Daily Archives: August 16, 2007

Quick Critiques – Aug. 16, 2007

Batman #667 (DC Comics)
by Grant Morrison & J.H. Williams III

My God, how I’ve missed J.H. Williams’s art. It’s been more than two years since his and Alan Moore’s Promethea came to an end, and we’ve seen far too little of his work since that time. His contribution to this new story arc makes it clear just what we’ve been missing. He captures a sullen mood incredibly well while still presenting some of the super-hero characters as dramatically intense and dynamic. Williams manages to blend a mature, dark and modern tone with the campy qualities inherent in characters whose roots are firmly planted in the Silver Age. Williams makes the notion of grown men in silly warrior costumes seem plausible and almost normal. Dave Stewart’s dark, textured colors are almost solely responsible for the palpable tension throughout the book. Grant Morrison employs a classic mystery/thriller premise and some kitschy, obscure characters from yesteryear and takes them in an unusual direction. The writer opts to present some of the characters are impressive and imposing and others as laughing stocks, pale imitations of the accomplished men they once were or once believed themselves to be. I remember reading about the Batmen of All Nations from DC’s Who’s Who profile series in the 1980s, and I’m surprised Morrison was able to make use of them in such a dark story. In addition to the creepy mood, there’s a B-movie feel to the story as well that makes it all the more intriguing and entertaining. Morrison’s work on Batman has finally lived up to the promise we’d all hoped for when he was announced as the title’s writer. 9/10

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