Now I feel silly, with all this egg on my face. I may have overplayed my hand by strongly endorsing this book last month; This issue comes off disjointed, mis-characterized, cliché and overall unlikable. I want to reinetarate that it is unlikeable because I don’t mean to leave you with the mistaken impression that this book even matters enough to unleash the vetriolic tirades resevered for trully abymal achievements the likes Superman, Cry for Justice or Brightest Day. This book simply leaves a bad taste in your month that requires not a carthertic rant but simply forgetting.
…But becuase this is read/RANT and I did read this book I would be remissed if I didn’t point out, to the best of my abilities, everything that absolutely fails about this issue. Let’s begin with the last issue’s big cliffhanger: the appearance of Dick Grayson. What is he up to? Well he has this massive layer in New Gotham where… he teaches gymnastics? Talk about anti-climatic. What’s even worse is Beechen’s explanation of Bruce and Dick’s fallout. After an undisclosed period of enstrangement Batman and Nightwing decide to team up again to capture the Joker. However, as a result of a long period of solitary vigilantism, Batman screws up resulting in the Joker gunning down Nightwing. Batman proceeds by calling the ambulance, stripping Dick of his costume and then abandoning him to catch the joker. While Dick is recovering in the hospital Bruce never visits, their only communication is through one individual visit by Alfred, who has been sent to present him with a new Nightwing costume. Bruce retires not long after.
Does this seem like a load of Bollocks to anyone else? First of all, this doesn’t even fit with the Batman Beyond chronology that this book was apparently following as of last isssue. C’mon Beechen, its on youtube. However, what I find more egregious is Bruce’s characterization. Perhaps, it is true of this universe’s Batman but Bruce hasn’t been portrayed as such a complete a-hole in a very long time. Sure, he’s prone to lapse into madness everyone once in a while as a result of his obssesive compulsive proclivities, and sure he still alienates pretty much every superhero in the DCU, but he does care about his surrogate family profoundly. I found this portrayal to be to jarring to swallow.
Theres are also a bunch of other things that I found grating in this issue:
- Last month I complained about Max’s absence. This week she’s shoehorned into a single pointless panel.
- The Bat-wraiths are economically dispensed with by Hush (thus showing Bruce the hubris of his way? yawn).
- There’s also Catwoman… what the hell is her deal?
- No, there is no attempt made to explain the meaning of this page.
- The Amanda storyline is moving way to slowly in my opinion.
- However, paradoxically, it (above mentioned storyline) has already revealed too much for me to take the Hush Beyond reveal seriously. I could not have pull a more absurd conclusion from Geoff John’s ass.
Final Grade: D-