Comic Book Review: Batman (2016) #8 and Nightwing (2016) #6

Official sites: http://www.dccomics.com/comics/batman-2016/batman-8 and http://www.dccomics.com/comics/nightwing-2016/nightwing-6

While any Batman series not drawn by Capullo or written by Snyder disappoints me somewhat, I still enjoy and keep up with the Batman storyline. I’ve written a lot in past posts that what I loved about Snyder’s run on Batman was his ability to get at the heart of who Batman is and what he represents. With this relaunch of the series, we step back from Batman and explore other characters in the Batman universe. The Batman series, instead of a story centering on one character, has now become a team superhero book.

If you’ve been following along the story, Tim Drake has just seemingly died (though the reader knows that’s not the case). Batman’s team now consists of Batwoman, Spoiler, Clayface, Cassandra Cain, Gotham Girl, Duke, and Nightwing. It’s always nice to discover what twists has been added to characters like Cassandra Cain and Spoiler after the last DC universe reboot, but I feel like they weren’t done all that well.

The character of Gotham Girl is an interesting inclusion. In the last few Batman books, Gotham Girl and Gotham (yeah it’s just Gotham) were introduced by writer Tom King as new heroes in Gotham city. Inspired by Batman, the two started fighting crime and have Superman-esque powers. Actually, they seem to be even stronger than Superman. Regardless, Gotham is dead and Gotham Girl turned into a basket case which really took a bland character and made more of something you’d see in Gotham City. With that said, I do not like the introduction of characters with powers levels similar to Superman. Batman has always been a street level story in my opinion and adding these fantastical elements goes against that tone. The monster men at least have a kind of horror aspect to them which allows them to mesh better into the Batman universe.

As for the general plot, the monster men are invading the city and Batman and his crew must figure  out how to stop them. The monsters are Godzilla-kaiju-esque in their size and appearance. The story isn’t all that great, but it’s passable. No enormous plot twists or reveals or anything like that. The most meaningful thing that’s happened was Tim Drake’s death, but he didn’t even really die and it somehow tied into an overall DC Universe story line, which always yanks me out of the story and breaks the fourth wall for me.

The art is the one great part of these two books. Riley Rossmo draws Batman and Roge Antonio draws Nightwing. They both do a great job capturing the frenetic pace of the action while not being hyper realistic. I really like the cartoon-y nature of their work.

Score: 5.7/10 Not bad, but not great. Worth buying and reading if your desperate for some Batman. If your not desperate, I would just stick with Snyder’s All-Star Batman. Now there’s a quality Batman story.

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