Masks – strenuous exercise – and kung-fu. Now this may seems like a nice Friday night in with an oriental hooker, but for Batman and Co. it means something else entirely. This Bat-instalment was Written and Drawn by: Tony Daniel; and Published by DC Comics on March 2011.

Gagged – tied-up – and drowning, Dick (Batman) Grayson manages to delve to the very depths of his soul, to save both himself, Luki-lo, and Tammy and Lucius Fox, from their current watery predicament. Then, once out in the open, Batman takes down Sensei’s guards next, before he and a newly emerged I-Ching gauges from Luki-Lo, the location of the Sensei. And where is the Sensei? He has currently tracked down the ‘mask of the beholder’ to a library dedicated to Thomas Wayne, and has now put on the mask, BOOM! As soon as this happens, two things occur: (1) His body is enveloped in power. And (2) The Peacock shows up, confronts him, and in the process unveils that her origins and the mask’s are linked together by birth. But alas, the Sensei does not listen her words, not even when Batman suddenly arrives and takes the mask off of him. In the kafuffle however, the mask is broken, allowing for the Sensei to escape into the night, and for Batman and Peacock to survive unscathed. Meanwhile, in a deserted dinner outside of town, the Riddler and Enigma speak to a coin-tossing femme-fatal.        

In all honesty, as a conclusion to a story goes, this one was not that bad actually. OK, I know another was of interpreting this is to say ‘not that good’ either, but I find that this particular statement to be too harsh in tone. As you see, this Batman book is in a somewhat transitional state at the moment, coming out of the whole ‘Bruce Wayne Returns’ saga, whilst trying to find it’s own place within the other Bat-related titles. The problem with this thoe, is that ‘Batman’ is an adventure book at heart, trying to maintain the status quo of what has come before. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing of course, it is just that I find that the writer / artist of ‘Batman’, Tony Daniel, appears’ to be faltering somewhat on who Dick Grayson actually is now. OK, Dick is an adventurer, and he is also a competent hero in his own right, but Tony does not appear to know what else there is to him. Granted, Tony references Dick’s carney days, as well as his prior experiences with Batman, but still, this does not necessarily seem to be enough to ‘punch one home’ where characterisation is concerned. This book relies heavily on story and plot, thusly, it also makes it more beige in quality compared to some of the other Bat-titles. And even thoe sometimes the story is good – as in this case – it just needs that little bit extra in characterisation to make it great. Come on Tony my boy, I know you have it in you. Give more Dick to Batman. (That sounds crude, doesn’t it?).

BATMAN #707 BATMAN #707 Reviewed by David Andrews on March 25, 2011 Rating: 5
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