The Batman’s Grave #1
Written by: Warren Ellis
Art by: Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair
The World’s Greatest Detective must try to inhabit the mind of a murder victim to solve a case-without filling the empty grave next to those of his parents. Can Batman imagine the life of a corpse with a half-eaten face without dying himself?
Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, one of the most legendary creative partnerships of the modern age, reunite in this maxiseries about life, death and the questions most are too afraid to ask.
I’ll be honest and say that I had very mixed feelings on this comic. I have been a major Batman fan my entire life and it is very rare for me to find a Batman story not entirely gripping. My biggest issue with this comic is that I wasn’t a fan of how Alfred was portrayed. The Alfred that I have always been a fan of would never drink on duty and question what Bruce does as Batman with overly simplistic remarks such has calling Batman’s fight against criminals and his involvement in it as “an old soldier helping a very rich man in his expensive car to leave his mansion at night to go beat up poor people”. He even suggested that it would be easier for Bruce to just kill all the criminals. I am paraphrasing a bit, but that is what he essentially said. Now, I know that Alfred is no stranger to giving Bruce wise advice to help him stay on the right path, but I didn’t feel that this was one of those occasions.
The main plot of this story is Batman trying to solve a mysterious murder. He decides to do this is a unique way. Due to all the physical evidence at the crime scene being wiped away by the killer, Bruce mentally puts himself in the shoes of the deceased using what he had learned of the man and his relationships, going as far as referring to and picturing himself as the murder victim. The way he does this is very similar to Sherlock Holmes’ “mind palace”, but it goes a little further and is done using technology rather than just being done entirely in his head. This causes him to come to a startling conclusion by the end of the issue. Due to this being an ongoing series, I can’t give a proper judgment on if this story will end up being either a hit or a miss, but this first issue just didn’t compel me to want to continue reading it further.
A big positive for this comic is the artwork. The panels depicting the city of Gotham and the Batcave had great detail and the artwork of the characters themselves looked excellent. I also really liked the design of the Batmobile. Overall, this Batman series has potential to become a good story when it is all said and done, but based on this first chapter, I don’t feel this particular Batman book is for me.
The Batman's Grave #1
Fantastic artwork with a unique take on Batman's crime solving process.