By Philip Schweier
June 13, 2018 - 04:17
himself muses as to whether Blackfire is a ghost, demon or metahuman. He first
appeared in the 1988 miniseries, The Cult,
by Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson. I found that series to be a huge
disappointment, so I am not altogether pleased to see Deacon Blackfire
resurrected here. The truth of his being is still unresolved, but he appears to
be some form of demon who feeds off doubt and fear. Like in The Cult, Batman comes dangerously close
to being beaten, hallucinating his worst fears and failures, until one of the
deacon’s followers switches sides.
The story by Michael Moreci is mostly battle, the tide turning both for and against Batman at various points. Very little is resolved, and there just isn’t much meat on these bones. But it fills 22 pages, and serves as a palette cleanser for those weary of major conflict among the various members of Batman’s personal Justice League.
However, the artwork by Sebastian Fiumara and Dave Stewart elevates the story. Together, they create texture and mood within the sewer tunnels and various underground chambers. Water, fabric, stonework and filth are rendered not just effectively, but beautifully by these two artists. I think they’re a team worth keeping, should DC have more stories that would suit their combined talents.