Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Batman Unseen #1 of 5
Moench & Jones
Here we have yet another Batman mini series which happens to contain its own level of appeal because of the creative team. No, it’s not Kevin Smith or Neil Gaiman, but with Doug Moench and Kelley Jones. For the uninformed this a 1990s Batman tandem that resided over some of the more high profile Batman stories during that decade. Here they get a chance to tell a lost Batman tale.
The draw here is the artwork. For those who are not familiar with Kelley Jones’ rendition of Batman, he likes to draw long ears, lengthy, jagged capes and exaggerated, pointy features. It’s a style that some find repulsive, but if you like your Batman to be frightening and nasty then this is the artist for you. This particular issue finds a new dimension to his artwork as the tone, colors and expressions have a Mike Mignola feel to them. The comic has characters that look as though they belong in the pages of Hellboy with their vacant eyes and sullen expressions. I found the artwork to be excellent and I was particularly impressed with how the style has evolved since the days of Batman #511 in the early to mid 1990s. The one aspect of the art that I was a little disappointed with was that Batman didn’t snarl nearly enough for my liking.
The story is mostly setup but told in multiple mini chapters. Batman finds his intimidation tactics to not be working as well as they previously had been. Meanwhile, a scientist finds some employment with a faceless individual to continue his mad scientist ways. During this time, the scientist begins to perfect a formula that turns a person invisible.
Batman mostly deals with low level crooks in this issue but he does find himself coming upon the case of the invisible man running around committing crimes in Gotham during various stages of invisibility. The overall master plot isn’t quite revealed here but there are layers to this story as the invisible man has his own separate agenda from that of his boss and his group of hoods.
The comic captures some great interactions between Batman and Alfred as well as Batman and Gordon. The villains in the issue have time to establish themselves as well. The story gets off on the right foot and promises to tell an interesting tale that could fit just about anywhere in Batman’s continuity. The comic has some action as Batman beats up some nobodies and it provides some level of shock as the reader witnesses the layers of the human body as they become invisible.
Ultimately this comic book has a niche audience. Those that collect every single Batman comic will be picking this one up. As will fans of the creative team and fans of the 1990s comic book stories. However, this story sets up an interesting story that could have done just fine in the regular Batman titles if Bruce Wayne were still around. It’s definitely worth checking out if you have some wiggle room in your budget.
3.5 out of 5 geek goggles