Writer: Brian Azzarello / Artist: Andy Kubert / DC Comics
Okay, guys… we have to come to some hard truths. First, the Fantastic Four is just never going to have a good movie, Bernie Sanders is never going to be President, and Frank Miller just isn’t the insurmountable maverick he was to comics back in the 80’s. We all know this. We knew this when we sat through the uniquely terrible All Star Batman and Robin. We knew this when we were force fed the nigh-unreadable DKII. It’s entirely possible that even HE knows this. That would be a perfectly reasonable rationale for phoning it in and having Brian Azzarello pen the final (but not really) chapter in this epic Batman future vision that revolutionized the character (until the trash sequel dropped).
Right away, the most noticeable difference is that Miller jam-packed a lot of material into the previous installments that was almost overwhelming. Obviously, Azzarello feels no immediate pressure to hit you from all sides, probably because Miller has done more than enough to develop the universe for us in the past. That leaves more room to get down to business and deliver the current plot. The first issue was big on style and light on plot details, but things become exponentially clearer in Issue #2.
The lion’s share is dedicated to Batman’s alleged whereabouts and his role in the world in the face of an unexpected threat. Carrie’s tale of the time she spent with Bruce Wayne is utterly heart wrenching and poignant The main focus takes place through the eyes of an all grown up Carrie Kelley. The tension between her and Commissioner Yindel establishes their standings in this world as female characters who, counter to Miller’s tradition, are women of agency who are not here for the games. Meanwhile, the Ray Palmer/Kandorian plotline escalates quickly, suddenly and in “Holy Shit” fashion. That’s all I’ll say on that.
Where art is concerned, Andy Kubert’s pencils are most successful in carrying as much emotional weight in 30 pages as Jesse L. Martin did in two seasons of The Flash.
Bottom Line: With the storyline picking up speed quickly and virtually without warning, this is turning out to not be the Michael Bay level trainwreck we thought it was going to be so far. But it’s early. So, we’ll see.
8 Batman Mudpit Fights Out of 10