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Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1

Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1

The new Batman event comic, Battle for the Cowl #1, came out this week, and of course that means a lot of people are talking about it.

Chad Nevett and Tim Callahan weren’t fans of the book:

I can’t believe you hated the writing more than I did! I think we hated it equally or thereabouts, but my low expectations made it seem not quite as bad, while your neutrality made it seem worse. Yeah, it’s bad, but it’s that workmanlike going from point A to point B sort of writing. I think that because it so utterly lacks in ambition, I can’t fault it too much for being so bad, because I don’t think Daniel was shooting for anything beyond this (aside from thinking it’s good). I don’t think he’s trying to be anything but obvious in dropping obvious hints and insultingly basic narration. While Todd McFarlane’s writing always had a hint of pretention, like he thought he was a great writer, Daniel’s work almost screams, “Hey, I know this isn’t up there with Morrison, but I’m not trying to be that good! I just want to write an action comic that ends with someone as Batman!” Not good, but it could be worse. I would have probably given it two stars…

Rokk Krinn gave the comic an average review:

Battle for the Cowl #1 was better than I was expecting. And for a largely recycled and editorial dictated story it is not that bad. If you love all things Batman and dig the extended Batman family then you will certainly enjoy Battle for the Cowl #1. This issue also has plenty of action and a good enough story that it should appeal to readers who desire just a bit of fun escapism and some quality action. However, if you are looking for a comic that is offering something new and different then you will probably be bored and unimpressed with Battle for the Cowl #1.

Jonathan Pizarro seems to be enjoying the story so far:

He starts out impressively enough, with a gorgeous cover featuring a few of the key players inside the book. The art is top notch throughout, the panel layouts are breathtaking and he’s managed to capture the feel of Gotham as dark and creepy but still managing to stay industrial instead of Gothic.

The good news for Grant Morrison fans and non-Grant Morrison fans alike is that Daniel’s obviously learnt a thing or two from Morrison about telling a good story, because his writing skills are top notch. He’s also keeping a lot of the seeds Morrison planted during his run on Batman (Damian, Squire, etc.) but the story is not complex or Morrisonesque in any way.

So what do you think?

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Comments

4 Comments

Big Fan O' Callahan

March 13, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Huh, I think this has to be the first time with one of these columns that you’ve used somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about instead of just snatching up the retard blossoms of livejournal. Congratulations!

Brett Williams

March 14, 2009 at 6:15 am

I’d have to agree with the first assessment. It just felt…clunky. And I hate the regression of Nightwing to Broody McBlackpants. All in all, maybe a 2 out of 5.

I felt the story was adequate, but man, the dialogue… Not only were many of the lines cliched, they were non-sequitur cliches. It felt sometimes like the characters weren’t even listening to each other.

Simon DelMonte

March 16, 2009 at 6:15 am

It was okay. It didn’t need to be a longer issue. Some of it was very good – I like the Robin narration – and the Damian stuff was bizarre, given how Morrison wrote him. I am far more interesting in what comes after this, in writers I like doing things that don’t sound like the usual Batstuff, but this will hold me over. That Daniel is not a great writer is beside the point, since I think he was handed a plot in the first place.

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