Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Batman #711 Review

By Dan Horn
June 15, 2011 - 14:07

It's been quite a while since I've read an issue of Batman and thought that it was "good," let alone tolerable. "Pieces" part 2 isn't much of a departure from writer and often artist Tony Daniel's Grant/Breyfogle-Detective-run formula for now-antiquated thrills and chills.

Several months ago, Streets of Gotham expounded upon Harvey Dent's fall from the criminal throne of Gotham, in turn losing his ubiquitous coin and nearly being killed. Left for dead, Two-Face was nursed back to health by some rather altruistic Gothamites, but without his coin as a moral/amoral compass Harvey runs amok, indiscriminately destroying everything and everyone in his path to finding that marred half-dollar.

Last issue, his warpath led him right into a trap set by Mario Falcone, and (DUN DUN DUN!!!!) Gilda Dent, Harvey's wife who was assumed dead. It's all very daytime soap-esque, but the twist provided for some low-brow entertainment value at least. This issue, outlining the charade at the crux of the aforementioned twist, is unfortunately pretty mediocre.

Daniel's dialogue is bad, just downright terrible sometimes. It reads disjointed, unnatural, even occasionally incoherent. Daniel tries to slip in ham-fisted wit with a wink and a smile, but it never feels like anything other than getting nudged by that annoying friend you have that thinks everything he says is funny when in fact it's anything but. Some of the plot devices are absolutely preposterous, straight out of an 80's B-action film. ***SPOILER ALERT*** I'm going to paraphrase what must have happened between last issue and this current one: "Don't worry about checking him for a pulse. His wife, whom we're keeping against her will, shot him in the torso a few times. He's definitely not wearing a bullet-proof vest. Just bury him." Yeah, awesome development there. I do applaud Daniel's effort to play around with Batman continuity and the way he's kept the title serialized, incorporating the Jade Society, Catgirl, all of Nigma's issues, etc. into this arc, but it's just not very well done.

The artistic team here really puts forth a great effort, however. There are a few standout pages and panels from both issues that Scott, Winn, and Hannin have contributed to. In #711 (oh, thank heaven) two particularly caught my eye: a scene early in the issue depicting Harvey rising from the grave, and a page where Batman is investigating the body of Falcone's goon in the phone booth. They have a dark realist edge, but there's a definite flare for old-school mainstream Batman oddly balancing it all out. That's not to say the art is perfect, but it does have its moments. I'm still having trouble getting past the silly cuffs Daniel's Batman design has on his wrists. Nevertheless, Scott and crew do some decent work here, giving a bright flip-side to this otherwise tedious arc.

Rating: 5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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