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BATMAN
CONFIDENTIAL
#37

Author: Robert Reineke
November 29, 2009
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OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Blackhawk Down" continues as Wayne Industries collaborator Blackhawk Industries has valuable information stolen right under Batman's nose! An investigation leads him to Poland and a giant robot, but The Dark Knight will have to enlist the help of Lady Blackhawk to solve the case.

“Blackhawk Down” continues as Batman and Lady Blackhawk head off for Blackhawk Island in an attempt to stop the villainous Ted Gaynor from assembling a small air force with state of the art equipment. There’s lots of action in this issue although you may be a more than a bit lost wondering who some of these characters are without a grounding in Blackhawk lore.

It avoids some of the problems of the first issue by explaining a bit about what’s going on and not relying on ambiguous revelations. And there’s a nice sequence where Batman goes about infiltrating the island while musing that he’s grown too accustomed to battling “the deviant, the unbalanced, the criminally insane” so that a sane, methodical opponent presents him with a challenge. And, overall, the story moves forward appropriately with the final page revelations at least packing some punch this time.

However, it still assumes an awful lot of familiarity on the readers part. And, if you have no idea who Lady Blackhawk is, it would be very easy to assume that she’s an incompetent, as she manages to fly Batman to the island and then get captured. Hardly the way to introduce a guest star to new readers.

The art by Marcos Marz is fairly solid. It’s built around skulking around in the dark and action, and he does a fine job with that. He definitely struggles with facial expressions though and making the character interaction scenes effective.

Overall it’s a step in the right direction. Still, for a story centered around the Blackhawks it really doesn’t serve itself well as an introduction, with Batman dominating the story, and it taking no time to introduce basic concepts so that the story payoffs have weight.

Perhaps the story will make more sense and become clearer, but as of now it’s a muddled, inaccessible mess.

GRADE: C-

Robert Reineke is a Civil and Environmental Engineer residing in Wisconsin.
He’s earned a BS and MS degrees from the University of Wisconsin
and has been reading Batman comics since the 1970s.
He’s of the firm belief that there are plenty of Batman comics written
before Frank Miller that are worthy of discussion.

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