Friday, May 13, 2016

Booknote: Batman, Volume 8

Scott Snyder, Batman, Volume 8: Superheavy. Burbank, CA: DC Comics, 2016.  ISBN: 9781401259693.

Genre: comics and graphic novels
Subgenre: superheroes
Format: e-book galley
Source; NetGalley

This is the awaited follow up to Batman, Volume 7: Endgame, and to be honest I found it a bit ridiculous, a bit of a stretch. After his great battle with the Joker, both villain and hero are presumed dead. Joke is gone, but it seems Batman paid the ultimate price. However, this is Gotham City, so peace does not last long. There is new villain handing out a new drug to thugs, a drug that gives them superpowers. A new Batman emerges wearing an 8-feet tall battle armor to fight the new crime wave.

This story had potential, but it just seemed to be stretching things past the point of credulity, even for a comic book. The new Batman that the new corporate owners of the suit get to wear it turns out to be a reluctant James Gordon. As I said, Batman is now owned by a corporation working with the city, so Batman now has some police legitimacy. However, not all is at it seems given various behind the scenes machinations. Sure, the story has plenty of action, though it also has a big flashback sequence that breaks up that action flow and really drags down the story's pacing; that felt more like filler for the volume. And will the real Batman return ever? We'll have to wait and see. Speaking of Batman, or rather Bruce Wayne, that is another bit of ridiculous that I can't mention without spoiling things. Overall, the comic just seemed ludicrous at times.

If you have been following Snyder's run so far on Batman, you'll probably want to pick this up for the sake of continuity and completion. However, I would keep my expectations low. After the last volume's intense ending, this was quite a letdown. I am not sure I'll pick up the next one based on this. Casual Batman readers may want to just stick to older, classic titles.

2 out of 5 stars.

This book qualifies for the following 2016 Reading Challenges:

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