Batman: Ego
by Darwyn Cooke
(DC Comics, 2000)

OK, Bruce Wayne is obsessed. There is no other explanation for his relentless, cold-hearted pursuit of justice as the Batman. But I grow weary of some writers' determination to portray the character as certifiably insane.

Darwyn Cooke, in Ego, gives us a Bruce Wayne who is still new in his role as vigilante. He is insecure, which is a side of Wayne rarely seen anywhere in his long history. And he is haunted by a giant shadowy Batman caricature, visually reminiscent of Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Wayne has long conversations and arguments with his brooding alter ego, evidence that Batman is a separate personality rather than a mask. I'll admit, it's a take on the hero I don't like.

Although the Batman entity is grotesque, the remainder of the art is fine. I enjoyed various insights into young Bruce's relationship with his parents and adult Bruce's relationships with his peers, but the psychobabble that otherwise dominated the book left me tired.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 23 February 2002

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