Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Batman: Lost #1 Review



META(L)

Written by: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson
Art by: Doug Mahnke, Yanick Paquette, Jorge Jimenez, Jaime Mendoza, Wil Quintana, Nathan Fairbairn, Alejandro Sanchez and Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: November 8, 2017

I don't know if it has all been by design, but this month we get the Batman Lost issue instead of the next chapter of Metal.  If you are like me, you've been enjoying the hell out of Metal...but that doesn't include all the tie-ins.  My main problem is that I am still struggling to wrap my head around the big Metal story and instead of getting me closer, the tie-ins are either making things harder to understand or not doing anything except taking money out of my pocket.  I hope Batman Lost does a bit more.  I hope this is an integral part of the story that ties me over until Batman #4 next month.  Does it?  Let's find out...


The issue opens with Bruce Wayne...an OLD Bruce Wayne telling a story to his young granddaughter.  There are hints right away that things are off (crows for one) and while you can argue that it doesn't fell 'metal" enough, it certainly is meta!

Of course, if you are reading Metal (and if you are reading this book, I would guess you are), you have to go into this with the ideas given to you in previous issues of the Event.  Batman is lost in the Dark Multiverse and the last time we saw him, he was strapped into Barbatos' Dark Tower telling Superman he warned him not to come.  Here is the page to refresh your memory...





Earlier in the issue, Superman was in a similar tower on Earth-0, where he explained he was living countless lives fighting and losing to Barbatos.  So...I am assuming that what we are getting in this issue is very similar.  That right there, however, is my biggest problem with this issue...I wish I didn't have to assume something that big.

Back to the issue, Bruce tells his granddaughter  to grab a Batman story off the shelf to read and the greatest hits are all there...Nightfall, Long Halloween, Hush etc. It's a wink wink moment that made me laugh when Bruce explains that while they may contradict each other, they all in fact happened.  Where was this Bruce when I needed him at the beginning of the New 52 and the again at the start of Rebirth?  His niece picks her favorite, The Case of the Chemical Syndicate, and away we go!

The issue slips in and out of different stories while Bruce, his granddaughter and others as active and aware performers if you will.  While Bruce fights the narrative as wrong, his niece tries to reel him back in and after a bit, you see that Batman is trying to escape the story and the Dark Multiverse all the same.




The stories go from a skewed recap of Grant Morrison's Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne to the New 52 Court of the Owls death of Bruce's Grandfather (but staring Bruce) to a bunch of other Dark Multiverse craziness.  It all is a fucked up version of the whole history that lead us to the point we are in the Metal story right now.

By the end, we get to the meat and cheese of the story...that Barbatos is what made Batman.  Always has, always will.  In fact, Barbatos spins it around and makes the reader question if the Dark Multiverse might be the best thing to wash all these bad ideas Batman has down some sort of cosmic drain.  The way Batman reacts, it seems he may agree as well.




I think a whole lot of people are going to be confused by this story.  I can't blame them, though, because Snyder, Tynion and Williamson aren't holding any hands here.  In fact, it feels like they want to confuse the reader a bit to put them in Batman's shoes.  He's stuck in the Dark Multiverse going through a messed up story time with Barbatos, all the while trying to fight his way out, but failing.  If anything, this issue gives you a glimpse of the nightmare he is in and shows us that he needs help to get out.  I think that's the biggest thing to take away from this...Batman is in deep shit here!  

Still, it's a tough issue to rate.  I liked the overall concept of it, but the road to get there was a little bumpy.  The art was great throughout and the sheer scope of the concepts got me excited, but in the end I wish it would have been a bit clearer.  It did make me wish I was reading the next chapter of Metal right now, but even that was partly in spite of it instead of because of it.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman Lost felt more like a lesson on what Batman is going through than an integral part of the overall story.  The art was great and I give the writers props for the ambition of it all, but it left me feeling like it (or I) was missing something.  This is strictly for those who want the full Metal experience.

7.2/10



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8 comments:

  1. Yeah I caught all the references. The problem is like you said this story is a jumbled mess by design I guess. It’s a overly confusing story inside an overly confusing story. I remember a time back in issue o e of metal where you said that Snyder was just trying to give us a fun story. I’m not having any fun ramming my head into a wall every time I read an issue. Last issue I had fun will was issue 2 of Metal. That was a long time ago. When telling a story that spans multiple months with multiple writers you can’t have so many overly confusing stories or contradictory stories back to back you risk alienating your reader. 6.5 out of 10 is all the higher I can go myself. Honestly I almost want the stop reading this story all together but it has been some of the best storytelling Rebirth has offered so I guess I have to go with it.

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  2. Replies
    1. For some reason I talked earlier about the issue and had niece stuck in my head...


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    2. I don't know if he is giving up because he's been through this so much already and it's supposed to really show how bad it is for him or he knows it all resets then and each time he figures things out (ala Groundhog Day)

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  3. Batman giving up in the end is so none batman like. Isn't his whole thing I looked into the abyss and didn't blink that's what separates him from owl man or any other bad Batman.Here he just gave up. I was enjoying the issue till batman just completely gave at the end restarting from the beginning. The whole villain I made you what you are thing is something I expect to work on a angsty teenager in a shounen manga not A adult and definitely not Batman.

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