My problems with this book are many Batman gets captured by the brainwashed homeless Ok, so apparently homeless people become highly effective fighters once brainwashed Batman gets caught in the most banal way, a situation he s been in countless times, but somehow falls victim to this time Then he undergoes brainwashing which includes torture, starvation and hallucinatory drugs he couldn t escape in the days he was chained up It was literally a pair of handcuffs around a metal pipe, surely he could ve escaped It s yet another situation Batman s been in before countless times which he could ve easily gotten out of But then there wouldn t be a book if he escaped it s so contrived and out of character.
There are so many instances of Batman s actions being out of character throughout It s implied he uses a machine gun to kill an innocent whilst under the influence of Blackfire s mind controlling drugs Then when he s shaken the drugs and is fighting back, he allows an innocent woman to be raped and killed because he s got to deal with Blackfire quickly But there s really no urgency at the end, Blackfire s not threatening to blow up the city, he s just sitting around waiting for Batman to show He could ve saved her I think Starlin s excuse would be that Batman was still shaken from his druggy experience Weak.
Let s talk about the character of Deacon Blackfire or lack thereof He doesn t have any superpowers besides the seemingly long life he s lived and that is contributed to believe it or not bathing in human blood Oh apparently he s charismatic though no evidence can be seen in any of his scenes in the book He also relied on drugs to control Batman I still don t buy the shoddiness with which that was set up and a news reporter at the end of the book says he was apparently controlling all of these people through hypnosis My point is I don t understand how Blackfire could ve posed a serious threat to Batman at all He didn t seem clever or powerful, and in the fight at the end Batman defeats him easily Blackfire somehow manages to not only subdue Batman but also the Gotham Police Force, the National Guard, the United States Army all through brainwashed homeless people There s suspension of disbelief and then there s bad writing and Jim Starlin falls into the latter category with this book.
Also, there s no overarching play here with Blackfire s unbelievably easy takeover of Gotham he just wants to die at the end and become a martyr to his crap religion of homeless people It s such a jaw droppingly poor reason for the story.
The reason the homeless or Underworlders as they re referred to are able to take over the city is mostly due to incompetence from everyone in the book, Batman included They use the sewers as their base of operations and everyone knows this but nobody goes down there to take them out, they just allow them to skulk around and pop up Nobody has the wherewithal to throw down tear gas and then go in guns blazing riot police could have this situation sorted no problem But we see the GCPD fail, the National Guard fail, and Batman fail, to defeat simplistic tactics by homeless people with guns and knives It s such bad plotting because these hurdles could ve been jumped by any one of them if they actually behaved as they would rather than how Starlin wants them to And the Army don t get involved because a newsreader there s an abundance of newsreaders overused throughout to serve as both narrators and the Greek chorus they become a hindrance to the flow of the story and tedious to read long before the end informs us the President thinks it would be too costly to send the Army into a city in mainland US soil that s under siege Riiiight, so if a major US city were held hostage, the government would write it off and allow it its own sovereignty I realise Dark Knight Rises has this as a big part of its story but at least with the film there were large stakes a nuclear bomb as opposed to thousands of homeless people wandering the streets There s also no mention of any other of Gotham s heroes and villains At least with No Man s Land, Batman s rogues gallery was addressed with Joker, Penguin, Two Face and Black Mask each controlling parts of the city where are they while Deacon Blackfire and his army of homeless nutters are running loose There are too many problems with this book to go into any further the literally monster truck Batmobile, Batman s dependence upon guns at the end to resolve the story, why he acted weak for so long in the book and why he suddenly changed back, the blotchy artwork and messy colouring but suffice it to say this is a pretty dire book.
This might be the worst Batman book ever written It s dumb and riddled with plot holes, poor dialogue, even worse characterisation, and featuring the most contrived bad guy ever I can t come up with a suitable comparison Sam Kieth s Secrets Batman The Cult is a poorly conceived and an abysmally written book by a hack.
A very odd and stark Batman story Batman gets brainwashed by a cult and spends half the book trying to determine what s real He suffers through a lot of self doubt as the cultists take over Gotham before he returns to kick their asses There s a lot of elements here used in The Dark Knight Rises Unfortunately, Starlin also borrows the talking head news reports from Batman The Dark Knight Returns If there s one way to kill a story s momentum, it s a couple of pages of news reporters talking Bernie Wrightson s art is fantastic even if the newsprint my edition was on blurs the art and deadens the colors I d forgotten how much I liked this story when I first read it back in the late 80 s.
Everyone has their own reasons for reading super hero comics Most nerds love super heroes because of their super human strength, can fly or have pimp green rings Everyone knows that nerds read Batman because he gets the job done without having a bunch of awesome powers Fanboys boast about his mad preparation skills, his Bat gadgets and all the training he received from masters in various martial arts He always beats his enemiesthat changes in The Cult The Dark Knight faces an enemy that has the skills to break him psychologically How and why this particularly depraved villain broke Batman is why this book is such a page turner and considered to be controversial.
Deacon Blackfire, along wit his band of homeless followers, brainwash Batman by using drugs and starvation techniques Batman s mind is perverted into thinking Deacon Blackfire is a God that Batman wants to serve.
This story shows Batman as a vulnerable human that can be beat No amount of preparation, Bat gadgets or training helped him against succumbing to Deacon Blackfire.
Read this story if you want to see your favorite Caped Crusader get beat and come back with a vengeance like only he can This is the weirdest Batman story I have ever read, and I have very mixed feelings about it some spoilers ahead First of all, this version of batman is a very low tech world s greatest detective batman He carefully investigates crime scenes like he is Sherlock Holmes, but don t expect him to pull many gadgets out of his utility belt Robin does quite a bit of that, however When he needs to contact Alfred, he has to find a payphone and have a limo come and get him When he does need gadgets, he uses tranquilizing dart rifles and bulky night vision goggles Also, the Batmobile in this story is a huge monster truck Batman gets brainwashed in this story, and we see him like never before He mows people down with a machine gun in one instance, and acts like a coward in many other instances When Batman isn t brainwashed, he still doesn t act very Batman like Him and Alfred both carry around pistols not tranquilizer guns but actual bullet shooting firearms At one point he abandons Gotham city to the villain Also, upon seeing a woman that was running to him for help get ripped apart by a wild mob, he sits in the Batmobile monster truck and listens to her die he says something about it seeming to take a million years rather than help her A little later, he watches as someone else is torn apart by a crowd, this time stopping Robin from helping Finally, this Batman seems to have no problem with blowing up bad guys with missiles mounted on the Batmobile monster truck This story also requires you to suspend your disbelief and buy into the fact that an army of homeless people armed with a few guns and a bunch of knives blunt objects easily defeated the army and a special forces unit by taking potshots at them from the sewers building windows The art and layout in this book such as all of the news interviews panels, it being broken into four parts, etc is very reminiscent of Frank Miller s The Dark Knight Returns in fact, I had to stop and check to see if Frank Miller worked on this book with Starlin He didn t It seems to me that they made a really strange and ultra violent Batman story to try and recapture the success of Dark Knight Returns Did I like this story Not a great deal maybe 2.
5, rounding up to three stars because it was just such an odd story Do I recommend anyone read it Yet, definitely It is so weird and over the top that any Batman or comic fan in general should take a look at this strange piece of Batman history at least once.
A mysterious figure by the name of Deacon Blackfire has a plan for Gotham City Gathering the homeless and the distressed, Blackfire amasses an army to obliterate crime from the streets of Gotham However, what good is a group of vigilantes if The Batman is still patrolling the streets Blackfire captures The Dark Knight and by using a method of brainwashing, convinces The Caped Crusader that he is truly Gotham s savoir Are Blackfire s intentions pure or does he have a hidden agenda For the last few years, I ve been trying to make my way through IGN s 25 Greatest Batman graphic novels list Other than a high listing, I knew very little It wasn t until I was a few dozen pages into the story that I realized Christopher Nolan had used this as the basis for The Dark Knight Rises Replace Deacon Blackfire with Bane, make a few alterations and you ve got the third act in Nolan s Dark Knight trilogy.
Released around the same time as Miller s The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore s The Killing Joke, The Cult mirrors their dark storytelling and subject matter Gone were the days of Batman and Robin chasing The Joker over a giant piano, replaced by full panels of brutal violence and a general feelings of hopelessness for the citizens of Gotham.
My only real problem with the story was the villain The majority of Batman s adversaries are somewhat based in reality outside of Ra s Al Ghul and the character of Deacon Blackfire is seemingly immortal, achieving so by bathing in human blood How exactly does this work Kind of took me out of the story a little At least with Nolan s adaptation in replacing Blackfire with mercenary Bane, it s a little easier to believe.
Oh, and Robin is in it Robin is a dork.
Cross Posted Every read Thing This is a four issue mini, published in 1988 For historical context, it s one year after Year One, one year before Jason Todd gets voted to death, and the same year as The Killing Joke So it is dark, to say the least Batman gets kidnapped and brainwashed by a murderous cult, which then goes on to take over Gotham City Nearly all of the violence happens on panel, so there s tons of blood For what it is, and what it sets out to do, it s very well done The writing has held up surprisingly well, the only thing badly dating the comic is a panel that refers to VCRs being worth 1000 on the street My big issue is that it s extremely unpleasant for me to read I often have trouble getting into the ultra dark books, and I m glad the pendulum has swung a little further away from that Oh, and the Bat Monster Truck was pretty silly.
Cool idea, and different, but not something I d probably recommend to most Batman fans It s basically Batman dealing with a crazy cult, as the title says It starts off simple enough, Batman is captured, they torture him some, and he joins them However, soon into the book he breaks free of the trance but not fully Thanks to the city under hell, Robin, and his determination, it s up to Batman to make it out alive and save everyone Good Surprised how dark it got, but never too cheesy The deaths are brutal and the cursing too me by surprise, but they work for the tone and style I also thought Batman struggling throughout was a nice change and different Bad The dialogue can be really really outdated, making it hard to take serious at times I also thought the ending became odd, and nothing like the Bruce we know Even adding in gun use Yeahno Overall it s solid, different, weird, but not amazing I d say try it if want a different batman story A 3 out of 5.