BATMAN #1 & #2

To keep up with Rebirths bi-weekly shipping schedule, I've decided to review two issues of the same series in one go. This way you get a double whammy in one fowl swoop, where as people like Tom King, David Finch, plus anyone else associated with DC Comics, will get a nice feeling of empathy flowing inside them. It's July, 2016, and it's time for the Batman double-review.

TO QUOTE A Man Being Kicked In The Nuts: 'AAAAAHhhhhhhhhh!!!!!'.

Picture the scene: Batman and Commissioner Gordon standing on top of a roof at Police HQ, talking about certain highly sensitive matters they shouldn't really be discussing. When suddenly, way up, high above their heads, they notice that the engine of a commercial airplane has strangely caught fire; causing it to slowly descend down into the city. 

Obviously this sight makes Batman call the Justice League for some assistance. But alas, none of them are currently available because they are needed elsewhere. So, as you'd expect, Batman takes matters into his own hands, and he does this by jumping into his car, driving as fast as he can, before ejecting himself straight at the plane in question, with the intent of attaching a mechanical device to its wing, and steering it to safety. 

Problem is, after a while he realizes that the steering method he's using isn't really up for the job, and from the looks of it, this might be the last time Batman does any more adventuring. Well, that is until two superheroes turn up and stop the airplane from crashing, two heroes called Gotham and Gotham Girl.


A couple of days later -- well, I think the start of issue two begins a couple of days later -- and we cut to a scene where Batman bumps into these two again. This time though he's the one who's helping them out with a recently escaped Solomon Grundy, who's rampaging near the base of the statue of Justice. So thankfully, after a biff, a pow, plus one or two slaps, old grey face gets stopped in his tracks, and, yeah, that's about it really. See you later Solomon and hello to a completely different sub-plot.
Turns out, Grundy was freed by a man called Bob Castro. At first glance Bob seems like a fairly timid chap until he surprisingly kills himself after confessing his sins to Commissioner James Gordon. But before Bob stabs himself in the neck -- ouch! -- he does let a name slip. Or to be more specific about it, a name proceeded by a couple of words... 'The Monster Men are coming. Aren't they... strange?'. 'Strange' being the operative word, meaning, Doctor Hugo Strange, the bearded lunatic we see on the very last page, with...

Errr... No. I don't think I will say any more than that or else I may spoil the surprise. And I wouldn't want to do that, would I? That said, however, what I am happy to say is that on the whole I really did like the artwork provided by David Finch and the general plot-line written by Tom King. As always, David has a highly detailed style of illustration that suits the brand of hyper-realized story Tom is going for. In many ways his bold characterizations fits in very well with this more cinematic adventure, especially during the action sequences which are complemented by the panoramic landscapes. I have to also mention how much I loved the orange tinted color pallet utilized throughout, and how it gave this story a vibrant yet more subdued vibe, bordering on the timely.

Now one of my most favorite scenes in the first issue was the one were Batman was perched on top of the plane, trying to steer it to safety. Despite not being taken in by his final farewell to Alfred (I mean, we just got Batman back, didn't we? So he's not going to die yet!), at the same time I did like his more Errol Flynn, gun hoe, attitude, enhancing his daredevil qualities whilst dummying down his more emotional ones.

Issue two, on the other hand, was pretty good too. Although tonally the overall structure was slightly more jumbled in comparison -- specifically, the pacing of the actions scenes seemed slower than the dialogue scenes -- apart from that slight gripe, Ka-Pow! Amazing stuff. And I did enjoy the 'Strange' reveal and the other reveal which I may allude to in my conclusion.

Another aspect about these two issues I enjoyed revolved around the notion of Batman needing help, with him finally realizing his own mortality. To me, this is a very grounded and relevant subject matter to be tackled in a Batman book, and does seem fairly mature and appropriate to discuss. As for what Gotham and Gotham Girl are up to, well, time will tell with that one as well. Currently they seem nice and are a welcome addition -- like Duke -- although who knows what their long term plan will be?  

I'm going to ask Solomon Grundy for what he thinks would be the best musical match-up for this month's tune. Hey! You, you ugly-looking grey-hued brute! What do you think would be a good tune for this month's two issues?

I shouldn't have bothered asking, should I?
To be honest with you, dear reader, I'm slightly conflicted on what I should put down here. One part of me wants to compare issue one to the 1975 disaster movie, Airport, simply because it's about an airplane that's going to crash. Where as another part of me wants to match it up to Con Air, starring Nicolas Cage, due to that scene at the end where the plane goes down in Las Vegas.

Which one of the two do you think I should choose? At the moment I'm veering more towards Airport as I prefer Dean Martin more than Nicolas Cage (No offence, Nick). But then again, that isn't the best way to choose, is it?

At the very end of the second issue it is revealed that the surprise villain, Doctor Hugo Strange, is working on behalf of a surprise organisation. So, for the sake of tea -- one lump, not two -- lets see if you can guess what organisation it is out of the following eight options? Could it be...

  1. Google: The popular search engine / con artist.
  2. The Inland Revenue Service: The popular money making b*stards.
  3. Amazon: Not the jungle.
  4. The Doom Patrol: The version that's still alive.
  5. The Beard Trimmers Society of Afghanistan: Amish division.   
  6. Kim Kardashian Inc: Gives her something to do.
  7. Task Force X: Also known as the Suicide Squad.
  8. The Barry Manilow Fan Club: At-choooo!
Nuff said.

BATMAN #1 & #2 BATMAN #1 & #2 Reviewed by David Andrews on July 18, 2016 Rating: 5

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