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Sunday August 16, 2009 4:14 am
DC Comics Review: Batman #689
Rating: ** 1/2*
Judd Winick’s run on Batman continues. In the last issue, we saw that Two-Face has realized that the current Batman battling in the streets of Gotham is not the same Batman that he’s faced over the years. This Batman likes to smile, which is something the previous Batman was not fond of doing. In this issue, the battle to be the number one crime boss continues. Two-Face is feeding the new Batman intel on the Penguin’s operations; the issue opens with Batman taking out a secret Penguin casino.
The Penguin is obviously not happy as we see him complain to a mysterious figure. I think the person is the Black Mask, but I’m not 100% sure. The Penguin decides he needs help in taking on the Batman. To help him with this problem, the mysterious figure has some muscle for the Penguin in the shape of genetically-enhanced soldier.
Batman continues his patrol in Gotham when the soldier attacks Batman (with some help from Clayface). We end there.
I wanted to mention one other scene that I thought was very touching with Dick Grayson and Alfred. Alfred talks about how his role was to stand in Bruce’s shadow and be his aid in the fight against crime. He wasn’t sure he could do it without Bruce, but he feels Dick makes it easier since he is a person closer to the “light” than Bruce. Alfred talks to Dick about how before the darkness came for Bruce on that night, Bruce was a very good artist when he was a little, but all that changed after his parents’ deaths. We see a flashback to a young Bruce drawing. I would love to see DC follow-up on this little detail and make it a part of the Batman mythos. Sherlock Holmes used to play the violin for relaxation—maybe when Bruce returns he could draw for relaxation.
Mark Bagley provides the artwork for this story. I prefer Mark’s work on Marvel characters for some reason; I’m not sure why, but his artwork almost seems out of place here. Maybe because I’ve seem him as the artist for Spider-Man for over ten years, and I’m still getting used to him doing something else.
Judd’s first issue really impressed me, but these past two issues have just been okay with nothing special that’s wowed me. I’ll keep up with this one as Tony Daniel will be taking over the writing of the book after Judd. I liked Tony’s work, although I know some people didn’t on Battle for the Cowl. I recommend this book to the hardcore fan. For anyone else, head over to Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin.
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