Hello and welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!
This week we’ll be looking at the mini-series Batman & The Signal, written by Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick, with art by Cully Hamner. And while we’re at it, let’s take a look at Patrick’s return to the character in the one shot Batman Secret Files: The Signal, with art by Christian Duce!
Batman may own the night, but with new villains emerging during the day, he needs an ally to defend the city when he can’t. Only one teen is up to the challenge, Duke Thomas. After months of training, he’s ready to step out of the shadow of the bat to become his own kind of hero. Meet Gotham City’s newest protector: The Signal!
If you’re an Ultra-tier subscriber, there is also a digital trade available. Note that the trade doesn’t include the Secret Files, but does include the Duke-focused back-up stories Snyder wrote for All-Star Batman.
Reading will run from 2023-02-18T06:00:00Z→2023-02-24T06:00:00Z but you can always come back later.
Looking forward to discussing this issue with you all!
Brief thoughts on the miniseries: way, way overstuffed. Really cool art, as expected from Hamner. Should have been a six issue miniseries at least, like most of the other New Age of Heroes stuff got (even though I didn’t enjoy this enough to want it myself, but it would have been a better comic).
Brief thoughts on the Secret Files: This comic left me irate when I read it, and I’m more irate now. Even aside from what it says vs. does for Duke’s character, what it does to the legacy of the We Are Robin comic (which I loved and also was extremely frustrated with at the same time) is disrespectful and destructive.
Interesting. It’s been a minute since I read any of the mini so I don’t remember much of it, and I never read the one shot, so I’m definitely curious to see what I think of this when I go through them, especially since I did really enjoy the We Are Robin stuff – I may be joining you in the irate club.
I enjoyed the story and the art was definitely great, but I think @millernumber1 is right. The story needed more room to breathe and packing everything into 3 issues made it feel like things were moving too fast.
I was also left feeling unsatisfied by Secret Files because it didn’t finish the story. That’s probably the idea though, set up a narrative to get people interested in a new ongoing series
I liked Duke’s character though. He brings a unique perspective to the Bat-family by being a P.O.C. that seems to have had a normal childhood (at least by Bat-family standards). I wouldn’t mind following more of his adventures
I wish they’d give character direction for Duke to a creator who really makes him interesting and consistent. I’ve been really impressed with what Brandon Thomas has done with him, but sadly, it doesn’t seem like they’re going to give him the Outsiders ongoing or even mini that I think would really do the trick. Patrick, Hill, and Snyder all pulled Duke in different directions, and I tend to think all of those directions were pretty weak or outright bad.