DC Comics Presents: Blink #1 (DC Comics)
by Dwayne McDuffie, Val Semeiks, Dan Green & Renato Guedes
This is one of DC’s 100-page reprints I picked up recently because my local comic shop had it on sale dirt cheap, but had I known the story within was so strong, I definitely would’ve shelled out full price for it. In the main, three-part story, the late Dwayne McDuffie offered up a great premise about a blind con artist who witnesses a murder thanks to a special ability he uses to bilk people of thousands. The premise of the murder — that it’s one of several committed to supply the depraved elite of Gotham with snuff films — is secondary to the blind man’s shtick, which gains more credibility from the fact the story’s set in the DC Universe. It’s a fun story that mixes traditional Batman storytelling of yesteryear with a more clever, modern approach to plotting. While the main story is reprinted from a short arc in Legends of the Dark Knight from a decade ago, the reprint book is rounded out by a more recent Superman story from a 2007 issue of Action Comics v.1. There’s no thematic link to “Blink;” McDuffie’s the only link. It’s a perfectly serviceable standalone story, but it’s also predictable. The characterization of Ma and Pa Kent is well done, though.
Val Semeiks was an odd choice to illustrate McDuffie’s “Blink” story, as he boasts a more cartoony style that really doesn’t reflect the darker elements in the story. It is in keeping with the traditional tone for which the writer strives, though. Semeiks’ designs are a bit disappointing. The blind con artist dresses like a caricature from the 1950s, making it a little more difficult to find him believable, and the wealthy man who serves as one of the key villains of the story looks far too much like Commissioner Gordon, making for a moment of confusion when he’s introduced. Renato Guedes’ photorealistic approach for the Superman story is attractive but stiff, and his interpretation of the Kents is unlike others I’ve seen, though perhaps more convincing and believable. The detail and realism conflict with the sci-fi elements, robbing the story of some of its sense of wonder. 7/10