Monday, August 12, 2002

TONY ISABELLA REVIEWS BATMAN: BLINK

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #156-158 (DC; $2.25 for the first two issues and $2.50 for the third) features “Blink,” one of the best Bat-yarns in years. Writer Dwayne McDuffie brings us the competent and sane Dark Knight, eschewing the psychological basket case who came into vogue when DC began to over-think the character.

Yes, Bruce Wayne was traumatized as a child and it led him to dress up like a bat. But, hey, pay attention, he rose above that...and that’s why he’s so good at what he does. McDuffie’s Batman can’t be everywhere at once and doesn’t have all the answers. He never surrenders to despair or madness. He is patient, right up to the moment when he strikes back against those who prey on innocents. This Batman inspires awe in equal measure to the usual “terror into their hearts.”

“Blink” is as much a story about grifter Lee Hyland as it is about Batman. Hyland is blind, but, with a touch, he sees through the eyes of others, even hours after the fleeting contact. He uses his gift to steal from his unknowing marks, until the day he sees a woman butchered before his very “eyes.”

What follows is the strange pairing of crime-buster and crook as Batman and Hyland hunt a serial killer who doesn’t seem to fit any specific pattern. McDuffie and penciler Val Semeiks keep the tension high as their story barrels from surprise to surprise, and they even give the reader a chance to figure out a key clue before Batman reveals it. I have read some good Batman stories this year, but, even taking into account the serial killer scenario, I don’t think any of them have been this much fun.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #156-158 pick up the full five Tonys...and a request from this comics reader that DC find out how many other great Batman stories McDuffie has in him.







how many other great Batman stories McDuffie has in him.