3.0 out of 5 stars
Technically outstanding art, silly story., 28 Feb 2013
Let me just say the art is, as the title of this review states, technically great. It's perhaps a little too exaggerated or macho in places (lots of gritted teeth and muscles, large breasts, etc...), but in general it's very well drawn.
The story is a letdown.
There are just too many characters involved. In an effort to create a grand conspiracy involving secrets and relationships from Batman/Bruce Wayne's past, Jeff Loeb tries to cram in as many enemies and allies as he can. Instead of epic or well woven, it feels bloated and, at times, a little too comical. Superdog's inclusion feels like a fun fan service, but in my opinion it's almost a metaphor for the way the inclusion of so many A and B list character gives the book a slightly ridiculous feel. Some kind of fan convention, or cosplay re-enactment. The tone just seems imbalanced throughout.
The final reveal of the mastermind behind the scheme is one of the most disappointing I've read, too. One villain disappears and is replaced by another In the final moments if the book, and it just doesn't feel weighty enough. It won't be difficult for many to guess who the man behind the bandages is, and it almost feels as if Jeff knew this and throws us a pointlessly curved ball in the finale monents to make up for it.
The book makes an obvious nod to Millar's The Dark Knight Returns when Superman makes his entrance, which is fun but again takes away more than it gives as it feels like it's drawing on another's work to make impact.
It's a fun read overall with se effective moments (the Joker scene particularly), but I honestly can't see how this joins Millar's work as one of the seminal Batman books.
I guess it made more sense at the time.