Another excellent chapter in TheRiddler Year One series. Paul Dano is doing a fantastic job writing this book. It reminds me of the good old days of Vertigo. Stevan Subic’s art is perfect for this book. Parts of this comic could’ve been pulled straight out of the Matt Reeves BATMAN film.
The Riddler Year One Chapter 3: I Know What I Must Become
We open with an envelope being left at the Gotham City Police Department. It’s addressed to The Police Commissioner in scratchy red writing and there is a USB taped to it. A question mark is penciled on the USB.
“Can barely breathe.”
“What’s this?” The desk officer objects.
“Hey man, I’m just dropping this off for a guy, y’know? Said his name was Patrick Parker…”
First off, after Jorge Jimenez’s brilliant art during the Failsafe story arc, this change in artist and art style is quite jarring. I can’t tell if it’s the pencils by Hawthorne or Bendetto’s inking, but I’m not a big fan of the overall look of the main story. There are some nice panels though, which offer some interesting perspectives.
We open with Batman lying bruised and bloody on a cobbled street. His costume’s torn and half his face is exposed. A couple steal his utility belt and there’s a reference to the drug VENOM.
Batman regains consciousness and remembers Failsafe blasting him with some kind of energy weapon. Is he in Crime Alley? Maybe not the Crime Alley he remembers.
Batman and Spawn in a crossover event? What year is this? Did we slip back in time to the nineties?
There has been a lot of hype building up to the release of this comic book. Released on Tuesday December 13th, the 48-page Batman / Spawn #1 comic will set you back $6.99. It’s published by DC Comics (Batman), not Image Comics (Spawn). I’m sure Image would’ve put it out at a cheaper price. (They have been releasing their Spawn comics for $2.99, a dollar or more cheaper than the other publishers.) Todd McFarlane writing Batman & Spawn, Greg Capullo drawing the book and McFarlane inking Capullo’s pencils. As you can imagine, a lot of comic book fans have been very excited about this release. The question is, is it any good?
My simple answer is buy it for the art. The story is okay but the art by Greg Capullo is stunning. There are some incredible double page spreads in the comic. I’ve since heard in an interview with the two creators that Todd asked Greg what he wanted to draw. Then he wrote the story around that. So it’s not like he had this great idea for a story he really wanted to tell. And it shows. The story is convoluted and requires re-reading to take everything in. It’s also a bit daft with McFarlane trying to tie-in the deaths of Batman’s parents and Spawn’s wife.