Thursday, June 10, 2010

Batman #700

Those anniversary issues with the nice round numbers are always big favorites with the fans. (At least I like 'em.) And DC has gone the extra mile to make this issue of Batman special.

This happened in time-honored fashion: take a great writer - Grant Morrison - and team him up with one or more of the top artists in the field - and with Tony Daniels, Frank Quitely, Alex Sinclair, Andy Kubert and David Finch, they have that covered. Throw in a Batman Gallery, mix well, and you have a special issue.

The idea behind the issue is to take a story idea and run it through several versions of Batman (past, present, future and way in the future). And just for fun, it's a classic detective story - a "locked door" mystery.

Some might be disappointed that the "real" Batman - Bruce Wayne - only gets a short flashback, while the rest of the story looks at the present team and two future incarnations of the Caped Crusader.

The art is, as you'd expect, excellent, although it's a bit of a clash of styles. But the story makes it look like that was the whole idea, and it works reasonably well.

The story isn't quite a home run - Morrison's trying a bit too hard to be obtuse here, but the story is mostly fun - though it's sad to see the future is even more depressing than I expected.

Still, it's a happy 700th to one of the most durable and dependable heroes ever created. As this issue shows, he fits in almost any kind of story and any setting - even when he's not quite himself.

Grade: A-

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