Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Blackest Night Batman #3 of 3
Tomasi, Syaf & Cifuentes
The mini series dealing with Batman and his supporting cast battling the Black Lanterns comes to an end in the way you might expect. They obviously can’t defeat the Black Lanterns or else the entire event would end. They also can’t lose because it’s Batman, so we get a stalemate. However, the comic book has something more to offer than just a standoff that goes no where. The story has some witty dialogue, good action and manages to squeeze some good character moments out of some of the Bat-cast and others you might not expect to see. I liked this issue and I’m glad I picked up this series.
The bulk of the issue has Dick and Tim facing their deceased parents. It’s interesting that the focus was so heavily on Dick and Tim that it was almost an afterthought that Gordon, Barbara and Damian were still in the craft that crashes in the cemetery. Dick orders Damian to get the others to safety which leaves Dick and Tim to deal with their own parents alone.
As you might expect Tim feels that the deceased parents might actually be crying out for their help and that they aren’t actually villains. This makes sense because their parents aren’t attacking. Instead, they are telling Tim and Dick just how much they love them as the scenes play out that repeats their deaths. As the parent’s dead killers show up to re-kill them, both Dick and Tim lose their minds with rage. This is a problem because the Black Lanterns seem to hone in on a victim when they are dominated by one single emotion.
Deadman continues to play an important role as he recruits another old, obscure character to help drive out the dead. He finds Jason Blood and manages to induce the change over to Etrigan. Deadman, as Etrigan, joins in the battle to help Dick and Tim, but it’s actually Damian who delivers the final piece of the puzzle to drive off the Black Lanterns.
As I stated the comic book is a stalemate. However, the elements that make up the comic are mostly very good. The emotional tugging on Dick and Tim are done very well. The inclusion of their parent’s killers is used very well here as well. Deadman shines in this comic and mini series and really seems to have found a place somewhere in the current DCU. Etrigan was a brilliant idea and his execution is equal to the task. Even the dialogue shows some level of entertainment whether it’s Batman calling out to Robin and him having to clarify which he meant or the nod to the movie, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly with the grave marker reference. It simply has a lot to like in it.
Some of the pieces of the story don’t make a whole lot of sense. For example, the inclusion of Gordon and Barbara just seems wasteful. Add in that Alfred is shown caring for Gordon makes you wonder about the whole secret identity thing. It just seemed unnecessary to have the characters in the story. The other aspect about this comic that was hard to grasp was how Dick froze when his father grabbed his arms on the high wire. He acknowledges his inaction but doesn’t really explain it logically. It just seems like it wouldn’t have happened while it makes sense that it would happen to Tim.
The artwork does a nice job of making all of the Black Lanterns look like their previously living counterparts. This is important if you are aware of the characters and their roles. It’s better to recognize a character than to have to be told who the character is. The battles include a lot of fire and that could have easily left some scenes confusing and the art completely avoided that as well. It’s a very good visual story.
Overall, this arc is worth picking up because it doesn’t simply really on Batman, Robin and Red Robin. The usage of Deadman and Etrigan make this story so much more enjoyable. You would expect Batman to try to outthink the dead and to do that you need to enlist characters like them. The comic probably tries to jam too much in it with the Commissioner and his daughter, but at least Damian has the chance to scoff about having to save Dick’s ex-girlfriend. Overall, this was a fun read.
4 out of 5 geek goggles