Batman #1 (2016) (DC)

Batman1

Rating: 3.5/5 – Far Exceeded my Batman Suspension of Disbelief Level
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Suspension of disbelief is an interesting thing.  Anyone reading super-hero comics has to have some level of willing suspension of disbelief and there are certain things you’re going to just roll with.  But just because you’re willing to accept certain things for the sake of enjoying the story, like perfect physical specimens are running around in costumes and swinging from ropes in ways that defy what is probably possible, does not mean that you will accept ANYTHING the writer decides to throw at you.  The specific things that will make one reader shake their head and saying “That’s just too much” are likely to be things that someone else will either take in stride as something to be expected in a super-hero book, or even embraced because it just seems really cool.  For me, Batman is a human character, though at the peak of human performance.  When the writer has him do something that seems patently ridiculous for a normal human to do, it crosses that line for me.  Add to that logical errors that can be confirmed in a couple of minutes on Google and it makes the story unacceptable to me.  What EXACTLY am I on about?   Well I can’t get into that without spoilers, so read on only if you don’t care about having the plotline spoiled or have already read this issue.

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Still here?  OK.  Kobra terrorists get ahold of some Surface to Air Missiles and one is shot at a plane flying over Gotham (it appears to be taking off).  Batman & Commissioner Gordon see the plane get hit while they’re on the roof of the Police Station chatting near the Bat Signal.  Luckily, he has a math whiz on call that can determine exactly where and at what speed he needs to eject out of the speeding Batmobile in the jet ejector seat in order to put him on the plane.  At this point, my disbelief factor is stretched pretty thin.  He snaps the bat-rockets off the ejector seat and jumps down onto the plan.  Now, whilst ON the plane, he affixes the rockets to the bottom of each wing (while managing not to get blown off the outside of the Jet which has to be moving in excess of 100 MPH), but I’m sure he has Bat-Magnets in his boots or something.  He fires up the jets, and while standing on top of the jet, like Slim Pickens at the end of Dr. Strangelove, steers the plane between two tall buildings by telling Alfred what percentages of thrust to apply to each of the rockets. *SNAP*  That was the sound of my suspension of disbelief breaking.  Standing on the outside of a Jet in flight and steering it is VERY “comic booky” in the worst sense of the word.  It’s something I’d expect to see in a goofy story from the 1960s where little attention was paid to ensuring that things were remotely physically possible.  Things have moved a bit beyond that and in an otherwise realistic world (that, granted, has guys running around in colorful costumes) it felt really out of place to me.

That said, the art by David Finch & Matt Banning was top notch.  They did an excellent job drawing the ludicrous situation called for by the script and the comic was visually very appealing.

The problem I have with Tom King’s story is the situation he puts Batman into.  It’s one that I would argue Batman has no business being in.  Someone else could equally argue “Nonsense, that’s exactly what makes Batman a hero, overcoming all the odds and making the impossible possible.”  I can’t argue with that feeling, but it is just that. A feeling.  The story had a degree of excitement to it, but every step of the way I was shaking my head in dismay at the sheer ridiculousness of what Batman was doing.  My preference in Batman stories are ones that play up his detective abilities, his resourcefulness (within the limits of reason) and his tough-as-nails street-level skills.   King is a gifted writer, I enjoy his take on The Vision over at Marvel, but if he thinks it’s OK to write Batman doing what he did in this issue I’ll be taking a pass on his run and stick to Detective Comics for my Batman fix.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
(bob@comicspectrum.com
)
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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2 Responses to Batman #1 (2016) (DC)

  1. Pingback: Batman – Colecty.com

  2. Pingback: Quick Thoughts on DC Rebirth: 7/13 & 7/20 Shipping Dates | ComicSpectrum – Bob's Blog

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