Before we get to the only 2 Batman serials of the week I thought I would just drop my 2 cents on Damian. First, Dick Grayson growing up and out growing Robin worked, Nightwing is a great character and one of my Top 5 (Maybe even Top 3) characters of all-time. His attitude works, costume is cool, Nightwing works.
Enter Tim Drake, hands down he is the best little red. Also Drake was the first Robin I actually really liked. Tim Drake loved being Robin, he had sass and wit; I though he just worked perfectly as the sidekick for Batman. Red Robin does not work, maturing him and giving him individuality is just making him a red version of Nightwing. Tim works as Robin, he loses something as Red Robin.
Onto the son, I really like the character of Damian Wayne. Aside from Bruce Wayne, Gotham does not have any other character so deep with damage and baggage that is not killing people for a hobby. Though from time-to-time you question if Damian does kill for hobby. As Robin, Damian is too much like Batman in personality sense, Robin gave Batman humor and humanity. Damian just makes the room darker and makes you wonder if Batman can keep the leash on him short enough before they both implode. It’s like putting peanut butter cups in your peanut butter flavored ice cream, there is a point of overkill.
That said, I wish they had taken a different road way back when and made Damian a third member and kept Tim as Robin. The introduction of Damian in Batman and Son was one of the best stories in the decade. Grant Morrison took a character and really made you feel for him, his hatred for his mother, how much he wanted his father’s acceptance, he was your average boy… only he had a violent streak unmatched by few.
Damian works, he is great, he is just not a good Robin. I love the journey of his development as a crime fighter and morality, I enjoy watching him fall a step back and snap due to his naturally embedded instincts from his mother. He really progresses an original character in a world where they are all so overly done. Watching Batman try to be a father, watching Damian try to impress the one person, the only person’s opinion who matters is a very deep and real story, if only it had a real Robin to bring it a lighter shade of gray in all their darkness.
Not that any of this will ever change, but just my rant on Robin. On to the comics:
Last month Birds of Prey was a solid book, if fact something I really looked forward to reading this month and beyond. Sadly #2 was poor at best. For a novelist the story was something I thought would excess in this book, but the dialogue poorly written, easily the worst of this bunch. The back-and-forth seemed pressured, like Duane Swierczynski was a child trying to write a play for his parents on a holiday.
As I have said in past, I don’t expect realism in a comic, but there is a point that goes into absurdity. When the bomb explodes in one of the biggest, most advanced airports in the Country who responds? Two security guards, coming casually in a gold cart. No SWAT, no police, security with radios, talk about scene lockdown.
Now if you can get past the silly airport fiasco you would think it improves. Nope. Swierczynski brings in and reinvents his vision of Katana. I loved Mike Barr’s original take on Katana from the Outsiders comic of the 1980s and Chuck Dixon also did a great concept in the final years. But the look and android like personality of this edition just does not seem fitting for a once well written character.
Then the closure of the final member just made the book so poor. I still really have great expectations for this book, but Swierczynski did a hell of a job trying to kill any future anticipation. Thus far in the 52’s Canary is one of my favorite redones, her costume is great, her character is well planned, sadly her environment is so far behind on the storyboarding. RATING D-
Dark Knight issue 2 is much better drawn then it is written this week, but not any way in comparison to BoP. D.k. picks up from last issue with a hulked out Two-Face tearing Batman apart. While the thought that someone is drugging inmates of Arkham with super-roids that may also kill them is a good angle on morality of saving the damned, the story is continually interrupted with choppy confusion. While I think in future issues it will start to fall in place, I feel this type of confusion better holds an audience when collected in a TPB because there is not a month between learning the next piece.
I like the book, I like where the story may be going, but it is moving to slow. RATING B-
Gotham Central: Book 3 by Greg Rucka came out in trade last Wednesday, if you enjoy noir you will not find a writer that better captures that aspect of Batman than Rucka.
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on twitter @ ObiWanCanubi