Batman: Gotham Nights #2-3
These two issues deliver reprints of the two Michael Grey written Batman stories released earlier this year in the Walmart 100-page Giants. The first story involves a murder-mystery staring Clayface while the second takes an ecoterrorism bent with Poison Ivy.
There is nothing overtly wrong about these issues (other than calling them Digital Firsts, which is misleading at best) but there is also nothing about them that sparks any sense of joy for me. The writing by the mysterious Michael Grey (a pseudonym for an established author that has yet to be revealed) is just about as generic as imaginable. In both stories, we’re presented with a classic Batman Rogue in a classic setting. Lookalike killers and Hollywood connections in a Clayface story is the least imaginative take on the tortured character. Kudos to Grey for a tip of the hat to the #metoo movement but then a healthy dose of “shame on you” when just when the story felt like something new and exciting could happen, it degenerates into a plotless slugfest and eventual escape.
Likewise, in the third issue, we see Poison Ivy taking on the logging industry in a tried and true story format. But 2/3 of the way through the story, we see Ivy abandon her moral code, citing how many trees she was destroying in her fight with Batman and how little that means human lives mean to her. With the high ground lost, the story simply fizzles out into nothing.
The best element of these two issues was the art from Benjamin, Friend, and Sinclair. It was not particularly remarkable artwork but it carried the story forward as best it could under the circumstances. Stylistically, it is very reminiscent of past eras where it felt like most superhero artists were trying to ape Jim Lee and the presence of longtime Lee colorist Alex Sinclair likely adds to that feeling.
This deal is not a terrible one at only $0.99 per issue but in a time where readers are desperate for new stories, these issues are the equivalent of giving a starving person Twinkies when you could give them real food. Empty calories.
Batman: Gotham Nights #2-3 (Grey, Benjamin, Friend, Sinclair) from the DC Digital Firsts line are anything but fresh as the reprinted material is just about as generic as possible.
Batman: Gotham Nights #2-3: Twinkies for the Starving
Writing - 4/104/10
Storyline - 4/104/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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