The Story: Following the months of Batman’s/ Bruce Wayne’s “death,” there has been nothing but chaos in Gotham City: members of the Bat-Family face various internal struggles regarding the call for the cowl, there’s a mob war between Two-Face and the Penguin, the Black Mask has returned, and a new and murderous Batman emerges and fatally punishes his victims in his war on crime. In this issue, the war between Gotham’s criminals intensifies, as the Black Mask continues his involvement in the onging war between Two-Face and the Penguin. Also with the city in need of a Batman, another Dark Knight rises from the ashes to reclaim the mantle of the Bat, as Tim Drake continues his search for the murdering pretender.
The Good: Along with his amazing art, Tony Daniel’s tale of “Dark Knights” duking it out for the cowl is shaping to be an unforgettable mini series. It’s finally good to see a simple and entertaining storyline that’s able to accompany it’s wild and brutal battles with some deep moral studies of a world without a Batman. The film, “The Dark Knight” did this well, and so does Daniel’s, “Battle for the Cowl.” With this series, Tony Daniel shows us a classic debate of what kind of Batman is needed in the modern world. A man of honor, or a ruthless and punishing vigilante? With this theme, Daniel successfully paints an epic battle between a Batman with ideals, and a Dark Knight that’s lacking of any moral compass.
Furthermore, Tony Daniel’s story has all the symptoms of a legitimate and memorable Batman story. Fanboys will find themselves drooling over the explicit reference to Batman #428, and the cliffhanger in end of this issue can possibly be just as iconic and timeless as the one in Batman #617. After reading this issue, you’re going to wish #3 would come out next week.
The Not So Good: Although the story in itself is a good one, the dialogue can make you laugh you out loud unintetionally. With so many fight scenes, it’s almost inevitable that a cheesy line gets spout out here and there. Normally I can let this go, but in this issue, there’s just a little too much. #1 had lines like, Killer Croc saying, “Sushi Time,” as he took a bite out of some human. #2 has lines like this piece of monologue, “Because Batman has become real fear for once. And Fear me they do.” Even though you know what the line means, it doesn’t exactly convey it smoothly. It’s over-the-top corny, and it sounds like a line reserved for someone that runs through walls, unannounced.
Conclusion: Batman: Battle for the Cowl is shaping up to be a good story. Which is a relief since fans everywhere are treated to a tale that’s not obscured by nonsensical references, and lame story angles. For the first time in a long time, you can read a Batman book that you can buy. I can buy that there would be this much chaos if Batman is supposed to be dead. And I can buy how this is a battle that needs to be told. Longtime Bat-fans won’t be disappointed, and neither would those who’ve been turned away by R.I.P.