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Batman #578

Hama, McDaniel, Story

Reviewed by JYD.

I never thought I'd read a good Larry Hama issue of "Batman," but this one's it. Sure it's plagued by an unhealthy use of overdescriptive language, but the clincher is that (a) it's subtle and (b) there's no dialogue. In fact, it's safe to say that Batman really isn't needed for this story to work (his blink and you miss him cameo is pointless except for some comedic relief). For all the hyping of the cold-blooded killer, he's really just a dopey bastard. He doesn't kill (just in his imagination) and his "future vision" prevents him from carrying through with his artwork. For the record: this issue is NOT an issue of "Batman" at all. It's more about what fear of the bat can do to the common criminal. It's unique, the artwork is fabulous (esp. the dual inkers), and it's purposeful vagueness leaves much to the imagination. To bad THE ORCA is next, eh?

Grade: A-