Batman/Nightwing: Bloodborne
Kelley Puckett, writer,
Toby Cypress, artist
(DC Comics, 2002)

There's just not a lot that's good to say about this recent addition to the Batman mythos.

The first thing you notice in any graphic tale is, of course, the art. Here, as rendered by Toby Cypress, the people are ugly. Gangly. Misshapen. There's nothing at all attractive in this book; even the usually "pretty people" like Dick Grayson and his Irish-Chinese landlady, Clancy, look bad. It makes you wonder who at DC is screening artists these days.

Then there's Kelley Puckett's story, which is stale and preposterous. Batman, who is believable in the context of Gotham City vigilante but doesn't work so well as a global peacekeeper, is in a frozen Russian wasteland battling well-armed troops over a fragile vial of plague virus. Frozen and ravaged by illness, he of course defeats the opposing army singlehandedly, only to succumb to the plague. He collapses into a snowbank and, to prevent further contamination, destroys his handy global Bat-tracer.

The dead signal concerns Alfred, who calls in Dick "Nightwing" Grayson, the original Robin, and sends him off to locate the Batman. Here we are asked to believe that Batman, for all his courage and fortitude, could survive -- unconscious and buried in snow -- while Nightwing drives across Gotham to Wayne Manor, drives to the airport, flies to Russia, gets shot down, fights the badguys and searches, on foot, an area five miles in diameter for a single man buried in snow.

Do I need to say more?

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 16 March 2002

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