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on 15 June 2010
Having read the reviews on Amazon before buying the book I expected Smith and Flanagan to really have dropped the ball with their mini-series with Smith making Batman sound like Jay and Flanagan drawing Batman as a stick man. But y'know what? It wasn't bad. I've read worse Batman books and I kind of enjoyed this.

While in Arkham, Joker is targeted by DeadShot who is taken out by a mysterious new villain whose only utterings are the verbal sounds made by actions in comic books (Pow! Zap! Etc). Joker finds out that his joker-poison has been cut with ecstasy to become a popular party drug, "chuckles". Joker takes his revenge on Maxie Zeus, the guy who spread the drug, while Batman tries to lock up Joker and capture this new villain at the same time.

Smith's script isn't nearly as bad as some of the reviews would have you believe though there are some odd moments - "I knew your ego would trump what's left of your common sense!" says Batman to the Joker (cringe!) and "Baruch haba, scumbag!". It's not like Smith's the first Batman writer to drop howlers into his scripts - remember Frank Miller's All Star Batman - "Who am I? I'm the GODDAMN BATMAN!". Also if you're a Smith fan and listen to SModcast (his weekly podcast) you'll be familiar with his speech patterns and notice some of his own inflections in the voices of DeadShot and Joker throughout. Overall though Smith does a good job and I was interested to find out who Cacophony really was.

Flanagan meanwhile isn't Jim Lee or Andy Kubert when he comes to draw the Dark Knight but again I didn't think it was the worst depiction of Batman. What about Tim Sale's in Dark Victory? Sam Kieth's in Secrets? Even again (sorry Miller fans) Frank Miller's Strikes Again (a book seemingly written on the fly in snatched moments) ? I've seen worse and I feel Flanagan's getting better having seen recent issues of "Widening Gyre".

I'll say it's not the best Batman book out there and Smith deflates any high expectations you might have even before you've started the book with his introduction - "Enjoy the second best Batman book I've written!" - but having read a ton of Batman, it's a decent read and good fun. I really enjoyed it.
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on 15 March 2014
Kevin smith does batman
badly
The villain who's gimmick would have been embarrassing in the adam west show
is so 2 dimensional i kept expecting him to slide in to the cracks in the pavement.
the art was odd ,i.e. from another age
like it was a silver age mod-cop of the tim burton batsuit.
very distracting and off putting.
all in all
i would not recommend not buying this lazy rubbish
try chasing dogma instead
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on 20 December 2009
Honestly, I was hjoping for it to be good but halfway through I realised I didnt like anything about it. Batman is written terribly and to be honest he seems useless in this book. Just some guy appearing in a costume to fight bad guys, but pretty much losing and being careless enough to keep getting injured. The art is rubbish but I'll admit improved towards the end but teven then it wasn't great. The cover lured me in but dont let this fool you people, it looks nothing like it inside.
Still, even Kevin Smith admits its not the best so I'm intrigued on what will be done on the next one.
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on 30 March 2014
I realy enyoed this Batman, becouse it's about his relationship with Joker. His love and hate. The decisions Batman must take is wery difficult.
Amaizing story, great pictures.
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VINE VOICEon 9 April 2010
This is one of those books that everyone seems to really hate, and while i can understand a lot of the criticisms hurled at this graphic novel it isn't the worst Batman graphic novel you will ever read. There are worse ones out there, trust me.....
Fundamentally, this book is flawed - and flawed on many levels.
As other people have said, the artwork isn't that great - it is not the worst you will ever see, but for a showcase author, doing a one off storyline you would expect a lot better. The one thing that has improved over the last ten or fifteen years has been the standard of artwork - and this book, puts it back by that period of time, in one fell swoop.
Secondly, the story is too short. WAY TOO SHORT. At just about 100 pages long, how can you expect to put a new slant on Batman, the Joker, Maxie Zeus and introduce a new villain? There is no depth to any of these characters, and in truth, there is no real ending or meaning to this book.
And yet, there are some good points to this book. The new villain, Onomatopoeia has some potential to be a worth Batman villain. A villain with a dual identity could really be explored to full effect and would draw great comparisons between them and Bruce Wayne. There is also a very interesting piece where an lethally injured Joker clings to life, and Batman and Commissioner Gordon debate whether to save him or not. That is the highlight of the book for me and again, this could have had more time devoted to it.
It is worth reading the introduction by Kevin Smith. As other reviewers have said, he admits to his own failings when writing this book. Where others have really criticised Smith, i take a slightly different point of view. He comes across as realising that he took a lot for granted in believing he could write a great Batman book, and that whilst this isn't what he is capable of, it has made him realise how tough it is to write a great story for Batman. I think that is pretty honest of him, and i am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as to whether he can pull of a good, or great Batman story in the future. There is a new book on the way later this year, and i for one, hope to see a dramatic improvement in the results of Kevin Smith's work, or i will be less forgiving. But in the mean time, we need to be open minded about this book. It has some potential - some great potential - and hopefully we will see that potential shine through in his next book. And yes, it has some flaws - some really major flaws - but we have to remember this is a first attempt. Even the great writers and artists didn't get it right first time, and even now, some of those greats can't deliver absolute excellence every single time.
To sum up, this isn't a great book. It won't be in your top ten Batman books, top twenty, or quite possibly, top fifty. But it is worth a look at a price you are willing to pay, and hopefully Kevin Smith's next foray into the world of the Dark Knight will be much better...... Fingers crossed!!!!
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on 18 March 2011
What a fickle bunch we are in the realms of geekdom!

I have no idea why so many people have reacted so vehemently to Cacophony but I can't help thinking that if anyone other than Kevin Smith had written it there wouldn't be half the backlash against this (actually pretty solid) story.

Perhaps people's expectations were unrealistic? Does the name Kevin Smith carry with it an expectation that for many fans simply wasn't met?

Whatever the reason far too many people have judged this book for what it wasn't rather than what it was (or Phantom Menace Syndrome). Cacophany is actually a very decent Batman story with some moments that I'd actually consider classic.

That isn't to say that the book doesn't have it's flaws. It does. Nor can I say that the book holds up against Mr Smith's quintessential work on Daredevil and Green Arrow. It doesn't. But there is a great deal to like about this book.

The dialogue is... Well it's Kevin Smith dialogue. By turns it's witty and incisive but also incredibly ostentatious and self indulgent at times. Don't get me wrong I like Smith's dialogue but it's one thing to hear it coming from Jason Mewes and another to hear it coming from the Dark Knight (and yes, "Baruch Haba, scumbag!" is a pretty terrible line). But there are also some moments of dialogue that had me glued to the page. The opening dialogue between Joker and Deadshot is witty and pacy despite one or two lines that made me want to cringe. The dialogue between Bats and the Joker towards the end is superb and in a way serves as a bookend to the dialogue the characters has in The Killing Joke (which was also revisited in Sam Keith's Secrets').

The art is very good. Walter Flanagan's pencils aren't as showy as those of someone like Shane Davis or Jim Lee but they do the job with a degree of panache. The premise is interesting and I for one liked the open ending of the story.

In short I would reccommend this book to any Bat fan who has been put off by all the negative hype. You may not love it but you should certainly form your OWN opinions!
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on 29 January 2014
Unfortunately, the art is absolutely awful and amateurish. Never spend money on this book, try to get a pdf online
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on 20 December 2015
Kevin Smith takes real good care of Batman and Joker for us, for more: www.Facebook.com/mygraphicreviews
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on 12 January 2010
I don't have much to put here that hasn't been said already:
That said I believe previous reviewers were very lax.
>>Any real fan of Batman(or of quality work for that matter) should steer clear of this<<
This work is so bad I am beginning to think Mr Smith wanted to ridicule the Dark knight on purpose...
Its not just the bad scripting,but how the characters don't behave like they have been established to in continuity so far.
Some examples follow:
1) M.O. of Batman villains is changed without explanation 2) the Joker is just a mouthpiece for Smith to deliver his lines and has nothing to do with the clown of crime we love to hate(actually it must be the worst incarnation of Joker since his creation-Yes even compared to the 60s one-) 3) YET again Smith is going for the penis jokes and drug plot(which worked for Spiderman but not here)
4) The Dark Knight has nothing to do with what has been established in DC so far,he talks like a punk,is not much of a detective and operates clumsily 5) Another huge mistake for me is how the Joker is used in the end of the story. He is pumped on a cocktail of drugs long enough for him to have a normal conversation with the Batman(like schizophrenia is a sore throat you can fix with antibiotics).Even if that where the case and all of this had even the slightest possibility to work ,this sequence is not used with any real insight so ends up being pointless..not to mention annoying as it destroys the whole equilibrium of the relationship between the two antagonists (joker is crazy because he WANTS to kill the Batman?!)
Regarding the art I will agree with the others on that its mediocre, but in my opinion not the main problem.
We have seen many times in the past how bad art can be complimented and augmented by a top notch story...
All in all an abysmal piece of work -from a creator I used to sympathize- that will take a lot of time and effort to be erased from my mind(I had to read "Joker" again twice immediately after this)
Mr Smith..please...please leave Batman alone
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on 10 December 2009
Having read Smith's run on Daredevil and Green Arrow, I was looking forward to what he could do with Batman. However, as many other reviewers have commented, I was worried before even reaching the start of the story. This is due to the fact that in the Introduction, Smith apologises for his dialogue and Flanagan's artwork. While I am all for creators commenting on their work, I found myself constantly bracing for impact, rather than watching the story unfold.

I have since re-read it, and nothing much has changed. Considering Smith continually goes on about how much he loves Comics, I have no idea how he ever thought this was going to appeal to the masses. The writing is so off, and the art is horrendous - when someone can't draw the titular character alarms bells really should be ringing. As for the bearded Joker - what were they thinking? It is really nice of Smith to ask the friend who introduced him to comics to do the art, but after seeing the results he should have got someone else in, as it makes an average story into a poor story.

Unfortunately there are much better Batman comics out there, with more engaging stories and genuinely beautiful art. Cacophony proves that even the biggest comic fans cannot produce great comics.
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