By Koppy McFad
December 20, 2009 - 00:05
This special tells various stories about characters from the cast of the Batman books, using different creative teams for each character. Unlike the recent JLA and JSA specials, there is no single theme linking the tales of this book. Oh, well there is suppose to be some big blizzard hitting the town but while some stories deal with the blizzard's effects, others just use all the snow as a setting for a typical story.
DC Comics tends to use these specials as try-outs for promising new writers and artists. The resulting comics can be pretty inconsistent. Some stories can be amazingly good. But others can be a bit rough and unpolished and may depict the characters rather unconventionally.
One of the oddest tales in this issue is about a character called "The Veil," a woman who has apparently been partially disfigured by acid. Maybe this Veil is a big name in the Batman family books but to those who aren't deeply versed in Batman books, her story just comes out of nowhere. It barely makes sense on its own. Maybe it is a lead-in to a major storyline in the Batman books but right now, it looks just out of place.
There is also a Commissioner Gordon story that makes Gordon look like the protagonist of a horror tale while another story shows Alfred's friendship with a teenage hooker. The former just looks poorly-thought-out. The latter is suppose to be a heartwarming tale that reveals how compassionate and brave Alfred is. But when you skim through the story, it just comes off as a creepy tale of an old man with a young girl. There is a Poison Ivy story which basically has her going into hibernation during the storm. Did they really need all those pages to show that?
The Batman and Robin stories do give us some decent adventure and detective stories but nothing really outstanding. Still, everyone involved in this book shows professional-quality work (yes, even the awkward 'Alfred-with-Hooker' story) that could just use some sharpening. Then they could be ready for the big-time.
Rating: 6.5 /10