cover image Batman: Life After Death

Batman: Life After Death

Tony S. Daniel, DC Comics, $19.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-4012-2834-7

A man takes cautious first steps into the heroic role once held by his mentor in a story that hits all the expected notes of the superhero genre but doesn't do anything to impress. Daniel, known mainly for his skills as an artist, also takes on the writer's role for this story of Dick Grayson stepping into Batman's boots following the disappearance and presumed death of Bruce Wayne. Grayson must prove himself as skillful a detective as his predecessor while instigating a resurgence of a Black Mask-led criminal gang that's using mind-altering technology to recruit innocent civilians to commit violent crimes. In dealing with Bruce Wayne's former allies and enemies, Dick begins to prove that he is capable of being Batman but will do so in his own style. Daniel's writing is not nearly as strong as his artistic ability, and he often stumbles over a disjointed collection of subplots that pop in and out of the main story. While this is a noteworthy step in the history of a beloved fictional character's cast, it's not an otherwise memorable tale. (Oct.)