Image © DC Comics, Inc.
I enjoyed the work of Manapul and Buccellato on The Flash, so have followed them to this title (as I’m sure DC Comics hopes others will). Though the art style is very similar, there are major differences in the storytelling. First, our viewpoint character is initially two young brothers newly arrived in Gotham City, and already involved in petty crime. Batman explodes into their world, and dashes their hopes for a successful crime career pretty quickly, but I expect we’ll see more of them. Then we cut to Bruce Wayne at a motocross event. Bruce is considering backing a massive development project in one of Gotham’s derelict sections, and there might be a romantic angle between him and the woman proposing the sports complex plan. Then there’s The Squid, a crime lord in a brief but chilling scene, and some nice moments in the Batcave between Bruce and Alfred before a shocking event to close out the issue.
The biggest difference between this book and FLASH is that we get no insight into Batman’s thoughts, we only observe his actions. Makes it harder to warm up to the character for me, though the scene with Alfred helps. And the book has a grim, somber tone rather than the generally upbeat one this team brought to Barry Allen’s adventures most of the time. It’s not bad, and I’ll give it a few issues to see how it goes, but so far I’m not loving it as much as FLASH.