Friday, March 30, 2018

Booknote Batman/The Shadow: The Murder Geniuses

Scott Snyder,, Batman/The Shadow: The Murder Geniuses. Burbank, CA: DC Comics, 2017.  ISBN: 9781401275273

Genre: comics and graphic novels
Subgenre: superheroes, pulp, crossovers
Format: e-galley
Source: NetGalley

I honestly fail to see the hype this book has gotten from other reviewers. The story is a confusing and convoluted mess, something about The Shadow being alive even though he died 50 years earlier. The Joker makes an appearance, allied to another villain. That is what brings The Shadow and Batman to work together. However, this is one of those wordless comics; it had no dialogue, and all you had to go on was the art (either that, or DC just supplied a defective galley copy, but that does not appear to be the case). The result is more often than not the reader has no idea what is going on in the comic.

If anything can save this comic is the art, which suits the noir setting quite well. But art can only carry you so far, and it does not get you far here. That is disappointing given this crossover idea could have been so much more. Snyder truly missed the boat on this one; then again, after the Court of Owls plot in Batman, his run of Batman has veered into the ridiculous. That whole run with Jim Gordon as the new Batman is just embarrassing (Batman, Volume 8: Superheavy; link to my review). If you want to read good The Shadow comics, pick up one of the recent runs from Dynamite Comics. Dynamite even did a nice crossover between The Shadow and The Green Hornet that is actually pretty good (see The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights; link to my review). You can also seek out the old The Shadow classic comics.

Overall, this is one to skip. There are much better Batman comics out there and much better The Shadow comics out there. Go find those instead. For libraries, this is one you can safely skip. I am not ordering it for my library. If nothing else, I read it and reviewed it so you do not have to.

Volume Collects Batman/The Shadow #1-6 and stories from Batman Annual #1.

1 out of 5 stars (barely).

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