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Review: "Batman: Battle For The Cowl" #1 (Of 3)

In Comic Reviews on March 15, 2009 at 12:58 am

Batman: Battle For The Cowl #1Batman: Battle For The Cowl #1 (Of 3)

Writer: Tony Daniel

Pencils: Tony Daniel

Inks: Sandu Florea

Colorist: Ian Hannin

With “Final Crisis” now far behind us, the new question is not “What the hell is this!?” but rather, “Who is the new Batman?”.  Tony Daniel has stepped in to examine this, and the result is “Battle For The Cowl”.

The title starts off decent enough, and the first issue is obviously meant to create a series of plot lines, but it does feel like a lot for a three issue mini.  The obvious friction is lies between Dick Grayson and Tim Drake, who have conflicing ideals about the future of the Batman persona.  While Tim believes Batman is a neccessity to save Gotham, Dick believes that there should not, nay could not, be another Batman.  Meanwhile, Batman villain Black Mask is alive again (inexplicably), and there’s another nutjob prowling Gotham, claiming to be Batman.

Daniel’s does a passable job, but the writing seems a bit clustered and confusing.  He also seems to be having some difficulty with the characters: Damien Wayne, shown over the past 2 years to be trained by the League of Assassins and formidable in his own right, is reduced to a whining brat in this issue.  There’s also the last page, which the title seems to push to just so you can spend a month guessing the identity of the new Batman.

There are some beautifully rendered scenes, including Tim prowling Gotham in a late 70s/early 80s styled Bat-suit.  There’s also guest appearance galore, with pretty much anyone who’s every active Gotham vigilante showing up in some way shape or form.

In short, the mini is hard to judge at this point, but it does seem to be shaping up to be pretty good.  Daniel’s art is clearly where he’ll shine, but at this point it stands to see if the story will stand up to par with it.  This is still going to be the DC title to watch over the next few months, and shows a lot of promise.  Its not a bad issue, its just evidently meant as a springboard for the series of larger events coming down the road.

Final Grade: B

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