Author: Bill Ramey
Saturday, November 3, 2007

FROM DC COMICS: "The next chapter of Batman's life starts here! The shadow of Batman's archfoe Ra's al Ghul still looms large over the head of the Dark Knight. Is Ra's al Ghul destined to live again? Batman begins his quest for the truth in this special prelude to "The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul," guest-starring Talia al Ghul, Damian, the Sensei and I-Ching!"

Ten years or so ago, I gave up on comics. Why? Because I had grown tired of the seemingly endless, multi-title, multi-issue crossovers. It just got to be a big pain in the ass.

Then a few years ago, I got back into comics -- I kind of figured I should since I run one of the biggest Batman websites on the Net. All kidding aside, I simply missed reading them as a Batman fan.

Much to my pleasure, I discovered that DC had cut down on that sort of crap that drove me away from comics in the first place. You now could actually buy a particular comic book title -- say DETECTIVE -- and read a story from beginning to end in one issue. Or at the most, a storyline might last over the course of three or four issues tops. On top of all that good news, one didn’t have to buy every friggin’ title known to man to read one damn story!

Much to my chagrin, DC is now giving us Bat-Fans a blast from the past with -- you guessed it -- a big-ass storyline that will crossover into all of the monthly Bat-titles. I guess this is DC’s version of “I LOVE THE 90s.”

Hell what’s next, Clinton in the White House?

Um, never mind.

All kidding aside, while I’m obviously not a fan of these big, multi-issue/title “Comic Book Events,” it looks as if this sort of stuff isn’t going to become commonplace. So, I figure I can deal with this seven-parter billed as “The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul” that will span all the Bat-titles over the next few weeks.

It all begins with a prelude story in BATMAN #670 -- titled “Lazarus Rising” -- and it is this comic book that I’m reviewing today for your reading pleasure.

It’s going to be hard to evaluate this particular issue due to the fact that its sole purpose is to set up this huge storyline. In a nutshell, you’ve got The Batman in Hong Kong (shades of the upcoming THE DARK KNIGHT? -- probably not), Talia and Damien, and some bandaged freak who claims he’s Ra’s Al Ghul. Oh, yeah, Ra’s/bandaged freak wants The Batman’s son’s body so The Demon’s Head can return to his full glory.

Frankly, I can’t tell whether or not this thing kicked ass, sucked, or was just OK. Consequently, I offer my apologies. Due to the fact that it’s nothing more than a set up story -- or “A Prelude” as it’s billed -- “Lazarus Rising” just is what it is.

If you’ve been reading Grant Morrison’s run as the writer of BATMAN, then you already know what to expect tone and style-wise. Nothing’s changed since dude took over -- and I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’ve liked Morrison’s work for the most part on this title.

On the other hand, there’s a new artist on board BATMAN by the name of Tony Daniel. I was not familiar with Daniel other than the fact that he’s known for his work on TEEN TITANS and FLASH: THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE (isn’t “Googling” badass?). I do like what I saw in this issue I must say, as Daniel looks to be a hell of an artist. Most Batman stuff feature him as a faceless wraith -- lot’s of cape, cowl, and The Bat’s glowing eyes -- and I’m certainly down with that.

For the love of Gotham, can an editor at DC instruct these colorists to have Batman donned in black? Geez, I F‘n loath “Blue Batman!” Hell, I love those 70s Batman stories as much as anyone, but I’ve yet to see a blue bat fluttering around in all my years. Anyway, enough of my pet Bat-peeve.

If your thing is multi-issue storylines and crossover into several different titles -- in particular setup only stories -- then BATMAN #670 is definitely going to be your cup of tea.

I’ll get back with y’all next week as I’m actually going to have to buy and review the next issue of ROBIN -- that’s where “The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul” really starts.

In the meantime, I’m going to check out this SEINFELD on Thursday nights and they're saying that Stone Temple Pilots daggum ROCK!

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


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