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I hope everyone that went to their local comic book store today was able to get some great Batman stuff.  The comic book store I shop at (Spandex City Comics in Charlotte, NC) ran some great deals today for all Batman items.  If you didn’t get a chance to make it to your local store DCcomics.com is running some great deals on old Batman stories.  In honor of Batman Day I had my go to Batman Guy (Mark Cook) write a review of one of his all-time favorite Batman stories.

“Happy Batman Day!!” by Mark Cook -Reviewing: Batman Noir (Graphic Novel Release 2013).

The Players:

Good Guys –Batman, Detective Allen

Bad Guys- Victor Zsasz, The Penguin, Killer Croc, The Ventriloquist and Scarface, The Joker

Background:

Batman Noir was created by Eduardo Risso and Brian Azzarello, who have collaborated on numerous other comics including 100 Bullets.  The Deluxe Edition Graphic Novel consists of Batman #620-625, 

Flashpoint: Batman – Knight Of Vengeance #1-3, the short story from Batman: Gotham Knights #8 and Stories from Wednesday Comics #1-12.  The collection is in black and white with a large influence from the realism genre.

Story (contains minor SPOILERS).

The story begins with Batman encountering Victor Zsasz after one of his killing sprees.  A portion of the realistic nature of this series also deals with psychological aspects to a majority of the characters.  Batman not only confronts Zsasz before taking him into custody, but also questions his obsessive nature with murders.  The reader gains a slight view into the distorted mind of Zsasz.

As the exposition continues, Batman introduces readers to some of the other well-known individuals in his rouges gallery which one can infer that this is in the earlier stages of Batman’s career.  Batman is trying to solve the murder of a woman named Elizabeth Lupo.  While beginning his investigation he is on the search for Elizabeth’s brother, AngelLupo, who is on the run which makes him a suspect.  While searching for Angel Batman comes across a barrage of characters, investigating them through intimidation.

There are a couple plot twists that the reader may not infer which made the comics extremely enjoyable.  The other aspect I found interesting is that due to the realistic roots the comics are grounded in, the reader actually views Batman make some mistakes in his investigation, which leads to Angel Lupo going from a minor street thug, to a higher ranking individual in Gotham’s underworld thanks to Batman. This also leads to more dangerous individuals looking for Angel, aside from The Dark Knight. 

Due to the realism readers can depict minor glimpses of questions as to when / how Batman actually finds time to sleep, as well as him having slower reflexes due to his lack of sleep.  On his way to solving the crime and righting some of his mistakes, Batman encounters many familiar foes such as The Penguin, The Ventriloquist and Scarface, Killer Croc, and The Joker who all have their own part to play.

Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed was the psychology of certain characters being explored.  The death of Bruce’s parents is explored, yet in a different way, through dreams, which Bruce continually has.  These dreams sometimes have different results based on hindsight which was interesting as I am sure many readers may look at past situations in hindsight wishing for a different outcome which comes to no avail.  The concepts of these dreams comes to an admittance that Bruce / Batman does indeed fear something, his dreams.  This helps Batman, still heroic, seem more humanized.

If you enjoyed the Christopher Nolan movies, and the realistic interpretation of Batman grounded in the world we live in, I would recommend Batman Noir.

Cook’s “Should I Read It” Verdict: 8/10

Shout Outs:  I’d like to give three quick shout outs.  The first would be to my friend Michael Connally for giving me the opportunity to share reviews and discuss the wonderful world of comics with him.

Second, I’d like to thank my father for helping create my love for comics.  He has always been an inspiration, and I love having comics to share with him.  To this day we still go to the comic book store together, and discuss the first editions of comics he has, such as X-Men and the Avengers.

Finally, thank all of you for reading my reviews!  I hope you enjoy them and take the opportunity to read the treasures I enjoy!

Once again, HAPPY BATMAN DAY!