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BATMAN #689
Author: Jett
August 23, 2009

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EDITOR'S NOTE: BATMAN #689 did not ship on time to my local comic book shop, thus the reason for the review's week delay. - Jett


OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "'Long Shadows' continues! Batman forges ahead in his battle to retrieve the escapees from Arkham Asylum, while Two-Face begins a ground war of his own. Elsewhere, Penguin wants to become Gotham City's new king of crime, but to do so he has to make a deal with the devil."

The “Batman Reborn” era commenced a couple of months ago with the debut of several new and old Bat-Comics. If you've been reading them all, you know that each focuses on the various members of the Batman universe and gives us their POV of the world without Bruce Wayne.

For example...

* RED ROBIN follows the adventures of Tim Wayne and his worldwide search for a caveman.

* STREETS OF GOTHAM focuses on Batman’s city and its relationship with the “new” Dark Knight.

* Mrant Gorrison’s BATMAN AND ROBIN provides a look at "Happy Batman" and his dark, violent, and brooding sidekick.

Whatever. Anyway...

BATMAN however, naturally focuses on Batman – well, Dick Grayson's poser version of Batman: "The Dick-Bat."

Look, it’s no secret that I think this “Batman Reborn” stuff is an unnecessary stunt. With that said, all of the titles have been pretty darn good so far (though RED ROBIN seems to be slipping) and BATMAN is no exception.

In issue #689, the battle to be Gotham’s top crime lord continues. Two Face provides Batman info on The Penguin’s illegal activities which allows him to really put the heat on Cobblepot. Pissed, Ozzy P. turns to a “mysterious” figure (Black Mask, I presume) and asks for help – which he gets in the form of some sort of super soldier. As the Dick-Bat continues his patrol of Gotham, the super soldier dude attacks him and…

To be continued.

A nice issue here and I’m definitely interested in seeing how writer Judd Winick’s “Long Shadows” storyline ends. I like the fact that Two Face knows that this ain’t the real Batman and is manipulating that info -- and Gotham’s underworld – for his own benefit. The only thing that really sucks about BATMAN is that Winick is leaving the title and Tony Daniel is taking over soon.

Meh.

I do quite like Daniel’s artwork, but his turn as a writer on “Battle For The Cowl” left much to be desired.

Back to this issue, the only other negative I see – and it’s petty to be honest – is that we’re provided yet another “deep” conversation between Dick and Alfred about the trials and tribulations of being Batman.

It’s cool and all, BUT…

Again?! Is an Alfred/Dick emotional exchange a requirement in every single Bat-Comic?

All in all, good story and nice art again from Mark Bagley – whom I’ll be sad to see go as well.

Even though we've got the Dick-Bat and not the real Batman here, I'd certainly recommend BATMAN to anyone who may want to dip their toes into the world of Bat-Comics.

For now at least.

"Jett" is the founder of BATMAN ON FILM.

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