Saturday, August 28, 2010

Batman #702

This issue of Batman is given over to the second half of the "Missing Chapter" that is intended to fill the gaps between the R.I.P. story, Final Crisis and The Return of Bruce Wayne.

It does show us the events, but it really doesn't shed a lot of light on what's going on. The story is loaded with clever ideas, explanations that float somewhere near the subliminal level, and some cracking good bits of business.

But the Batman depicted here is actually a departure from writer Grant Morrison's first depiction of that character in JLA as "the most dangerous man on Earth." Here he seems quite mortal and often frail, often overwhelmed by the god-like figures he opposes - though he never gives up.

I doubt this will satisfy those who prefer a more straightforward story, but I expect it will stand up well, especially once the whole story has been told.

Tony Daniels does a fine job with the art here - it has a nightmarish quality, which fits with the fever dream-nature of the story.

I can't help but wonder how this issue works for the casual reader, or for a kid who picked it up without knowing years of backstory. Surely it would be incomprehensible to them.

As a long-time reader, I think I understand where it's going. Maybe.

If you've been following Batman's adventures for a while, there are some nifty Easter Eggs to uncover here. It'll be interesting to see where it all leads.

Grade: B+


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