I went on a bit of a bat-binge last week, reading a bunch of Batman comics. I read Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin 1-6, Paul Dini’s Streets of Gotham 1-7, Scott Snyder’s Batman 8-13, and Tim Sale’s Tales of the Batman hardcover.
The first two were in hard-copy, single-issue form. These were some of the last comics I bought from Westfield before I stopped buying monthly comics in 2009. The Snyder books were digital single issues from Comixology. And the Tim Sale book was a hardcover that I picked up at a convention some time ago.
Batman and Robin and Streets of Gotham were coming out at the same time, and dealt with the same characters: the Dick Grayson Batman and Damian Wayne Robin. Neither book really covers Dick’s decision to take over as Batman; I imagine that was covered somewhere else, though I’m not sure where.
Morrison’s Batman and Robin book was a fun read. The Frank Quitely art on the first three issues was great; I wish he could have done more. I’ll probably pick up the rest of Morrison’s run on this book.
The Streets of Gotham book was more of a mixed bag. Paul Dini wrote the first few issues, then there was a fill-in written by Christopher Yost, then Dini came back. And there’s an interesting backup featuring a new Manhunter character. The art on this book is by Dustin Nguyen. I loved his work on Wildcats 3.0, but he has a different inker here and the whole look of his art seems a bit different. It’s still good, but I was hoping for something more like his Wildcats work. I might pick up the rest of the run of this book, but I’m not sure.
Both of these books ran from 2009 through to the New 52 relaunch in 2011. I don’t really know if either book has a satisfying conclusion, or if they were just cut off in mid-story, leaving dangling plot threads. If it’s the latter, then it might be an exercise in frustration to pick up and read the remaining issues. I’ll have to read some reviews first and see if I can figure that out.
I’ve read only a few books from the New 52. I think the whole idea was interesting, and many of the books were well-received, but it’s all a bit too much for me to follow. I did pick up the first year of Scott Snyder’s Batman book some time ago, when it was on sale at Comixology. I read the first storyline a while back, and the second one over the weekend. I had mixed feelings about the first story, “The Court of Owls,” but the second one, “The City of Owls,” was pretty cool, and finished out the overall “Owl” story nicely. Greg Capullo’s art on this book is great. And the conclusion to the Owl story is fun and fast-paced. It’s really more of an action-movie Batman than a “detective” Batman, but that’s OK sometimes. I’m not sure if I want to read even further into Snyder’s run though. The next story would be “Death of the Family“, and that one sounds like it might be too grim for me. And I’m not that fond of cross-over stories. (The Owl story had a bunch of cross-over issues, but I skipped them, and still understood and enjoyed the story.)
I also listened to an episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour today, discussing Glen Weldon’s new Batman book. It sounds interesting. I might pick this one up. (Though of course I already know more than anyone needs to know about Batman’s history.)
In other Batman-related news, I still haven’t seen Batman vs Superman, and I’m OK with that. I’ll get around to it eventually, but I may wait until it’s out on DVD.