Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Comic Review: Batman Dark Victory

    Continuing the story they started in The Long Halloween, writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale tell of another year of fear and murder.  Holliday has been arrested, but there are more dangerous folks still haunting the streets.  And when cops start showing up dead, it appears someone is picking up where Holiday left off.  And the battle between the mob and the freaks, for the control of the city’s underworld is on. 

    There are a few new players, but many of the survivors of The Long Halloween are back.  There are still deeper truths to be learned, deeper horrors to be exposed.  And blood vengeance to spare.  Arkham’s array of nutters are on the loose, and play a larger role in this story.  And we have the introduction of young Dick Grayson.  Plus, by the end of it, there’s finally some explanation of Catwoman’s connection to the Falcone family, a frustrating loose end from the first story. 

    It feels like The Long Halloween and Dark Victory serve as a sort of definitive early career story for Batman and his place in Gotham.  It kind of explains why the city’s criminal element is what it is, and why some of the people are in the place they’re in.  The origin of Two-Face.  The reason so many crazies are out on the street.  Where Robin came from.  Lots of set up.  And it’s all handled in a semi-realistic way (I stress semi), with a strong Noir aesthetic

    Not having read much Batman before, I think these made for a fine primer and synopsis.  There’s also a compelling story, which felt incomplete at the end of The Long Halloween.  But reading them both makes for a good, epic tale.  And you can totally see the Nolan era Batman films growing out of these volumes.

Batman: Dark Victory
Author: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale
Publisher: DC Comics
ISBN: 978-1-56389-868-6


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