Review: Batman #704

Published on November 21st, 2010

Throw a stone and you’re likely to hit a Batman title these days.  There’sbeen a great deal of upheaval over the past couple years from “Batman R.I.P.”, to “Battle For The Cowl,” to Dick Grayson becoming Batman.  Now, Bruce is finally back and he’s started “Batman Incorporated” which is promising to be an interesting, new direction for Batman.  But, in all of this craziness, what’s going on with good ol’ Dick?

Batman #704 continues with Dick wearing the Bat-suit and patrolling Gotham City as the Dark Knight while Bruce is off training Batmen in Batman IncorporatedBatman is written and illustrated by Tony Daniel who has been on and off the book for quite some time now.

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This issue finds Dick back on the streets with Damien as Batman and Robin.  Early in the book they’re trying to save the new Catgirl, Kitrina Falcone, from being hacked apart by Reaper.  Kitrina is Selina Kyle aka Catwoman’s new sidekick and Batman tells her to quit before she gets herself killed.  Batman and Robin finish off Reaper as Catgirl gets away.  Bruce then shows up as Batman to reaffirm to Dick the importance of getting Kitrina out of crime fighting.  Later on, Dick goes to a swanky, upscale Gotham party to find Selina and tell her to get Kitrina out of crime fighting and back in school, which he’s prepared to pay for.  Selina doesn’t take kindly to this and sends Dick on his merry way.

Meanwhile, there’s a clan of ninjas trying to acquire The Wayne Foundations property in Crime Alley.  At first Dick and Lucius Fox are approached by a woman named Ms. Lo who represents the Tang Lo Foundation.  Tang Lo wants to revitalize Crime Alley, but first they’d have to buy the area from Bruce Wayne.  Dick and Lucius deflect the offer by saying that they’d have to consult Bruce since they’re skeptical as to Tang Lo’s motivations.  Later, Dick runs into Ms. Lo on the streets where she’s attacked by a group of ninjas.  Dick puts on the Bat-suit and finds Ms. Lo on the roofs where they’re both attacked a small army of ninjas.

Overall, this book was pretty damn good.  Daniel has really hit his stride with Batman.  His story is interesting and compelling and he does a great job of putting Dick in positions of authority that are still a bit new for the character.  He’s also good at writing Dick in general.  It’s really cool watching Dick grow and evolve as a character and Daniel makes it feel natural but at the same time manages to show Dick insecure about his new position in life.  His art is really fantastic as well.  It has evolved a lot since some of his earlier Batman work, like “Battle For The Cowl” which was reminiscent of a Jim Lee style.   It’s a lot grittier and more unique.  The colors by Ian Hannin are really excellent, too.  They’re very subtle and understated, a bit gray and dingy.  It’s great for a dark, gritty book like Batman as opposed to bright, well pronounced colors.

This book really looks like it’s going places.  I can’t wait to see exactly what Daniel has in mind for Dick Grayson and Gotham City.  Personally, I’d like o see Dick pursue a new romantic relationship outside of the “Bat Family” now that he’s starting to really get the hang of being Batman.  I think it’d really rub Bruce the wrong way, plus it’d be hilarious to see some new woman come into the story and see how she and Damien react to each other.  I love that little punk.  Whatever happens, I’ve got a lot of faith in Tony Daniel’s vision for Batman.

Ian Candish
Ian@ComicImpact.com