Hello and welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!
This week we’ll be looking at Detective Comics #867-870, written by David Hine and drawn by Scott McDaniel. Now, you might be asking, “Wait, I thought this month was all about spin off comics of Batman games?” You would be right, because this is a sort of comic book prelude to the multiplayer first person shooter set in the Batman universe, Gotham City Imposters.
No, that was not in fact an acid dream you vaguely remembered. Anyway!
A call to arms has gone out through Gotham City, and normal, everyday citizens are being drafted into a bizarre battle. Will they side with vigilante justice or join the cause of chaos and anarchy?
Yeah, I remember seeing when it was first announced – it was around the time when console online multiplayer was still not a thing for a lot of people, including myself, not to mention digital only media, so it wasn’t in my reach at the time. I don’t think the premise was shown off much in the game, but the book does do an interesting job setting things up.
The end of this story got surprisingly dark; it’s mostly a relatively light read until we learn what happened to Heath’s girlfriend. Just thinking about it sends a shiver down my spine. They got me with that story beat; I didn’t see that coming
On the whole, I didn’t especially like the story as most of it felt like a paint by numbers Batman story. It’s entertaining enough but probably wouldn’t stick with me if not for that one part
Oh yeah, what happened to that character is definitely some nightmare fuel.
I will say that while it does feel pretty paint-by-numbers, I was pleasantly surprised about this one since it was basically a set up for a multiplayer shooter game.
One detail that really surprised me was the cops being part of the Bats and especially the detail about them having Batman flairs on their uniforms to tell each other apart and not arrest each other. It kind of reminded me of the turn we’ve seen in recent years of cops co-opting the symbol of The Punisher, and the fact that this book was done several years before that made it oddly precedent.
Perhaps I was a little too harsh yesterday. It is better than I expected and much better than it has to be considering that it’s essentially cross-promotion for a video game that pretty much flopped.
That’s a good point about the bat pins; I totally missed that. It definitely wouldn’t feel out of place in a story written today, but in 2010 that wasn’t really something the general public thought about