Author: Bill Ramey
Sunday, August 19, 2007

FROM DC COMICS: "The Batmen of All Nations reunite for a weekend of fine food and nostalgia, but an unexpected visitor has other plans for the gathering. Batman, Robin, and the rest of the Club of Heroes find themselves trapped and at the mercy of a dangerous madman on the Island of Mister Mayhew!"

When I first read the synopsis of BATMAN #667, I thought it sounded, well, stupid, to be perfectly honest. Talk of “The Batmen of all Nations” and a “Club of Heroes” just didn’t float my boat, if you will.

"What the hell is he talking about," I'm sure you are probably asking yourself. Well, here’s a quick rundown of this issue’s storyline; titled “The Island of Mister Mayhew,” by the way.

A very Howard Hughes-esque rich dude -- Johan Mayhew -- has called a meeting of the “Club of Heroes” which he had put together several years earlier. Seems that this Mr. Mayhew had hoped to form his own Justice League-like crime-fighting organization made up of non-super powered crime fighters from all over the globe. However, his club lasted about as long as a hiccup. Now, the members of the club meet again on a private Caribbean island, called together by this Mr. Mayhew.

But why?

Part 1 of “The Island of Mister Mayhew” basically sets up this 3-part story arc. We meet the other heroes: The Knight and Squire (“England’s Batman and Robin”), The Gaucho, Man-of-Bats, The Musketeer, Red Raven, Wingman, and The Legionary, among others. And of course, all of these “Weird, C-List Crimefighters,” according to Robin, are in awe and jealous of the legendary Batman.

At the end of BATMAN #667, the setup is complete as the reader and the heroes find out why they are there. In a very SILENCE OF THE LAMBS/Hannibal Lector-like moment, we all find out that Mayhew is dead and the culprit is someone who has glossed himself “The Black Glove.” This Black Glove challenges the group to solve this case while gloating that they will all be dead in 24 hours.

I'm assuming that The Black Glove doesn't have motivational speaking in his future.

Anyway, stying true to his word, one of the group has already been taken out as this issue ends.

Frankly, this isn’t my favorite sort of Batman tale. I like the more realistic, gritty, urban crime stories myself. I don’t like it when The Batman jumps on The Batplane -- as he does in this story -- and takes off to mysterious, non-Gotham locales. With that said, I found myself enjoying BATMAN #667 and looking forward to seeing how this whole thing plays out.

This Grant Morrison is really doing some good stuff during his run on BATMAN. Every damn story arch he knocks out is different. They also seem to be something that sounds uninteresting and at times goofy, but they end up being very good. They seem hodgepodge, yet it looks as if Morrison will ultimately tie it all together with something big.

I loved JH William’s artwork in this issue! My favorite page in this comic was when The Batman first enters the room where the heroes had gathered -- and had been gossiping about The Dark Knight. When you read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about! Very cool cover as well, with a “photograph” of a 1950’s-era Batman and Robin -- covered with blood -- and the reflection of The Batman found in one of the splatters.

And much to my delight, The Batman seems to be wearing black again. Thanks to colorist Dave Stewart, I presume.

Will The Black Glove take out all the members of The Club of Heroes as he promised? If so, who is next to go? Can these guys come together, solve this mystery, and apprehend this villain? And who the hell is this Black Glove character?

I don’t know about you, but I want to find out.

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM,


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