Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Batman #687 Review

Written by Judd Winick
Art by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter

With the excellent debut issue of All Star Batman and Robin by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, I decided to give Judd Winick's penned Batman title a shot and see how other writers handled Dick Grayson as Batman. I was, unfortunately, disappointed with what was on hand in this issue.

The biggest problem I had with Batman #687 was that it was nothing but a retread of Battle for the Cowl. It doesn't go about recapping the events of the Tony Daniel penned disaster of a story, but Dick is full of doubt, spends the entire issue (save the last page) fretting about whether he can live up to Bruce's standard or if he is worthy of being Batman and eventually comes to the same conclusion and ending as Battle for the Cowl did - he accepts the role and becomes Batman. If Battle for the Cowl had never come out, I might have a different opinion of this introspective issue, but it did and just ended not too long ago, making this nearly identical premise (albeit a lot better written than Battle was) a tad underwhelming.

Another problem with the issue was that it came after Batman and Robin. I wasn't expecting a Grant Morrison-level offering from Judd Winick and was actually fairly impressed with how he handled most of the characters in this issue, but Morrison came out on full throttle with Dick and Damian both in costume, fully setup in their new digs and gave us something new and exciting to play with. Winick just wallows in the pre-Dick as Batman status quo that we should be well past by now. It's like he didn't get the memo on what Morrison or even what Daniel was up to in Battle for the Cowl and went about his business writing this issue as if neither of their stories happened/were going to occur and it really nagged on me the entire time I was reading this. Every single plot point has already been solved, gone over or, otherwise, wrapped up in other books and seeing him retread them here just didn't cut it for me.

Verdict - Avoid It. If you skipped Battle for the Cowl, you might enjoy seeing Dick come to terms with becoming Batman more than I did, but for the rest of us, I think it's a weak first issue and not nearly enough to get me to come back again next month.

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