Batman: The 12 Cent Adventure #1 Review

Reviewer: Tim Sheridan
Story Title: War Games Prelude—No Help

Written by: Devin Grayson
Penciled by: Ramon Bachs
Inked by: Raul Fernandez & Rodney Ramos
Colored by: Steve Buccellato
Lettered by: Rob Leigh
Assistant editor: Matt Idelson
Editor: Nachie Castro
Publisher: DC Comics

As my first piece the site, I was very excited to review Batman: The 12 Cent Adventure. I was brought into Batman (and DC comics on the whole) with Knightfall, one of the first big Bat-epics. So I’m a little biased towards them, and I can’t help but always get excited when they are announced. When I heard about this latest crossover, War Games, it sounded intriguing enough, even if it was covered somewhat in No Man’s Land.

So here we are at the beginning of this supposed epic, and I am entirely under whelmed. Never have I been so disappointed with a Batman epic. It’s a pretty smart move for DC to release it with a next to nothing price. After all, who can pass up a comic that’s 12 cents? But it’s keeping them through the next 3 months, with each book at 3 bucks that’s gonna be tough.

This book should be the perfect jumping-on-point (we hear that all the time, don’t we?) for the Bat-books, but it really isn’t even close. We get a few short glimpses of the history of these characters, not nearly enough to piece together what has become a rather convoluted story. Because I’ve been reading Detective, Robin, and Catwoman, I guess I’m fortunate enough to know what has been going on. But for those who haven’t, and those looking for a good Batman story, I’m thinking they will be disappointed. For the most part, this is a continuation of Robin, with the Spoiler (my goodness, what a lame codename!) writing her story to us through her journal. Spoiler is not an icon, so most people who don’t know of her”¦at all. And while it’s interesting to those who have been following her adventures, it seems that were just dropped in the middle of her story.

Speaking of which, the main plot is about the gang war in Gotham City, and we’re not given much background as to why there is a war going on, nor are we giving much on who the war is involving. We get names and faces (some who have not been in the books for years, which means they’re the ones who will probably die”¦Moxon, RIP) but not much else. This story is going to run through twenty-something more books, so I’m sure we’ll get more background as to why this all is taking place, but with an introductory ish, we’re not given much to go on.

I’m not saying it’s a bad comic. Not at all. It’s engaging, yes, but as an experiment to get more readers to these books, I’d have to say it’s a bit of a failure. Devin Grayson has always shined in her characterizations, and she throws some nice bits in the dialogue, but I felt she had to cram in a lot of plot. Penciler Ramon Bac’s work was very clean, and totally fits in with fellow Bat artist Pete Woods.

I’m still really looking forward to this story, just because it’s a Batman epic, and I’m hoping that pays off. There are a lot of talented people involved in crafting this thing, so I’m hoping things get better.