REVIEW :: Batman: Widening Gyre #1

September 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm By:

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I didn’t really expect to like Batman: The Widening Gyre — the new limited series written by film director/occasional comic book scribe Kevin Smith.

It’s not that I hate Smith’s work; on the contrary, I usually enjoy what he does — in the movies and in comics. I especially loved his run on Green Arrow from a few years ago.

But, I didn’t dig his last DC limited series, which also starred Batman (and was drawn by Widening Gyre artist Walter Flanagan). That particular series, Batman: Cacophony, just seemed self-serving in that it focused on a villain Smith created during his run on Green Arrow named Onomatopoeia. Honestly, Onomatopoeia was lame as hell and really didn’t deserve to be brought back. As a result, I felt trepidation about the notion of reading this latest series, which was designed to showcase yet another Smith creation — this time what appears to be a new hero aptly named Gyre.

My fears, however, were laid to rest once I read the first few pages of the book. The comic is jam packed with heroes and villains from all over the Batman pantheon of characters, effortlessly diving back and forth from the past to the present to tell a fairly tight, action-packed story. And, underneath all the fighting and dismembering, Smith even manages to serve up some great character exploration, analyzing the notions of legacy and death.  

It’s good stuff so far. I’ll stick around to see if the quality stays consistent.

Carlton Hargro is Editor-In-Chief of Creative Loafing. You can read more of his writing at the magazine’s Comic Proportions blog.

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