Read as part of CBR13Bingo: person on the cover. Batman is on the cover!
Like many, I rewound and watched the new trailer for The Batman several times since it came out. I’m a big fan of the Caped Crusader; he’s basically the only superhero I roll with on a consistent basis. When looking up reviews for the trailer (go ahead and laugh but I was curious how others would interpret the Easter Eggs), I saw that one of director Matt Reeves’ big inspirations for the movie was Darwyn Cooke’s Batman: Ego graphic novel from over 20 years ago. Obviously, I needed to check it out for myself.
The story itself comes these days in a collection of several Batman tales (and one Catwoman one). Some are better than the others. Ego is first and perhaps the best. It starts by Batman taking a look at the psyche of others while chasing a criminal. He eventually comes face-to-face with it himself, arguing with his subconscious (that takes the form of the batsuit with long sharp teeth) on what he is supposed to do. The set up for it is very well done. The pay off? Not bad, could be better. It has its moments but comes off as a bit too much like a dorm room philosophy argument. Still, it’s an engaging story with some of my favorite artwork in a Batman comic (minimalism representative of Year One). If Reeves takes the right lessons from it, it could be a winner.
Most of the other stories hit more than miss. I had already read Selena’s Big Score. It’s good; a must for Catwoman fans. The Guardian one, where someone builds a statue to Batman that becomes the scene of public debate and eventually the scene of a crime, was very good and would be perfect to reexamine in this time. The black-and-white art on it worked. The Spirit team up had too many Spirit references for me but was still fun.
It’s a good collection that will maybe give the Batfan an idea of Matt Reeves’ approach to the Dark Knight. Check it out if you can.