Writer/Artist: Matt Wagner
Publisher: DC Comics
This is just a good, old fashioned Batman story. Batman at his youthful finest. A Batman still learning his skills, refining them. This is the kind of Batman story I thoroughly enjoy. The unfortunate thing with this particular story is that it's dragging just a bit and that really hurts the excitement level.
Matt Wagner is building this story very, very slowly. Just a bit too slowly for my tastes, but his artwork is what's keeping me coming back for more. Wagner's art is really the driving force for this book. It has that "old time" feel to it. And that's very appropriate to this style of story, since Wagner is re-telling a story that was originally published more than 65 years ago. The way this story is being told artistically, you really cannot tell when it's taking place, which is a definite plus. It also adds to the mysteriousness to what Wagner is trying to accomplish. No, I definitely have no complaints about the artwork.
What complaints I do have is the story, or rather how slowly it's moving. Don't get me wrong, I like what Wagner is trying to do, but this issue just has that sense of sameness about it. Once again we get Gordon's "conflict" with the police mentioned (though this time these particulars cops are with him), once again we're treated to a Batman inspired nightmare that Norman Madison keeps having, once again Julie Madison has questions to ask Bruce Wayne, once again…. Well, you get the idea. And, Matt, the readers get it, too. Can we move on with the story please?
Despite all of that, I'm very intrigued with the vampire cult aspect of the story. Wagner has created a pair of villains that I hope are not shuffled off to comics "limbo," never be seen again after this series. Assuming of course, they both make it out alive. They're just too creepy to not be used again. The other part of the story I really liked was the focus on Batman's detective skills. It's nice to see someone writing about that aspect of Batman for a change.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, but the story just plodded along for me. But as long as Matt Wagner is drawing it, I can look past some story problems. I strongly suspect this will read a lot better when all six issues are read at once.
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