Batman: Battle for the Cowl-- the Network # 1 (of 1)
By Koppy McFad
May 12, 2009 - 2:12
Writer(s): Fabian Nicieza
Penciller(s): Don Kramer, J. Calafiore
Inker(s): Mark McKenna
Colourist(s): JD Smith
Cover Artist(s): Ladronn
$2.99 US 32 pages
In the absence of the Batman, the evil Hugo Strange kidnaps three people and uses them in a twisted game to test those who want to assume the mantle of the Bat. But Oracle calls up the affiliate members of the Batman family, Batgirl, Huntress, Ragman, Misfit and Manhunter, to save the three.
This story has a clever premise, a challenging situation for our heroes and even some thought-provoking ethical conundrums for the readers. The start of the story is quite interesting, giving us a run-down on the problems now facing Gotham City and the whole set-up behind the various rivals all contending to succeed Bruce Wayne, all combined with enough action and suspense to get readers interesed.
Yet somehow, the comicbook suddenly just looses all its momentum, as if the air was suddenly let out of its tires. The characters don't seem to have the right chemistry. Their interaction doesn't bring any of them to life. The sole exception might be the conflict between Huntress and Batgirl, but even here, it looks as if the cards have been intentionally stacked to make Batgirl (Cassandra) look good at the expense of Huntress.
The solution to the dilemma also feels fake. Like the writer just had to use a deus ex machina because he couldn't come up with a better way for the heroes to outsmart the villains.
Even the art deteriorates later in the story. It was so sharp and well-laid-out at the start of the comic but near the end, it looks rather rushed and confused.
Maybe this story could have worked better with fewer characters. As it stands, many of the characters in the story came off as uninteresting. This was a good effort but they just overreached.
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