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Batman and Son

October 20, 2008

Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert working together seems like a perfect mix. While Morrison is probably one of the most active Batman writers of our time, Kubert delivers stunning and powerful art like almost nobody else. Still I was not entirely satisfied with Batman and Son and I will tell you why after a brief synopsis of the story.

Remember Talia, the daughter of the criminal mastermind Ra’s Al Ghul? In Batman and Son, she returns to Gotham City to “visit” the dark knight, but she is not alone this time. She brings along her son Damian, who she claims is the lovechild of her and Batman from a passionate night in their past. While Batman finds it hard to believe her, he feels responsible for the boy and takes him in. This however is not as easy as it sounds, because the youngster was trained by his grandfather’s league of assassins and has a fairly aggressive attitude towards problem solving. In the meantime, Talia is blackmailing Kirk Langstrom, the former Man-Bat, to receive the Man-Bat formula in order to create her own private army. So much for the first story arc of this paperback, which was originally published in Batman #655-658.

The trade paperback also includes the excellent prose story The Clown at Midnight as an intermission before it continues with the Batman and Son saga. These stories were published in Batman #663-666. The last three issues deal with the so-called “three ghosts of Batman”, three maniacs dressing up as Batman and going on a rampage through Gotham City. Particularly the last encounter is interesting as it shows us a futuristic view of Gotham in which Damian has picked up the mantle of the Bat after his father’s death. Barbara Gordon is commissioner and Batman is a hunted man.

All in all Batman and Son was a fairly interesting read, but I guess that I would have to continue reading the newest issues in order to completely understand and see the repercussions of these stories. The jump to the future in the last issue was new, but felt a bit premature. It just seemed as if the author had skipped a few pages and as a reader I felt lost. Still, the stunning art makes up for the rather holey storytelling. I hope to appreciate this paperback more after reading Morrison’s latest storyline R.I.P.

Story 7, Art 8, Re-read 7, Overall Score 7/10

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