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Saturday August 15, 2009 9:01 pm

DC Comics Review: Blackest Night: Batman #1

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics,


Rating: ***

The Blackest Night storyline continues in this separate three issue mini-series entitled Blackest Night: Batman.  This series will focus on the Black Lanterns going after the deceased relatives a various Bat-family members.  As I mentioned in my review for Blackest Night #2 , this first issue also focuses on Boston Brand - Deadman and his physical body being resurrected into a Black Lantern.  Writer Peter Tomasi does a good job here, but I have to give him some negative points on this one because of the way he writes the character of Damian Wayne - Robin.  If you’ve been reading Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin, Morrison portrays Damian as a major jerk.  Judd Winick follows Morrison’s lead, but has toned it down a bit over in his stories in Batman, but the jerk personality of Damian is thrown completely out the window here in Tomasi’s version of the character.  There’s no arrogance; no snide comments about Dick not being the real Batman, nothing.  Instead we get a character who if you picked up this issue without knowing what has happened over the past few months, you would think that this new Robin is more along the lines of Tim Drake.

With that being said, the story is still very good in my opinion.  It opens up with Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin at the graves of Bruce Wayne and his parents, Thomas and Martha.  As we all know, Black Hand went to Bruce’s grave and took his skull for some unknown reason.  The caskets of Thomas and Martha have also been dug up, but their remains have not been resurrected into Black Lanterns.  In this scene, Tomasi’s makes his first mistake of writing Damian out of character as Damian shows genuine feeling of sadness as he sees the bodies of his grandparents.  He’s so distraught that he can’t bear to pick up their bodies as Dick decides to remove them from their graves to a safer location.  The Damian that we see in Batman and Robin probably wouldn’t care much for the bodies of people he didn’t know - even if they are related to him.  He’d probably say something like let’s toss ‘em back in the hole and let’s go.

The story switches to Deadman as we see the full moment of when his body is resurrected into a Black Lantern.  He tries to possess it the way he can possess living people’s bodies, but to no avail.  The Black Lantern flies away and Deadman goes off as well to look for some help. 

Other bodies are taken over by Black Lanterns as we see the bodies of deceased Bat-villains get resurrected as well.  We see The Ventriloquist, KGB Beast, Magpie, and others rise from their caskets.  One of the other villains is Deacon Joseph Blackfire who was the main villain in the classic Batman mini-series The Cult.  If you’ve haven’t read this story, get a copy of the trade.  It still holds up and is in my opinion one of the best Batman stories ever.

As Batman and Robin are driving through Gotham, Deadman jumps into Batman’s body.  As he does, he realizes that Bruce Wayne is dead and Dick Grayson is now Batman.  Robin realizes that something has taken over Batman and begins trying to punch it out of Batman.  Deadman tries to explain to them what’s going on with the Black Lanterns.  To stop Robin from beating him up, Deadman jumps into him.  Dick is conscious of what the situation is and he and Deadman as Robin head to the cemetery, but it’s too late.  The Black Lanterns have taken over the dead bodies of Dick Grayson’s parents as well as the bodies of former Robin’s (Tim Drake) parents.

Dick contacts Tim in Paris and informs him about what has happened, which Tim responds that he is on his way.  The final page shows Batman and Robin along with Deadman staring at the Bat-Signal in the air.  The signal has been cracked and the outlines of several bodies lay on top of it.

A good story with some great artwork by Ardian Syaf.  My only problem, as I mentioned, is the way Tomasi portrayed the character Damian Wayne.  The cover to this issue was done by one of my all-time favorites Andy Kubert.   Why DC doesn’t put him on a monthly book is a complete mystery to me.  Check out his work on the two-part story “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”  I also suggest checking out the work he did with Mark Waid on Captain America in the 90s.  Classic!  I like that Boston Brand is a part of this storyline.  I hope he has a bigger part in the main series.  If not, maybe a solo series?

Blackest Night is rocking and rolling people.  Check it out!



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