Review: DC Retroactive: Batman from bwmedia
DC Comics makes no pretense that the Flashpoint reboot and relaunch of their universe is a bid to win new readers. Also, while we can’t expect them to say it openly, it is a bid to reclaim the old ones lost in a decade plus of fan-abuse and character mismanagement. Let’s look in on how one of the first volleys of Retroactive Batman of the 70s is being received.
DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70′s
DC Comics (September, 2011)
WRITER: Len Wein
ARTIST: Tom Mandrake
COLORIST: Wes Hartman
LETTERER: Dezi Sienty
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Chynna Clugston Fores
EDITOR: Jim Chadwick
“DC Retroactive” pairs writers from a certain point in DC history, who then write a brand new story set in that time period, with their artists when available. I guess a 70′s Batman artist wasn’t available.
A new Terrible Trio is loose on Gotham and although amateurs they manage to escape Batman thanks to escape vehicle. Sadly, this coincides with Lucius and his son having a major falling out, with Lucius later believing that Timothy is part of the situation. But how does Talia fit in?
What they got right: Len Wein was my introduction into the Batman comics (my having only known him from the TV shows) so it’s great to see him back on the character in a story depicted as the comic was in the 70′s. His friendship with Commissioner Gordon here is how I know their interaction. While artist Tom Mandrake and colorist Wes Hartman don’t replicate the art style of the time, it is some great artwork.
What they got wrong: Not trying to match the art style of the period, especially with the reprint story afterwords to compare it to. Also the story takes place after the reprint, which comes at the back of the comic, thus the reference to Gregorian Falstaff would be confusing if you hadn’t read the reprint story first.Was Falstaff supposed to be part of a bigger story? (Actually, I thought I heard it was a throwaway mention just to make the conversation work, but I could be wrong.) Also there’s the reveal of the bad guys at the end. [SPOILER] Timothy turns out to be one of the Trio.[/spoiler] Why do this? Was this something Len had wanted to do before leaving? Because it kind of bugs me.
Normally (at least how I’ll approach the Retroactives) I’ll be reviewing the next comic as if it was a new comic (it should be a new read for me) and give the recommendation based on the two together. However, this comic holds a special place: