Review: Batman #700

Published on June 14th, 2010

This past week, DC Comics released Batman #700, written by Grant Morrison. As a Batman fanboy, I was thinking it would only be fair that I took the time to review this special 700th issue. First off, this is truly issue number 700, not like Deadpool’s fake #900 a few months ago. It is also the first of three $4.99 DC anniversary issues for the month of June. The rest are Superman and Wonder Woman.

batman700So what do you get for $4.99 here? Well you get Grant Morrison returning to Batman, with seven pin-ups, and four pages of “Secrets of the Batcave”. Since the ‘Return of Bruce Wayne’ has left a sour taste in my mouth, I was happy that Morrison was back working on a Batman book that needed to try clean up the mess from Final Crisis. Since I also have the Pick of the Week on this week’s POW podcast, I was think this was going to be my pick. Well guess what, you’ll have to wait until the upcoming podcast to found out my true pick! But for now, let’s talk about Batman #700.

It opens with Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Robin (Dick Grayson), and they have been captured by a group of villains, who are led by The Joker. I was fine that the Joker would be the main villain in this book since he is Batman’s arch-enemy.

They’ve been hooked into a machine (from what looks like a David Cronenberg film) by Professor Nichols and it will be used to unmake Batman, Robin and all of the villains unless these bad guys are stopped. If you’re a fan of the Silver Age Batman, then you may enjoy this story.

Tony Daniel is doing the art for the first chapter, and sadly it is very bad artwork. It is what we call around here Chemo Needle Bad  as it looks very bad and very rushed. I am not a fan of Tony Daniel as writer, but I am usually a fan of his art. But this was just bad.

In the next story, we get to see Batman and Robin one more time, but this time we get the current dynamic duo of Dick Grayson (Batman) and Damian Wayne (Robin). The artwork here is by Frank Quitely who drew the first three issues of the recent ‘Batman and Robin’ series with Morrison. It takes place in present time and set is 20 years after the stuff with Professor Nichols. The new Batman and Robin find the Professor dead in this story, yet he looks 20 years older than he really should. There is an auction for The Joker’s legendary ‘Joke book’.

This is a good chapter to show that Grayson is doing a great job about how he is carrying on the tradition of honouring the death of the Wayne’s. Like going back to the street where Bruce’s mother and father were killed in memorial. Here is something I found a bit weird though, and that is is that Scott Kollins does the final three pages in this chapter.

In the third chapter we get the team of Batman #666 of Morrison and Andy Kubert. In here, we see Damian Wayne as Batman and this time around there is a version of the Joker’s ‘venom’ which has been introduced into the climate control systems, and guess who has to stop it? Batman. I love Damian Wayne as Batman, and you can tell this is a different Batman than that of Bruce or Dick.

Damian is much more brutal in his ways of getting stuff done. I can’t wait for Damian to hopefully become Batman one day. What this story does well, is use The Joker’s legendary ‘joke book’ introduced in the first chapter of this issue, and bring it back into play here. Kubert is still one of the best comic book artists around in my opinion, and I love his vision of this future Gotham City, and his designs for some of the new villains such as 2-Face-2 and the Joker’s child.

The last chapter is to do with some of the future Batmen, such as Terry McGinnis and the Batman from ‘DC One Million’. I got where this was going for some time now, as Morrison has been saying that “Batman and Robin can never die”. Even if the heroes and people in costumes do die, you can’t kill the ‘legend’ of Batman and Robin.

The pin-ups at the back are not bad. My favorite one is the Juan Doe one, although the stuff with the ‘Batcave’ is nothing new. I guess if you enjoy Batman comics, then this is a fun issue over all. I like the idea of a Batman #700. I think was fun but it did not make an impact on my life like I was hoping it would.

For more on Batman # 700 and the rest of the comics for the week of June 9th, make sure to check the next Comic Impact POW podcast!

Simon Daoudi