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Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey
Monday, March 27, 2006

Story Arc: "Face The Face"
Story Title: "Face The Face," Part 2 of 8
Writer: James Robinson
Pencils: Don Kramer
Inks: Keith Champagne
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Colors: John Kalisz
Cover Artist: Simon Bianchi

Got my copy of BATMAN #651 in the mail this past week and after DETECTIVE #817, I got to say that I was quite anxious to read it.

BATMAN #651 is part two of the “Face To Face” storyline that began in the aforementioned issue of ‘tec. It is also part of the “1 Year Later” editions found throughout the various DC Comics titles.

In this latest issue, Poison Ivy is back and up to her own brand of eco-terrorism. Of course, The Batman and Robin are on the case and plan to take on Ms. Isley as a team. This aspect is clear when we find out -- as well as Poison Ivy herself -- how the Bat-team plans to bring her down.

Very few clues to where The Batman has been over the last year. The story begins with television reports of The Batman’s return to Gotham, as well as the reaction of the people of Gotham. As I said, no clues to where he has been, but it is clear that the citizens are glad to have him back -- well at least the people on the right side of the law.

The changes in The Batman’s personality are evident in small, subtle ways. Now to me, he’s the same Batman that I’ve always known. The one I grew up on in the 70s. It seems that one aspect of the whole INFINITE CRISIS shake-up was the return of likable Batman. Still the same ‘ol stoic Dark Knight, just not a total A-hole (Of course, I missed out on this aspect of The Batman -- I‘m going by what you readers have told me). Read it and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

While you have a self contained story with The Batman taking on Ivy, many things to come later during this storyline are being set up. As The Batman tells Gordon, “I have a FEELING this night ISN’T over.” We meet Jason Bard who seems to be on some sort of collision course with The Batman and yet another Bat-baddie if found dead at the end.

I wouldn’t say that BATMAN #651 is a run-to-your-comic-book-store-and-buy-now-must-have, but it is worth picking up and reading. I expect things to get really good on down the line.

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM, BATMAN IN COMICS, and ON-FILM.NET.

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