You can never go wrong with Batman. Unless it’s a Joel Shumacher film but I digress. I decided to check out the Batman Day comic that was given out for free in the iBook store which carried issue 1 of the Endgame story line. It starts off with a strange smoke covering Gotham City. From there, all hell breaks loose as various heroes, under the influence of someone or something attack Batman.
The story does a decent job of ratcheting up the tension, bringing obstacle after obstacle Batman’s way. Just when you think he’s about to overcome a particular person, something else comes along keeping him from getting the heroes in question to actually think about what is going on.
The art work is pretty solid this issue. The characters are drawn in the traditional fashion which makes the characters quite crisp and realistic. It gives the characters a chance to emote emotions otherwise not shown if it were drawn in the latest sloppy style that seems to be all the rage. I also liked the scope of the locations. It really felt like the characters were in actual locations, you got a real sense of space. Too often in comics the scenes appear to be located in what appears to be movie sets, unrealistically small settings that don’t fit the action that is happening on the page. This felt like a movie which I think accomplishes its goal.
Yet again we have a story that is the first part of a much longer story. I get that comics today do not really start and end with one issue. They don’t need to either if they are told right. Comics must be told in a way that acknowledges the fact that the person buying a particular issue needs to be convinced to buy the next issue. There needs to be more desperation on the creators part to want to get readers interested not only in how the story turns out but in the entire back story as well. And you have one comic book which is approximately around the 20 page mark to do so. There are some masters at doing this, Brian Bendis being one that comes to mind from the current batch of comic writers. Scott Snyder, the writer of this issue, is pretty good as well but to use a baseball analogy, he struck out big time with this issue.
I had no real sense of what was going on. We start off at the tail end of a previous story which as a reader I was given no real encouragement to want to read because they didn’t give me a reason to do so. From there he starts fighting Wonder Woman, Aqua-Man, and Superman while under the illusion that that are being affected by gas from The Scarecrow. It turns out he is wrong. The heroes in question were drugged by The Joker.
My question is….HOW THE FUCK COULD THE JOKER DO THAT? I get that The Joker is a master criminal for someone of Batman’s caliber. But taking on a god like Wonder Woman or getting close enough to Superman to infect him? I just don’t buy it. My opinion could easily be changed with other issues in this particular story but I still find that to be a failure.
Now admittedly I have not read much current DC material apart from the Court of Owls and Death of the Family stories from Batman comics. I would like to know how Superman has become so damn ineffective against criminals. Too many stories from the current generation of DC stories that I have read have involved Superman being manipulated by criminals and I have to wonder why. It’s great and all that they want to take a character with pretty much unlimited powers and find ways to show that he has weaknesses so he can be somewhat relate able but making him so easy to be manipulated just makes him dangerous. He has good intentions but when someone with his power can be made to do evil things so easy why should we be anything but terrified of him?
I would have been upset if I had paid for this comic. This is not good. Maybe the other issues in this story would change my opinion somewhat but still, the first issue needs to entice readers to want to know more of what is going on. I felt lost and confused from page one on. For that I have to give the story a 3.
The art work is what redeems this. The artwork for all the Batman series from the New 52 line has been pretty damn good. It has great scope, appears to be situated in real locations, and is not sloppy, allowing the characters to show real emotion. I give the artwork an 8.