Reviewer : Tim Byrne
Story Title : Episode One
Writer : Frank Miller
Penciller : Jim Lee
Inker : Scott Williams
Colorist : Alex Sinclair
Letterer : Jared K. Fletcher
Editor : Bob Schreck
Publisher : DC Comics
Well, its finally here.
Frank Miller, who has written what most consider two of the finest Batman stories in history, and Jim Lee, premier artist and penciller of the recent mega-hit ‘Hush’ story-arc on Batman, have joined forces on one of the heavily hyped new titles of recent days.
Is it as good as this pedigree suggests? Yes and no.
For those of you that are here for Jim Lee’s cheesecake images, you’re absolutely going to love the first few pages. Vicki Vale is dictating a society column in lingerie (naturally), while delicately sipping a cocktail.
As a way of getting some of the necessary exposition / scene-setting out of the way, its certainly easy on the eye, but the whole sexy-woman-in-underwear thing (including the obvious ass-shot) does take you ‘out’ of the story, at least slightly.
At any rate, Vicki and Batman go on a ‘date’ to the circus where a certain acrobatic family meet a sticky end.
The second half of this issue is where Miller really gets to cut loose. With his depiction of the corruption of Gotham City’s finest, combined with the Batman monologues that we remember so well, the issue begins to excite on a much more visceral level. The voiceovers of the various characters become compelling, and Jim Lee really starts to shine.
Although the issue in some senses is a ‘set-up’, we certainly learn plenty about the ‘point’ in Batman’s life where this is taking place, get a handle on the main characters, and progress the plot. The Dick Grayson voiceover is pretty twee and cheesy, though.
This review is pretty pointless, as anyone with even the slightest interest in Batman is going to pick this up. The final page is certainly striking, and the contrast of the two characters featured is noticeable, and justifiably exaggerated. Good job.
Heck, I want to see what happens next, and isn’t that what comics is all about?