Publisher: DC Comics
Release: December 24th 2018
Issues: Batman 51-57
Warnings: Animal violence (cartoonish animals)
I received a copy of Batman Vol. 8 through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
It feels weird knowing that all of the buildup is finally over – that the Batman/Catwoman plot has finally concluded. But it has, and we’re well on our way to moving past it. This is the first full volume to come out after that plot, and it was kind of nice that they didn’t just pretend it didn’t happen. But more on that below.
Warnings first: There’s a scene that occurs that is kind of hard to describe without possibly giving out major spoilers. Let’s just say that there’s a story being told where a bunch of cartoonish wildlife come together and eventually kill and eat each other. It’s slightly graphic, but not the worst I’ve seen.
This volume is more or less comprised of two different plots. I’ll be honest with you and tell you that the first plot was my favorite. The second one was interesting at times, but I had some qualms with it as well.
The first plot unsurprisingly deals a bit with the aftermath of the wedding that wasn’t. Bruce isn’t exactly the most emotionally stable person out there, so it’s no surprise that he’s taking things a bit hard. That being said, I really love that they were able to turn that raw pain of his into an interesting plot…as well as possibly teaching Bruce a lesson at the same time.
This plot was, in many ways, my favorite in recent times. I absolutely adore plots that will make me think, and ethical/moral debates are a quick and easy way to accomplish that. At first I was put off by the whole Bruce as a juror thing (conflict of interest and all) but I quickly got over that when I realized this was an opportunity to force Bruce out of the rage he’s been hiding behind.
Okay, the fact that Mr. Freeze made an appearance is another reason why I loved the plot so much. But who can blame me there? My only real complaint about the plot is that at the time it ended it didn’t really feel like there was an actual conclusion. Now, I’ve been reading the issues as they come out and I can safely tell you that they’ll be picking this plot up again. Much to my relief.
The second plot was also interesting, but it also picked on a pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand it when they do something major to a character outside of their own story. In this case I’m referring to something that happened to Nightwing in Batman’s plot. Not only is it harsh on Nightwing, but for me it takes away the impact, as odd as that sounds. I always assume that nothing permanent will happen to a character during a cameo. Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule, of course. But it doesn’t happen often enough (in the comics I read) to add a spike of anxiety. Not yet, at least. So it just left me feeling sour in the end.
They did wrap up the plot in an interesting way though, so I have to give them credit for that. The story being told (yes, the animal one) starting off all childlike and innocent, but rapidly growing dark was an interesting comparison for the events unfolding in Batman’s plot. The impact becomes so much stronger at the end, when it’s revealed who is reading the story.
I’ve been really enjoying the last few volumes of Batman. Truth be told I’ll admit that I’m still holding out hope that Catwoman will come back to Gotham…but realistically that probably won’t be anytime soon. It’s also probably for the best if they give that relationship a break all together. Don’t want to overuse anything, right?