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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Batman: Bloodstorm


Title:
Batman: Bloodstorm





ISBN:
9781563891854


Price:
$14.95


Publisher/Year:
DC,
1994


Artist: Kelly Jones


Writer:
Doug Moench





Rating:
2/5





The
second in the Elseworlds vampiric Batman series, this stunning tale is the
ultimate test of the Batman's vow never to take a life. What happens when he
can no longer control his appetite for blood?





The
ending might leave some readers shocked but it's well worth it, and appropriate
for the story. Those who might take issue with the final pages might do well to
remember that in a sense, Batman has changed fundamentally from what he once
was and is some other sort of being altogether. In short, don't look a gift
horse in the mouth. If you can get past the not-so-shocking but still juicy
ending, you'll realize that Doug Moench has served up a wonderfully written
dark fantasy that takes the Batman mythos right to the edge and over it without
once appearing ungraceful or faltering even a little bit. As Elseworlds stories
go, it's damn near perfect in the way it is completely unafraid to dance up
close and personal with some rather disturbing images and yet never loses the
feel of being a completely accurate Batman story.





The
Batman's mystique is so pervasive and ubiquitous that it lends itself to a
number of gothic, iconic images, none more so than that of the ultimate
creature of the night, the vampire. The thought of combining the two images in
the heart and soul of a man who is himself one of the greatest of hunters is a
thought almost too delicious too contemplate. The treatment alone, no matter
how awful, would have been worth a look. Moench wrote a story that struggled
under the weight of the idea in the first volume, Red Rain, but has found its
stride from the first page to the last in Bloodstorm. Moench has the bit in his
teeth with this story and doesn't intend to let the reader off easy.





The
atmosphere is very Blade-like as Batman becomes both a truer version of what he
is, a creature of the night, and a more tortured human being because of his
conscience. The inner struggle quickly becomes an outer one as Batman has to
grapple with whether or not he is inflicting evil upon his city simply by
existing.





This
existential quandary is the heart of the action: the Joker has taken over the
legions of the undead and is forming an army to, naturally, wipe out the
Batman, as if to prove the theory that Batman creates chaos by being who he is,
as opposed to stopping it, which is the vow his life is founded on. At some
point the hard question has to be asked, and the answer won't be easy for a
fighter like him.





Another
familiar face, Catwoman, plays an important role as a beautiful were-cat who
aids the Batman. Her role is unhappily cut short. This comic has the feel of a
monthly title to it. She truly fills out the role of helper in the manner she
might originally have if Batman, when they first met, had ever allowed her to
fight by his side. There are no Robins in the universe, so the role of teammate
falls to the woman who almost had the job in the first place, and it fits her
like a furry purple glove.





Kelly
Jones, of Sandman fame, turns in beautiful gothic art that commands the eye at
every page. John Beatty adds stark touches with a heavy hand on the lines,
creating brooding, splendid images that carry the mood of the story perfectly.
It's a must have for all Batman fans.

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