Batman : Jekyll & Hyde #2 Review

Title : N/A
Writer: Paul Jenkins
Artist : Jae Lee
Colorist : June Chung
Letterer : Rob Leigh
Editor : Mike Carlin
Publisher : DC Comics

Well, since we all knew that there weren’t enough Batman-related titles on the shelf, we now get the second installment of this mini-series, focused on the relationship between Batman and Harvey Dent.

First, let me focus on the lack of any sort of title or ‘previously….’ page. The last issue came out a month ago, people! Refresh our memories, at least with the broad strokes of the story!

At any rate, Harvey has escaped from Arkham (gee, what’re the odds?), and is causing havoc across Gotham.

This is a dark, dark series, even for Batman (and oh, boy is that saying something). Taking place prior to current continuity (Gordon is Commissioner), it engages in a lot of, frankly, quite sickening events coupled with some off-putting pop psychology.

To be honest, and unusually for Paul Jenkins, this mini has been doing very little for me. Jenkins seems to believe that by piling horror upon horror, he can cause a visceral and emotional reaction. Well, that’s true, there certainly is a visceral nauseated reaction to the horrible events as depicted in this issue, but, even within the comic universe, it seems oddly hollow and without a centre.

With dozens of people being murdered in this way, the reaction seems oddly muted, with Gordon making wry comments and Batman attempting to negotiate with brain-washed zombies.

The event signaled at the end is something that we’ve seen so many times, namely in the mini ‘The Cult’ and the recent ‘Last Laugh’ one-shot.

The art is suitably somber, full of shadows, grime and stubble. Unfortunately, such a hard-boiled look serves occasionally to make the bat-costume look goofy rather than threatening. Also, certain shots of Batman in full-flight look posed and artificial.

Not particularly to my taste, but if you loved Hannibal, go for it.

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