Friday, April 8, 2011

Batman: Long Shadows (Review)

Citizen's Grade: O.K.

Part of the "Batman Reborn" story arc, Long Shadows deals with Dick Grayson (a.k.a. Nightwing, and now Batman) taking up the mantle of the Bat and the risks and responsibilities that go with it. The book starts with a flashback to Superman bringing Batman's Cape back to Wayne Manor and giving it to Alfred and Grayson. It's a rather touching moment when Superman asks Alfred if he is alright, and Alfred responds, "No Sir. I am not alright. My son has died." It then shifts to Robin getting himself in trouble with Doctor Phosphorus. Nightwing saves the day driving the Batmobile.....but only Batman should drive the Batmobile, right?

Grayson, Damian, and Alfred come to the conclusion that Nightwing should disappear and Batman should come out of the shadows. But Dick wants his own legacy and to respect Bruce, so they leave the Batcave and move into the "Bunker" at the Wayne Foundation Building. Batman then goes to work ridding Gotham City of crime....

Meanwhile, while most of the public, media, and even some super-villains are fooled by this new Batman, Two-Face is not. With the memories of several battles with the Dark Knight, Two-Face knows his enemy....and this Batman is NOT him! He will stop at nothing to know who the impostor is, and kill him.

Can Dick Grayson convince Two-Face that he is Batman? Or will he die trying? Along with facing off with Two-Face, Grayson discovers a data key hidden by Bruce that involves Dick's parents & their murder....what secrets was Bruce hiding?

Judd Winick does a good job writing Batman; and with his contributions to Jason Todd & the Red Hood character, has cemented his place as an important part of the Batman writing team. The artwork of Ed Benes is spectacular as always, and Mark Bagley's is very good as well....especially his "Two-Face Batman"! A very solid effort. I hope that Winick is given the opportunity to explore the Grayson Secret Murder Case File in the future, since it is left in suspense at the end of the book....

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