Bruce Wayne is back from the dead or time travel or whatever the hell was going on, but he s off recruiting people for his new version of an international army of crime fighters so Dick Grayson is still acting as Gotham s Caped Crusader Dick has to deal with things like a bunch of the weapons used by Batman s enemies have been stolen from a police evidence locker and are now being sold on the black market There s a bizarre incident in which a whale is found dead in a bank with a human corpse in it s belly and the woman in charge is the daughter of the man that killed Dick s parents There s also the small matter of Jim Gordon s son who may be a sadistic serial killer coming home Oh, and The Joker breaks out of Arkham again.
Snyder s stories and the artwork are remarkably good, and got me revved up about Batman for the first time since Morrison started mucking around with the character Dick Grayson as Batman puts a fresh spin on the whole Dark Knight thing Gotham is still a hellish sinkhole of deranged criminals, but Dick s version of Batman is hopeful and less severe than Bruce s as he tries to work with his allies rather than just barking orders and expecting everyone to obey One of the funnier parts occurs between Gordon and Batman Gordon is saying something and turns away When he turns back, he s shocked that Dick is still there instead of disappearing in the middle of the conversation like Bruce does.
In addition to that, Snyder also works in nice references to past Batman stories like The Killing Joke, Year One, and A Death in the Family while still making this feel like a whole new era Some of the best and creepiest stuff revolves around Gordon s messed up son who may not wear a crazy outfit but definitely belongs in the ranks of Gotham s criminally insane The only disappointing thing was that the Joker story seemed kind of weak and short, but that s a small complaint.
Must reading for Bat fans.
Holy great reading, Batman This collected edition contains a storyline originally published on Detective Comics 871 881.
Creative Team Writer Scott SnyderIllustrators Jock Francesco Francavilla MY WAY You have to judge the situation early, clearly judge it from the diving board, high above, before you re falling before you re in danger.
This story is about Batman, BUT it s Dick Grayson under the mantle Bruce Wayne is back, but he s busy off shores establishing his idea of Batman Incorporated , a global force of Batmen, financed by Wayne Enterprises to help local police departments around the world.
Meanwhile, Dick Grayson stays on Gotham City and he is The Batman there.
Writing about Dick Grayson as Batman isn t easy, it s not like just doing it as if Bruce was still in the suit Dick is different, he reacts different and he treats people different.
I liked that the creative team on this story understood that Even when he does a jump to save himself from a dangerous situation, he does it in his own style, due his acrobacy background, which is different of how Bruce would do it Also, Dick talks to people in a different way and his interactions with other characters is according of how Dick Grayson would do it, not Bruce s So, that s definitely a good point on this storyline.
Dick Grayson isn t alone, he counts with the support of Red Robin Tim Drake , Alfred, Oracle Barbara Gordon , Bullock, and this time, Jim Gordon will be too close from the case for his own comfort WELCOME TO THE JUNGLEsome places just have a hunger about them, son And you either feed them what they want or you stay far, far away.
Gotham City is a character on its own in Batman s stories Its look, its ambiance, it has a soul that infects its citizens Batman while works in the darkness, his legacy may be the only light on that grim city Dick Grayson will sadly realizing how lost the people of Gotham is, how hungry they are for the tools of craziness How much of human remains on them Are they still human Or they become a pack of hungry monsters Batman s crusade is to save Gotham City, but is the town wanting to be saved And to make the things worse, a darkness from the past is back, not his own past but too close enough, and maybe that darkness will make sure that the future of Gotham City would be the maddest of all.
But not only that darkness is back again in the social circle of Dick Grayson, since he will have to deal with the aftermath of his own past, something of his childhood that he thought wouldn t be able to return in any way, and even ironically, a bloody tool for another Robin, it may will be key to his own survival, when the hunter becomes the prey, and options are limited BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER You seeing who I m seeing, JimThe Black Mirror is a long storyline where multiple cases are interlaced Sins of the past are causing death and sorrow to the present The artwork isn t any great, it could be much better.
Writing is really engaging and very well done.
However, the story isn t perfect, while it was good to see how much elements from the past of everyone was resurfacing, I think that if the storyline would have focused on the main element which makes the climax of it, the whole storyline may be shorter but solid.
And maybe due this contamination in the main story, having so many sub plots is what causes that Batman and Jim Gordon look like to be too slow to react to the real menace that it s standing in front of them at plain sight.
There is a brief appearance of The Joker, and while it was good the dialogue of him with Dick Grayson as Batman , where The Joker knew he wasn t THE Batman and even that he was a Robin I think that it was kinda cheap to put him there, like Geez If we want the fans to read this TPB, we should have The Joker there Dang, I do like The Joker as one of the villains of Batman, I think that that s possible to make an epic Batman s story without the need of having the Clown Prince of Crime around.
But, definitely, The Black Mirror is an entertaining story and a must read to any Batman fan, specially if you want to read about the tour of duty of Dick Grayson while he was having the mantle.
Definitely in my Batman Top 10, maybe Top 5 Detective story meets horror, Dick Grayson assumes the role of Batman with great aplomb Characterization is deep and true, with some sparse comedy to break the palpable tension My favorite theme is the contrast between Dick and Bruce under the Cowl Dick prefers to be in the air, like back in Haly s Circus, which serves as a great metaphor for the positivism he brings to his Batman, while Bruce is very much rooted in his cynicism and gloom Interesting to see both sides of the coin, because they essentially have the same tragic origin Having considered what the Black Mirror is itself, I believe the symbol states that good and evil are reflections of one another, rooted in the same pain, intensity, conflict, and chaos And I think Snyder may be the first writer to give a name to what Bats and Joker, or what any duo of hero and villain, may experience That s just brilliant theorizing Jock is one of my favorite illustrators, especially for Batman His work is dark, shadowy, fluid, yet somehow sinister and violent Francesco Francavilla s art by contrast is clean and traditional, yet his use of light is unusual and superbly dramatic.
The Black Mirror was actually all kinds of wonderful, in my opinion I ve been so focused on doing all the others, the alternatives in the DC world, thinking that I knew my Supermans and Batmans from movies and tv, that I just never really considered, you know, READING them.
This was all sorts of creepy and fun It s all about Grayson, too.
Now, I ll also be honest, I ve also been becoming a superfan of James Gordon JR ever since I read about him in Suicide Squad, and seeing him shine in this volume was an especially good treat.
New and old villains share the spotlight, of course, and I m always blown away by the joker who has gotten mightily creepy in his older age Really fun stuff.
I m thinking I might have to hunt around or ask opinions as to the best of the Batmans and Supermans now I ve avoid d them for far too long.
Gotham s Batman, Dick Grayson, takes on the Dealer, a man selling the weapons of supervillains stolen from the GCPD evidence room, gun runners harassing a mob bosses daughter, and possibly the greatest threat of all, Commissioner Gordon s sonYou know, when DC put Dick Grayson in the Bat costume, we all knew it wouldn t last and while I liked the issues of Batman Robin I read, I didn t find anything earth shattering and thought Dick s tenure as the Caped Crusader would be pretty forgettable I WAS WRONG There are epic tales of the Bruce Wayne Batman that everyone mentions The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight, Year One, The Long Halloween, the list goes on and on This is Dick Grayson s epic.
Scott Snyder and Jock take the reader on a dark journey, following Dick Grayson as he tries to fill Bruce Wayne s shoes While Grant Morrison made Batman fun again when he put Dick in the costume, Scott Snyder made me believe.
Batman goes up against The Dealer, Roadrunner, Tiger Shark, and even the Joker, but the most chilling villain in the Black Mirror is James Gordon Jr, the Commissioner s son I can t even think of another comic book villain that actually scared me but James was scary because he was so real, so plausible And I had a batgasm when he finally got what was coming to him.
That s about all I can say without giving too much away I know I clicked the spoilers box but I didn t spoil than the dust jacket If I could give this six stars, I would Scott Snyder is the real deal and I m going to continue buying everything of his I can find.
5 starsI think I m probably going to get lynched for not being as enad with The Black Mirror as everyone else seems to have beenWait Stop hitting me I ve got small children I didn t say it wasn t good It is I just didn tI don t know, lovelove it I liked it it, just not in that way It s not you, it s me I don t know why we didn t connect on a deeper level, but I think it s best if I leave now I ll call tomorrow, though Reallycough, coughshuffles feetOr something like that.
I don t have any specific complaints about the book Or even some glaring detail that I can point to and say, Yes That s the thing I didn t like insert random offense hereI m justifiedNope I got nothing.
Read it I m the only person on the earth who isn t gushing about it, so you probably want to disregard my review.
There are several stories in this volume from the title Black Mirror to Skeleton Key and Lost Boys But at it s heart it is about Dick s time as Batman and how he views the city of Gotham and how it might be changing into something darker and uglier than he thought It also shows his different mindset and approach than Bruce Wayne s brooding Batman But Jim Gordon and his super creepy son are also a huge part of the story Now I don t know if this was ever done before, but in Black Mirror Jim Gordon JR is a serial killer and a creepy bastard at that The story implies he is trying to turn himself around, but in typical Gotham fashion from the Criminal mastermind s daughter s supposed redemption to Jim Jr s new path of taking his happy pills nothing is what it seems I really enjoyed the ending where Jim Jr tied up the entire run from the very beginning of the Dealer and the Mirror organization all the way to his dealings with his step sister Barbara Well done.
This is a good Dick Grayson story and a good Jim Gordon story His creepy serial killer son gives him a new dimension The subtle conflicts that arise between the denizens of Gotham and Dick and Jim show that there is a miasma of crime and almost evil that seem to permeate Gotham and it s dealings It does test the mettle and spiritual strength of both Jim and Dick to conquer the challenges of working in Gotham While both seem to remark about the darkness of Gotham, the story really takes off near the end between the Joker showing up to add his particular brand of mayhem and Jim Jr showing his master plan As I said he is one weird guy.
So all in all great story Snyder really tells a great Batman tale even if it is Dick Grayson Along the way you learn about Jim Gordon and his super creepy serial killer kid A strange and disturbing story The effects of crime fighting in Gotham are always permeating the story As said best that Metropolis is a city populated by Gods, but in Gotham it was just a man under the cape Sadly the artwork never measures up to this grand tale At best, I d call it pedestrian There s two things that hold me back from giving this a 5 star 1 This is a Dick Grayson Jim Gordon tale vs Bruce Wayne Batman I know, I knowI just like Bruce better 2 This pedestrian art sigh What a difference a better artist could have made Ah well.
A must read for any Batman fan But, not bad for random readers as well Come check out a twisted and dark tale of Dick Grayson and Jim Gordon and a city where nothing is what it seems and everything seems to go bad in the end Must be something in the water I guess My friend Hulk boy wants me to read this so that I will quit giving my boyfriend Batman 2 and 3 stars I hate to see Hulk boy cry and Batman kept agreeing with him So I read it.
I liked it okay Quit judging me Some Mild Spoilery may happen Proceed at your own riskBruce Wayne is not Batman in this book I had no clue there were other Batman books out there that didn t contain the main man Dick Grayson is the Cape Crusader in this version and Bruce Wayne is off recruiting other Batmen to be placed around the world.
The tryouts are NOT included in this book There needs to be a book with that though Kinda like Batman American Idol The Bat hero takes on several different story lines in this book He meets up with Old Joker Boy who deserved a bit of the story line Then we get introduced to Commission Gordon s son James Jr I need of this bad guy He was chilling and why the hell have they not done a movie with him as the baddie Or have I just missed it There are several graphic novelists that I find to be brilliant writers Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore and Fabian Nicieza I can now add Scott Snyder to that list Before he began his critically acclaimed, fan favorite run on Batman for DC in the fall of 2011, writer Scott Snyder was writing Batman comics for DC.
The Batman comics Snyder was writing before Batman were issues of Detective Comics and the miniseries Batman The Gates of Gotham, which he co wrote with Kyle Higgins and Ryan Parrott , a series Snyder was on from issue 871 until the September 2011 reboot, at which point he and Batman writer artist Tony Daniel swapped books The entirety of his TEC run is collected in the relatively fat trade paperback Batman The Black Mirror.
This is superior super comic making Snyder was certainly lucky to have such high quality collaborators The art for all 300 or so pages of the collection is drawn by either Jock or Fancesco Francavilla, two of the better artists to put pencil to paper in order to draw a man dressed like a bat in the last few years Now, the format of Detective Comics was, at the time, a book with a full length lead story and a short, back up feature although DC called them co features, as back up apparently sounded slightly dismissive At the start, Jock was drawing the lead stories and Francavilla the back ups, which starred Commissioner Gordon and turned on his personal, family life specifically, the return of his son James Jr to Gotham City The younger James is popularly suspected of being a criminal, and Barbara Still Oracle Gordon suspected him of even being a serial killer, although there was never any proof The stories are collected chronologically in here, so, other than the change in artists, there s no real sense of what s a lead story and what s a back up Snyder, who wrote both features, did an excellent job of writing them so they would eventually read as a whole The shift in art styles, and the shifting tones that accompany those shifts, even work out, as in essence each artist is given a different plot thread to illustrate, and the sub plot of the Gordon family psychodrama eventually comes to the fore, as Francavilla s art eventually becomes the dominant art in the book This is all a very long, complicated way of saying The Black Mirror reads like a well made graphic novel that was meant to be read like a graphic novel At the time of these comics creation, Batman Bruce Wayne was still sort of dead ish and or traveling the globe and setting up Batman, Inc, so the title Batman is actually Dick Grayson, working with Alfred out of the Bat Bunker in downtown Gotham Red Robin Tim Drake appears a few times as well.
Dick appears as both Batman and Dick Grayson As the latter, he works with Commissioner Gordon, using a state of the art, high tech crime lab that the Wayne Foundation built for the Gotham City Police Department and filling in for Bruce Wayne at certain social and business functions As the former, he does Batman stuff Snyder writes Grayson and the various Gordons so well, I m kind of sorry to learn that this is it for them as stars, and that Snyder would get the less faceted, less relatable Bruce Wayne as his lead when he took over Batman Yes, I love Dick Grayson as Batman.
One thing he does extremely well here is write colorful villains in the gangster plus mode of the best Bat villains, some of whom are familiar The Joker, Man Bat and Killer Croc variants , but many of whom are new The Dealer of Mirror House, Roadrunner, Tiger Shark , and come up with scenarios to provide his artists with cool, fantastical, somewhat creepy and off imagery For example, the release of an aviary of exotic birds, filling the city scape with huge, strange birds that don t belong there Tiger Shark, meanwhile, keeps orcas with him, and the body of one murder victim is found in the belly of a dead orca, found in the lobby of a bank.
As I said, reading this, it s unclear why DC thought their universe and their comics line was so messed up that it needed rebooting to save it, but, at the same time, it s clear why they wanted to keep Snyder around the Bat World At any rate, this is an outstanding Batman comic book by a brilliant writer.