Overview

Batman #649

Review

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Batman #649

Credits

  • Words: Judd Winick
  • Art: Eric Battle
  • Inks: Rodney Ramos
  • Colors: Alex Sinclair
  • Story Title: All They Do Is Watch Us Kill: Part 2
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.50
  • Release Date: Jan 25, 2006

The Red Hood continues to tighten his squeeze around the throat of Gotham City, playing all of its larger-than-life figures in his own twisted game.

It’s out there and confirmed. Jason Todd is back and he is not happy. He has made life a living hell for Gotham’s new crime lord, The Black Mask. He has continuously shown off his actions to his former mentor Batman. And he has taken the former name of, and continuously hounded his "killer" in the Joker. All are powerless against him, out of fear and/or confusion. And now he has all his pieces in place, he is ready to assume control, to put his stamp over Gotham and his foes by following his own methods.

I used to joke about Judd Winick penned books. I normally figure that if you leave him on a book too long, he’s eventually bound to make someone homosexual or give them AIDS. It was probably an unfair thing to say, but I did worry about that when he took over Batman. Thankfully, he has more than proven himself a worthy writer on (arguably) comic-dom’s best known character. His pacing has been outstanding, as the book moves along at a nice momentum, properly sped up and slowed down when necessary. His dialogue is tight, touched with a nice sense of wit. It shows that Winick is having fun here. The only problem is that he sometimes takes characters too far to their extremes. Early in the book Batman has Black Mask, a wanted murderer (based on the recent "War Crimes" arc) who has escaped from police presence, almost gift wrapped for him, and he does not ensure his capture. Batman doesn’t do that. For that reason, some of his character moments feel a little too empty, but his pacing is more than enough to make up for it.

As for art on this book I was rather confused. The cover promised an art team of "Mahnke and Nguyen" but as soon as I opened the book I saw this wasn’t the case at all. But after that initial shock (which, admittedly is a hard word to use), it didn’t seem to really matter. Eric Battle fills in rather nicely with his artwork here. His character designs are clear, his images are clean, and his action scenes play out nicely. He even matches Winick with his storytelling, properly pacing the book to hit all its good parts.

Like any resurrection in comics, it’s easy to scream foul. And sometimes it is appropriate. Thus far, it seems like Winick was properly prepared and has done well. With DC about to turn the corner to one year later it looks like he’ll take us there in style.

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