Kudos to James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder for providing adequate infodump for new readers – that, after all, is one of the things these “Zero Issues” are supposed to be for. What they’ve sadly failed to do is make us care about the subject of all this data.
Against the standards Nolan has set himself, Dark Knight Rises doesn’t rise far enough, and must be considered the least of the trilogy, and the worst of all of Nolan’s movies. The problem is that he has said everything he wants to say about Batman in Batman Begins and Dark Knight, and, especially in the latter movie, set the bar very high for himself, and left himself with nowhere to go. Dark Knight redefined what could be achieved in the superhero genre. Dark Knight Rises is merely a good example of that genre, and that’s no longer really good enough.
For those who favour soundbite explanations, this final part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy comes across as a mash-up of David Fincher’s Fight Club and Brecht’s anti-Nazi allegory The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. (Contains spoilers.)
Sam, our young protagonist, is deemed old enough now to step out of diapers and into the world of big-boy pants, but first he must master the skills of potty-training, and who better to teach him than the Super Friends?
I’m not entirely sure what to say about this – I found very little to get my teeth into. The story starts in the late 19th Century with a Wayne and some other guys planning some unclear but ambitious architecture, including some bridges. Cut to now, and the bridges are getting blown up by someone new, to me at least, for unstated reasons. And that’s it. We are given no reason to particularly care about the bridges, no reason they are more important to the city than bridges naturally are, no sense of what the attacks are for or who the perpetrator is.
This is the first comic in a very long time that I have bought for the artist rather than writer – well, they are the same person, but I like his art a lot and had never read his writing. I guess the fact that Batman is a fresher proposition now than for ages helped incline me towards trying this, too.
All credit to Grant for the way he has played Batman’s death. Yes, he gave us some ‘he really is dead’ stuff in the wonderful Final Crisis series where Batman and Darkseid kill each other, with Superman carrying the clearly dead body. However, he also ended the series with a clear statement that he isn’t dead, that he is now somehow lost in the depths of the past.