Sunday, July 3, 2011

Batman vs The Undead (comics)

Writer: Kevin Van Hook
Artist: Tom Mandrake
Collects: Batman Confidential #44-48

You know, sometimes I feel a little bad about how easy it can be to rope me into reading a comic based on general concept. But come on, you've got to cut me some slack here. A comic that promises Batman taking on zombies? How... how could you possibly expect me to resist?

You may recall I enjoyed this teams previous project, of which this is a direct sequel. Obviously we've had a change of format - I guess the miniseries didn't sell all that hot, so we're rollin' in Batman Confidential this time - but the goofy, overwritten fun is the same as it was last time. So of course I enjoyed myself.

Being a sequel to the previous story, many characters are retained. Crazy mad doctor is back, only this time he wants an undead army, so off to New Orleans he goes. Naturally, the vampire and werewolf he created are around because man they hate that guy. Of course Batman finds his way there, because dude escaped from his city and that's not gonna fly. Batman has no jurisdiction. Oh and Superman shows up at some point because I guess the creative team figured they may as well involve everyone from the previous round.

Like I said, it's goofy and overwritten. A master of the form, it isn't; and it even has a few problems that would normally annoy me. Doctor Fate, for instance, shows up for no other reason than to hint where our heroes should go and drop a prophetic vision on our heroes for some dramatic tension moving forward. Big no-no; if you're going to bring in Doctor Fate, you should at least use him or have a tangible reason why he's showing up. But this is one of those things that is just so enjoyable, such screw-ups are overlooked easier than your typical comic.

Everything I said about the art last time holds true for this one as well. It's fair work and if nothing else it suits the story. Mandrake still draws the beasties well. Another fair showing on his end. This type of story seems to suit him.

The Score: 7.5 out of 10

Like last time, this is not high art. You're probably not going to be raving about it months from now. But it's a good time and if you enjoyed the previous story you'll enjoy this. I hope we get another sequel, because this has been consistently entertaining. Sadly, I'm not sure how likely it is now that Batman Confidential is over. Regardless, you could certainly read worse than this.

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