Monday, 18 January 2010

Batman and the hall of mirrors

Once again its sheeting it down in Batman's world as Dick Grayson closes in on the 'girl Houdini', Katrina Falcone, supposedly the youngest daughter of Carmine Falcone, the infamous crime boss of Gotham. In Tony Daniel's 'Life After Death' story arc in Batman, a cast of many villains are squaring up in a effort to re draw the criminal map in Gotham city following the death of former Batman, Bruce Wayne.

Following a tip off from Oracle that Katrina was traced to a public phone at the derelict Fairmount Amusement Park, Batman arrives on the scene and spies an unknown figure disappearing into the fun house, no real surprises here though, its a trap!

In a scene reminiscent of Hitchcock's 'The Birds', Batman finds himself besieged by mad crows, except these ones have poisoned talons.

I loved the amusement park panels that preceded the fun house interior, especially the fun house 'clown face' entrance overgrown with ivy. I almost wish that more time could have been spent drawing the amusement park in its ghostly faded glory, it could have served as a great suspense builder.

As it is, we get to see the Mad Hatter and Penguin standing over a weakened Batman in the final splash page.

For me the crow sequence helped add another species to my 'birds in comics' list, I can now tick off American Crow. Thank you Mr Daniel!

Lastly, from Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul's final chapter on their wonderful run on Adventure Comics comes a panel that tickled me. Brainiac meets Krypto the super dog in an alien throw down that pit cold calculating intellect against loyal, courageous canine love. I loved Brainiac's disparaging one liner here.

In fact this run has been as much a Krypto adventure as it has been a Superboy storyline, all the dog emotions and facial expressions have been captured by Manapul's pencils. Its a shame that Geoff Johns has had to move away from this title at such an early stage.

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