It’s Halloween! and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate than to review the wonderful combination of the spirit of this great holiday and one of my favorite characters: The Batman. It’s been a little while since i wrote one of these up but I thought this was the best occasion to finally release my thoughts on these two issues.
I never celebrated Halloween much as a kid. My parents took me trick-or-treat’ing once and that was that. It’s not that they would not let me but rather it was my own unwillingness to dress up. See; I am not currently nor was i ever into putting on costumes. I always found it a bit odd for myself. On others i think it’s cool but In my mind I lack the passion and desire to pull off a successful cosplay. When it comes to the horror genre I’ve always loved two things: Murder mysteries, and zombies. Yeah, it’s not a long list but when both of these things get meshed together with Batman comics I’m all ears (and eyes…for the art).
Damian discovers Alfred dragging a mysterious bag over to the west end of the manor. A human hand sticks out and he begins to suspect Alfred of possible murder. Chaos ensues as he begins to investigate further. Tim Drake shares his thoughts and soon Katana joins in with her own theory of soul taking demons. Jason Todd assures the trio that there are mysterious things indeed about Alfred. With rampant imaginations and the backing of Jason’s word the group confronts Alfred and thus discover the true meaning behind the mysterious ventures of the Butler into the deeper parts of the manor. Alfred was merely readying decorations for the coming holidays and the entire thing was to get the remaining kids to help, getting Jason and Dick off the hook for the year.
Bruce and Damian take a trip to the Middle East to visit good old Talia and Ras Al Gul. They face some minor difficulties however, when their batwing crash lands in the middle of the dessert. Damian begins to hallucinate as father and son make the trek to the league of assassins hide out. They run into Azrael who leads them to the palace and there they have a comical family feast with Talia and Ras. Soon our heroes are attacked by zombies who are fought off by the assassins and led out of the area by Azrael. The issue ends with Damian and Bruce back at the manor talking about their eventful trip with the bat-family just as. Jason Todd arrives. Deadman and friends knock on the manor door and scare Damian off.
I really enjoyed these issues. The month of October has been am eventful one and these books were among the highlight pick ups of the month for me. I loved the little nods to former continuity and comic book happenings. Stuff like the reference to Jason Todd’s death vote via hotline number, the obvious nods to Damian’s death and the great scenes showcasing a fun but dysfunctional family dynamic is what really made the books for me this month. I gotta say; I missed having a story that focused on Damian and Bruce again. This month definitely delivered on that as it’s been some time since we’ve gotten this.
Oh yes before I forget to mention it I met the ever so talented Dustin Nguyen at NYCC, he was an awesome guy who made the time to talk with his fans. I managed to get a signed print from him, and even though we barely spoke, it remains a highlight of the con for me. This book continues to be nothing short of amazing and I’m loving that he holiday theme has yet to dry out. Dustin hinted at possibly having other titles in this same fashion and I for one would love the idea of having a “Smallerville” title. The Halloween theme runs through the veins of both these issues and they do a wonderful job of laying out simple stories that provide enough little Easter eggs to keep longtime fans on board. I mean c’mon, Where else will you find stories about ninjas vs zombies, and a crime mystery involving Alfred? Certainly not in any other main stream Bat book.
FINAL GRADE: 10/10 (for both)