Come June, DC will be launching their newest campaign…”Rebirth”. As it stands now, “Son of Batman” will not be surviving this transitional period. Given that the book will not be carrying forward past issue #12, it makes me wonder just how relevant this final story arc could truly be. After all, if they had somewhere meaningful to go with the story, this wouldn’t be one of the titles on the chopping block. Having said that, lower expectations means that I’m going to be much less harsh when it comes to my judgements. All I’m really looking for at this point is some semi-meaningful comic book fluff to keep me entertained till June….and it looks like that’s exactly what they are trying to deliver. (I said trying)
It’s the Al Ghul family vs the Lu’un Darga family in a fight to avert the end of the world as we know it. Three artifacts have been taken from Damian’s vault. Artifacts which will give Lu’un Darga supreme power once they are returned to their rightful resting places. One such item has already made its way home. Now, it’s a race around the globe to stop Suren Darga from depositing the other two and fulfilling his destiny…the extinction of all life.
That’s some pretty serious comic fluff if I do say so myself. After settling into the kind of story that this was going to be, my first read-through also generated another realization. They’re really trying to spread this story out. I got the feeling that they didn’t have enough to fill all 22 pages, so they spread things out a little thin. We get 4 splash pages, and 5 other pages that only have 2 to 3 panels each. To put it another way, there are only 73 panels in this comic. Compare that, for instance, to today’s issue of Batman&Robin Eternal #24. It has 96 panels while simultaneously being 2 pages shorter. Basically, we are paying more for way less story here.
Not only was it on the shorter side, but the content itself was also a bit lacking. I’d be fine if the panels or story presented something truly worthwhile, but as it stands, nothing really grabbed my attention. We get lots of shots of Damian and Goliath running about in an extreme hurry, Maya enjoying a serene walk on the beach, and Damian fighting expendable henchmen and jelly fish.
Yep, I said jelly fish. Or spectral plasma…if you’re trying to make them sound at least somewhat fierce.
It’s not till the last few pages that I even started to become interested, and by then, the comic was over and I was faced with the prospect of waiting a month to see what happens next. My indifference coupled with the low panel count had the cliffhanger creeping up before I knew what hit me.
I also didn’t like the level of “tell” over “show” that was going on. Damian keeps telling Goliath to fight harder than he has ever fought, fly faster than he has ever flown, and bring his fullest strength to bear. It’s all done to impress upon the reader that they are facing their hardest and most important challenge to date. Personally, I’d like to make that determination for myself. If the Lu’un Darga are really all that formidable, it should be apparent through their successes and Damian’s struggle, not some exposition.
So…What did I like? After wasting so many pages on nothing, it’s rather impressive that they were able to set-up so much story so quickly. We go in knowing nothing and walk away with all the info we need to enjoy the story. With the number of tales that get drawn out way too long and overstay there welcome nowadays, it’s a nice change of pace to have a story that gets right to the point. These are the good guys. These are the bad guys. These are the stakes. Now fight!
I also liked the fact that they brought Maya back into the fold. Granted, part of me felt that they should have left her be. Gleason did write a fitting ending for the character, but since she has been a staple of this series since the beginning, it also seems appropriate for her to be a part of the finale.
It was also kind of cool when this Lu’un Draga soldier got chopped into little bits by a laser from a mini Death Star.
And then all his pieces go tumbling to the ground.
Kinda like the laser hallway scene from Resident Evil.
Art for this issue is handled by Ramon Bachs. While I may have complained about having to look at several pages of nothing, at least when we are looking at nothing, it’s pretty.
- You’ve been following Son of Batman since the beginning and want to see how the series wraps up.
- You’re fine with reading a Hollywood summer blockbuster kind of story.
- You’re tired of all these extra long epics, and would rather read a quick three parter that doesn’t ask too much of you.
This is some pretty standard comic fanfare. Good guys vs bad guys in a quest to save the world. All that is asked of you, is that you come along for the ride. While its simplicity is its greatest strength, it’s also its primary failing. On top of that, the content ranges from paper thin one moment to full on exposition mode the next. I opened the review with the statement that I was going to be less harsh, and while it might not seem like it to some of you, trust me, there were plenty of opportunities to be far more critical than I was.
SCORE: 5.5 / 10