Kit is taking over the weekly comic book review because Adam is in the unenviable position of attempting to finish off his PhD.
“There’s no legislation for holding someone based on what they MIGHT do.”
“There is no MIGHT” – Batman
Warning: minor spoilers.
So some of you may remember last week I said I’d review the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl this week. Well I underestimated DC releasing such an interesting Batman Comic, and I’ve neglected DC in my stewardship of these weekly reviews! If you are disappointed there’s no Squirrel Girl… 8/10. As usual it’s a lot of fun, but very much a jumping on issue. It’s fun to see Marvel rub Fox’s face in the fact Squirrel Girl is “medically and legally distinct from being a mutant”. She’ll be up against Doctor Doom in the next issue, and I am definitely going to read it.
Anyway, we’re here to talk about Batman aren’t we? And not who’d win in a fight out of him and Squirrel Girl (spoiler: Squirrel Girl! *editor’s note from Adam: no*). So, where was I? This week I’m reviewing Justice League The Darkseid War: Batman, the first of a set of tie-ins to The Darkseid War storyline currently running in DC’s flagship title. The Darkseid War: Batman was written by Peter J. Tomasi and drawn by Fernando Pasarin, with inks by Matt Ryan, colours by Gabe Eltaeb and letters from Dave Sharpe.
If you’ve been reading Justice League you’ll know that Batman has recently been bestowed with God-like powers. This issue explores what would happen if the Bat had real power, absolute power. You know, the type that corrupts.
Batman has of course been keeping on-top of crime in Gotham, he can teleport, is immune to bullets and can see deep into the future and past. He’s been arresting people before they commit crimes, much to Jim Gordon’s displeasure. Yups, Batman gets powers and he goes all Minority Report/Big Brother on us, enacting cruel and unusual punishments! This, isn’t surprising, in many of his incarnations this is a route the Bat takes. What’s more surprising is how quick he is to seek personal revenge. He makes a rather terrifying visit to Joe Chill, the man who killed his parents (who is still a horrible person) and scares him beyond belief. And next issue, he’s taking personal vendettas to the next level.
There is constant suggestion that this isn’t entirely Bruce and his Mobius Chair (bestowing his powers) is influencing his actions. However, one thing that has been made incredibly clear in the New 52 incarnation of Batman is how ultimately human he is. Sometimes he makes mistakes, he has no powers and is no God. He is a man who sits amongst Gods, able to go toe to toe with them, with none of their powers. He is suspicious and skeptical of those in power. Why? Could it be because he knows what he would do with their power were it his own? This issue suggests yes, that’s exactly why.
It also says something about the likes of this universe’s Superman, who, although currently corrupted by something from the Darkseid war, holds this kind of power and deals with it on a daily basis. Without becoming corrupt. He may be a boy scout, but he has to be. If he wasn’t, he’d become everything he stands against, something like the Superman from Injustice or the Crime Syndicate.
Tie in issues can often fall wide of the mark and end up as not much more than a marketing ploy. This is not one of those issues. It gives us a fantastic insight into this incarnation of Batman. His weaknesses and his dark-side (get it?).
Final Score – 9 Power Crazed Bats out of 10!