Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Batman and The Signal #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

In The Light of Day

Written By: Scott Snyder, Tony Patrick
Art By: Cully Hamner, Laura Martin, Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 3, 2018

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

I've been waiting for this book to come out since We Are Robin was cancelled and even with that, I had no idea that we'd be getting a Batman and The Signal book, I'm just talking about a book featuring Duke Thomas because he's easily one of my favorite new characters to come out of the New 52.  It's crazy too because as of right now, we only have the Joker calling Duke "The Signal" in Dark Days: The Casting #1 and now here for the title, but don't go thinking that the Joker named Duke, he'll have an explanation for it here........... and a whole lot of talk about his powers so let's jump into this issue and see how The Signal does on his own.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins in a strange way, where we have Duke talking to the rest of the Bat Family through his narration and right off the bat, this comes off as weird, but thankfully, as the book continues this goes away and the real story can begin.  Yeah, we have a lot about Duke not knowing if he should be a part of the Bat Family because of how many members it already has, not to mention that all the good names were already taken, but for Duke's first outing we see that after Metal, Gotham has become a place brimming with new metas all the time and it seems to be mostly kids........ making it necessary for a Arkham Juvenile Center.

Right away though, Duke fights a meta calling himself "Null", who has the power to create energy in negative space....... Yeah, I'm not quite sure what that means, but Duke is able to see with his powers, that allow him to see light in a special way, that Null was actually absorbing light before creating negative energy and Duke was able to take him out by pinpointing the points on Null's body that absorbed the light and attacking them.  People in Gotham are furious though that things have gotten so out of control lately that crimes and villains are spreading out into the daytime, which also gets our big GCPD officer of this book Detective Alex Aisi switching from night shift to day shift because of this and also because of some connection to a sun dial that seems to be creating these metas.  Yeah, it's a little hard to follow at times, but hopefully once this three-parter is over it will be easier to understand.

In the end, we see that Duke is still talking to some of his We Are Robin team and is even dating Izzy from the group and that they are helping him with his detective work in trying to find out his connection to these new metas.  On top of that, we see that Batman has hooked Duke up with his own HQ, called The Hatch and as we close out this issue, we see The Signal led into a trap at the Arkham Juvenile Center, where whoever is behind all this meta stuff plans on having Duke killed by the metas who have already been put away.

That's it for this issue of Batman and The Signal and while I was really looking forward to this book, I have to say that this first issue is a little tough to read.  Yeah, we have a lot of information to convey going on here, but I don't think that it was gone about the right way because at the end of the day I can't even describe exactly how Duke's powers work or if he's even able to turn them on when he needs to.  On top of that, we have a great big mystery about the metas of Gotham, but because we only had one kid shouting about a dial that's connected to it and some other stuff about light in the sky, this came off really confusing and just odd to read.  The art in this issue is decent and I liked pretty much everything that we got here, but overall, this first issue just felt like a too much too soon situation for our main character because he's been in the background for so long that a lot of people don't know a lot about him and everything they tried to throw at us here just felt a bit overwhelming, which I hope doesn't turn people away immediately.  Again, I have some problems with this book, but I'm really hoping that it all comes together with the next two issues because I want to love a Duke Thomas book.

Bits and Pieces:

This first issue doesn't really do itself a whole lot of favors because it throws us into a big development in Gotham, while trying its damnedest to make sure that everyone knows everything about Duke Thomas, not to mention set up new and old characters and because of this, the book feels bloated as hell and a little rough to read.  The art was decent here, but I hope that the next issue comes off a little less jam packed so that the story can be conveyed easier.  



  1. I dont really like duke thomas he has the lighting from final fantasy 13 effect the company pushing so hard for this to be our next new favorite character but not seeing it here i mean he trained longer with bruce then most we never see that in any meaningful way

    1. Ha ha, pretty much we got him kicking a tree with Batman in Batman Rebirth #1...... okay now, go out and fight crime.

    2. And btw here's your own base cus ya know im Bruce wayne its a hobbie lol

  2. Overall can't disagree with your summary and opinions here, Eric. I can't help but feel that the need to compress all the action was a distraction for this issue. We end with Duke echoing this concern when he says the Signal only lasted 6 hours. And I couldn't quite buy into what is going on with the detective. Do we know her from Metal? I haven't caught up on all that yet, so I gave a little leeway on this first issue. I gave a 7/10.

    1. As far as I know, this is a new character to this series.