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Mr. T. Fitzpatrick (Liverpool, UK)

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Batman And Son TP
Batman And Son TP
by Grant Morrison
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four stories collected together - Good overall if somewhat disjointed, 15 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Batman And Son TP (Paperback)
This book covers four loosely connected stories so I will review each one individually.

It starts with a four part story chronicling the revelation that Bruce Wayne has a previously unknown son (this isn't much of a spoiler, it is in the title). The lackluster storyline is just a vessel for the fascinating relationships between the Batfamily and the son. The interactions between Batman's adapted son, Tim Drake, and his biological son is easily the highlight of this story.
The artwork is perfect for Batman. Andy Kubert's drawing makes the Grant Morrison's story come to life and it is never unclear what is going on. The double page spread with the joker and the last page of chapter two stand out in particular.

After this story there is an "interlude" story about the joker attempting to break out of Arkham. This chapter was written in prose with some hit-and-miss illustrations by John Van Fleet. This chapter could easily been skipped but is worth giving it a look since it sets up Grant Morrison's take on the Joker.

This is followed by another story that seems more like set up to the next story arc than a story in its own right. It is in two parts and continues what seemed like a side story in the opening chapter about three ex cops who are impersonating Batman. It is a pretty standard affair with no real twists or turns. Andy Kubert again provides excellent art.

The last story is a "what if" story set in an alternate future where Batman's son took up the Batman cowl after Bruce is killed (possibly by his son's hand). The actual story is, again, somewhat conventional and most likely no relevance to Morrison's overall Batman story. One thing I really enjoyed about this story was the design of the Batsuit. Instead of the his usual attire, this Batman wears a long coat with the cowl attached. It presents this Batman as more of a detective than traditional superhero and is very film noir-esque.

Overall, each one of the stories are average if compelling in their own way. It would be a three star book if it were not for the excellent art and the really well handled character moments in the first story.

The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes (The Sandman, Vol. 1)
The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes (The Sandman, Vol. 1)
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as you could expect from a opening story arc, 28 Nov. 2009
As a new reader of comics I was slightly apprehensive to delve into the prestigious world of the sandman. I knew next to nothing about the series going in so I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. So did it live up to the hype and will I buy the next volume?

In a word: yes. This first chapter is as good of an introduction to a story as is possible. Like all good opening story arc's it introduces the protagonist to the reader in a simple yet effective way. As you become more immersed in the Sandman and his world you can't help but like him more and more.

The overall story arc of this volume is somewhat run of the mill. It's only purpose seems to be to introduce to the world and it's inhabitants. It does, however, achieve this purpose excellently whilst also possibly hinting at story lines to come. A highlight for me was the issue with John Constantine. I have not read any Hellblazer but now I am seriously considering it. The introduction of Death at the end provides a fitting end to an excellent pilot book whilst simultaneously getting me excited for book 2.

The art was slightly different than I was expecting since all I had seen was cover art. For people who have somewhat limited experience with comics from this era (aka me) the art can be slightly jarring. However, after a couple of pages you start to appreciate how good it is.

To conclude, if you have been putting off reading this series then you should at least give this first chapter a chance. I had already ordered volume 2 before I had even finished and I can't wait to delve further into Neil Gaiman's world.

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