pretty enjoyable graphic novel. This volume has a bit of a cliff hanger ending and definitely foreshadows mysterious things to come, so there is a bit of a lack of closure. That's not a bad thing though, it will leave you wanting more.