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The Horror of D-List Villains

January 15, 2010

     Continuing the Batman family’s encounter with the undead in Blackest Night: Batman, all the resurrected Batman rogues run loose around Gotham City, killing as they please.  Batman and Robin get their equipment while Commissioner Gordon and Oracle try to run away from King Snake, the Trigger Twins, and Abattoir.  Deadman possesses Oracle when she gets knocked out, and Batman and Robin start torching bad guys on the Gotham City Police Department’s roof.  When things get crazy, Red Robin comes in with the Batwing to rescue everyone.  Then, the Flying Graysons and Tim Drake’s parents break through the Batwing, forcing a crash landing.  Deadman possesses Jason Blood (Etrigan) to get his help and Damian gets Gordon and Oracle away, while Tim and Dick get put through the emotional ringers by their parents.  Tim’s dad is forced to renact his death scene with Captain Boomerang, while Dick sees a renactment of his parents’ murder with Tony Zucco.  The Deadman-possessed Etrigan shows up in time to get them out of there, and Batman uses Mr. Freeze’s ice gun to freeze everyone and get rid of their emotional reactions, prompting the Black Lanterns to leave.  Deadman breaks them out, and they regroup to face the rest of the Blackest Night.

     The only reason I find this whole story funny is because the majority of the villains here, minus Ventriloquist and Scarface, and perhaps Blockbuster and King Snake, are nobodies that very few people actually care about.  You may remember them, but they’re just those losers who never really got any more interesting than in their debuts and eventually got killed off because they were expendable.  The most interesting part is instead when Dick and Tim face their parents, who were actually far bigger threats.  Peter Tomasi does a great job juggling all these loser villains anyway and all the other issues, including the wild card that is Deadman and the emotional reunions with the undead parents.  The renactment of their deaths are particularly saddening.  Add to that an Etrigan cameo, and this is actually a good Blackest Night tie-in.  I still find Ardian Syaf’s work to be a lesser version of Andy Kubert’s, but it was pretty good in this book, which didn’t even require a good artist anyway.  There are no glaring mistakes or anything; it’s just less dynamic.  I’m just glad to know that not every book got burdened with crappy Blackest Night tie-ins or miniseries.  Maybe it’s because Tomasi, one of the Blackest Night scribes, is writing it…

Plot: 8.3      Art: 8.0      Dialogue: 8.3      Overall: 8.3

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