I know this post is coming out of left field, but this is an idea I have had floating around in my head for a while. In the last Batman movie (Batman: The Dark Knight) the Joker lived. But the actor Heath Ledger past away. Now I highly doubt that the next Batman movie will have the Joker in it. Which is sad because the battle between batman and the joker has always been and on going one. But should they decide to bring the character back in the next film think the actor Brad Dourif is the best possible replacement. Brad played a character on the X-files once, named Luther Lee Boggs and I think based this roll proves he is the best replacement for Heath Ledger as the Joker.
Gotham City is plagued with crime and corruption in places high and low, but one man has taken a stand against evil of all forms: the dark avenger known as Batman. But now the Dark Knight is dead. “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” is a captivating and mysterious tale, the likes of which Batman and friends have never experienced before. Delving into the realms of life, death and the afterlife, no stone is left unturned in this exploration of every facet and era of Bruce Wayne’s life. Neil Gaiman, the multiple award-winning author of “Sandman” and “Coraline”, is joined by legendary artist Andy Kubert (“Batman and Son”) for the ultimate Batman story!
The hardcover edition I picked up also came with other Gaiman stories from Secret Origins #36, Secret Origins Special #1, and Batman Black And White #2. I felt that some of these stories where on par, if not better then “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”. One is a story on Poison Ivy which really lets you see her true side. A side I had never seen before.
Another story focused on the Riddler. I found this one very interesting because the Riddler is a character from the early days of Batman villains like King Tut, Book Worm, and Egg Head. The Riddle still exists today but (at least in my opinion) never really has found a nitch in the comics like the Joker, or Catwomen. In the comic it’s brought up by the Riddler and he comes off as depressed by it. It was just a good a good read.
I have just read a graphic novel called “Batman: Night Cries“. This DC Comc’s book that I found the other week at a local used book store was written by Archie Goodwin with art done by Scott Hampton. It uses the graphic book format to spread awareness of child abuse. I can’t help but feel like it falls short in it’s attempt.
The reality is that Batman fans know that he is not out fighting the Joker every night or trading battles of intellect with the Riddler. In between these epic battles, he is fighting everyday crime. Muggings, robberies, vandalism, to name a few.
Night Cries tries to show this with a child abuse story, and falls short. It falls short because the story feels like it’s trying so hard to get the message out that child abuse is a bigger issue then we all realize. Because of this it takes away from this being batman story and ends up feeling more like a Public Service Announcement. In-fact, Scott Hampton’s art work was the only thing keeping me turning the page at one point.
The book also contains a subplot involving Commissioner Gordon having been abused himself as a child. This gave the book multiple child abuse stories and presented us with a different look at Commissioner Gordon that has never been told in past comics or since. It only adds to making the story that much harder to accept.