Batman #705 Review
- Published on Tuesday, 21 December 2010 00:00
- Written by Kevin
I enjoyed Tony Daniel’s first run on Batman back during the Batman: Reborn direction. His Black Mask story was a fun straight forward Batman adventure. On a similar note, the last issue of Batman that started his second turn at both writer and artist was a good start to his second run on Batman. It was not anything that blew me out of the water like Batman Inc. and Detective Comics did but it was still a solid start. However, with the aforementioned Batbooks being such good reads, Daniel is going to have to do more than be solid to make me want to continue to read Batman on an ongoing basis. With that said, let’s see how Batman #705 turns out.
Writer & Artist: Tony Daniel
Inker: Sandu Florea and Tony Daniel
Colorist: Ian Hannin
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Continuing from last issue, Batman fights Sensei and is able to save Peacock from being killed by Sensei on horseback. Batman tries to get answers out of Peacock but she does not want to say anything as she believes him not to be the true Batman.
I-Ching enters the scene saying he is the true Batman and begins telling the story behind the Mask of the Beholder and how the demonic mask has come into the possession of an organization called The Jade Compass Society.
In his hideout, Sensei tortures Peacock’s brother who does not say a word. Sensei decides to capture Lucius Fox after finding Fox's business card in Peacock’s brother’s coat.
Back in with Batman, Peacock feels all the pain that her brother is going through. Batman tells I-Ching to take care of her while he follows a lead.
After talking to Commissioner Gordon at a crime scene, Batman realizes that Lucius is next to be attack and he quickly heads over to Lucius place. Once he gets there he finds Lucius house a wreck.
He investigates what happens and finds some explosive pellets in a drawer that go off as soon as he opens it. Batman is sent flying out of the house and lands hard on top a car. As Batman is slipping in and out of consciousness, he is able to see the Riddler and Riddler’s Daughter (Enigma) standing in front of him. End of issue.
The Good: Batman #705 was another solid issue by Tony Daniel. While it is nothing new, Daniel does deliver an entertaining story that kept me interest throughout the issue.
While some might over look what Daniel is doing as being just a straight forward Batman story, it does not always mean it is a bad thing. With Morrison going more abstract in Batman Inc. with his continuing Batman Saga and Snyder going deep in the horror/mystery genres with Detective Comics, Daniel’s straightforward Batman adventure fills a good niche. Just like the other two main Batman books have their specific roles, this title fills the role for those looking for a simple straightforward Batman tale. And these past two issues do a nice job highlighting this niche role.
Similar to what Snyder is doing over in Detective Comics, I am enjoying how Daniel’s is able to show Dick Grayson as a very confident Batman. Even though Bruce is back Dick is not letting himself be overcome with Bruce’s shadow. Dick is nicely focusing on protecting Gotham. If anything, with Bruce’s return Dick is letting out a little bit more of his personality as Batman while maintaining a dark presences someone in the cowl should have.
Even though they did not have a straight up fight, it was good to see Dick being able to fight Sensei, someone Bruce had trouble fighting back in Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul, on even ground. The short fight helped highlight how Dick is one of the best hand to hand fighters.
And speaking of Sensei, I enjoyed how Tony Daniel was able to go back and bring back old lingering story elements from the Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul. Daniel did a very good job showing Sensei’s history in a quick manner without having to rehash old material. It kept the story focused and allowed him to introduce the new Jade Compass Society organization that ties into what Sensei is looking for. The new organization also helped to expand on Sensei’s involvement as the villain in the story while giving the story a possible second villain for Batman to fight.
I also enjoyed that Daniel brought I-Ching back into the story. I-Ching had some great moments with Dick back in the Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul story arc. I liked that I-Ching recognized Dick as being Batman. From the looks of it, I-Ching has some history with Peacock. I am interested to find out more about what I-Ching knows about everything that is going on.
The ending with Riddler appearing with his “daughter” was a nice hook ending. I am not sure how the Riddler ties into the whole Mask of the Beholder story angle but his return ties into what Daniel was previously doing with the character. Personally, I have always liked the Riddler as a villain and hated his portrayal of an in-between character. He presents a great challenge for Batman and I look forward to seeing how he ties into the whole story.
Tony Daniel also delivered some great artwork. He does a very good keeping the issue moving and making even the slower moments move quick. I especially liked the opening action sequence as that is his bread and butter. He does an effective job giving power to the punishment Sensei was inflicting on Peacock’s brother. I also liked how Daniel was able to properly draw the Riddler as a very sadistic looking character as he stood over Batman.
The Bad: While I liked the ending with the Riddler, I thought his involvement with the ending was unnecessary. With Daniel already having Sensei and the Jade Compass Society involved the ending should have gone to building up either one of those villains. Having Riddler awkwardly inserted into the ending felt somewhat tacked on. The ending could have easily have been re-written to have one of the other two villains be the cause of the explosion. However, with this ending, I am left scratching my head a bit with what is going on.
On the art side of things, there were some spotty parts were it was obvious he was inking his work instead of Sandu Florea. Daniel goes overboard with his inking while Florea keeps the pages clean and gives the art the appropriate amount of shadowing.
Overall: Batman #705 was another solid issue by Tony Daniel. I am still not convinced that Batman will continue to stay on my pull list after this arc, but Daniel has laid out a nice foundation for his second run on this title to be a fun one. The story with Sensei and his search for the Mask of the Beholder is an interesting one. I will be interested to see how the Riddler ties into this story of the Mask of the Beholder. If you are looking for a fun straightforward Batman tale than Batman #705, as well as the previous issue, are comics that you should get. For those looking for something more complex, I would recommend getting either Batman, Inc. or Detective Comics. The straightforward nature of the story in Batman may turn off those readers that are looking for more substance.