Comic Vine Review


Damian: Son of Batman #3 - Book Three: If Animals Could Talk Review


Damian lives to fight another day, but not without suffering his greatest loss yet.

The Good

Andy Kubert was the first artist to work with Grant Morrison on the Dark Knight’s strangest tale since his Silver Age antics, and one of the most bizarre was the one-shot Batman #666 in which Damian had taken the mantle of the Bat after his father was killed in action. It makes sense, then, that he would be the artist who revisits the idea (and controversial uniform) in a limited series. The art is the absolute standout of this book, Kubert has always been a master of sharp, ultra-detailed characters and crisp, hard-hitting linework and that absolutely shines through here. The colors by Brad Anderson add to the grim, messy visual style of a Gotham even more vicious than the one that predated Damian’s reign of terror.

The storyline overall is a solid one with Damian getting a much more solid, differentiated characterization (until now, the only way he truly differed from either Dick Grayson or Bruce Wayne were in his methods. Which is a key difference, I’ll grant, but not a particularly character-driven one) and peering under the curtain at how horrifically conflicted he’s been this whole time. We also get a great example of his slipping sanity in a new character that adds some much needed levity to a very dour, grim story.

The Bad

While the characterization and overall stories are good, the panel-to-panel dialog is still clunky and needlessly expository. A flaw I’ve noticed with lots of artists who also write is a tendency to over-explain what’s happening in dialog when the visuals are doing a perfectly great job at communicating plenty of what’s going on to the reader. I’m not sure if it’s because of inexperience or because they tend to take words and make them visual, so the process also runs somewhat in reverse, but it makes the book’s pace off and languid, even when it should be fast and kinetic.

It’s also a much more grounded, “realistic” story, eschewing the surreal and supernatural aspects of Morrison’s 666 universe in favor of more straightforward, standard villains. No doubt not everyone will see this as a detractor, but I especially loved the bizarre religion that had sprung up as Gotham burned to the ground.

The Verdict

This is still a title well worth looking into, one that tells an interesting story and leaves off on a potentially amazing reveal. The art is truly the reason for the season, however, and Kubert’s art is absolutely worth looking into and really takes off in this issue. I feel like this was the issue that made me truly believe this concept was a good one and if the next issue remains high quality, this will go down as a great, self-contained tale.

8 Comments Refresh
Posted by BR_Havoc

I'm happy to hear this title is getting better, I have been waiting to collect the four parts and read them in one sitting.

I always feel if a writer is over explaining things or has too much fat in his dialog an editor should warn them or help cut some of it out but it does not seem to happen over at DC lately.

Posted by fil123

i didnt expect great writing in this book because kuberts inexperience but the book hasnt been bad at all imo.

art is flawless as expected

Posted by Sleepbutnodream15

I love Andy Kubert's art and I loved the 666 stories, but this book is kinda bad. I don't feel like Kubert is getting the voices of the characters correctly, and there's a lot of strange dialogue just in general.

Posted by kilomac29

This story is so weird, but damn the art is so beautiful. Last issue it was the thing with the nurse that confused me, this issue, it was the cat. I figured it out (thanks in part to the massive over-explanation by Damian.) I'll definitely pick up the final issue just to figure out what the deal is, and for the amazing art.

Posted by KingAres109

Can't wait to get this...I'm kinda far from a comic store but I'm going to def pick this up..

Posted by z1co80

The dialogue in this book can be pretty bad and there is a few instances in this issue where Damain is referring to an issue in the present but by the way the dialogue is written makes it seem like he is speaking in past tense.

Posted by bennyq

@z1co80: I noticed that too. Kind of off putting

Edited by JLArturo

This book makes me like Damien and somewhat hope for an Earth-26 (ambiguous number) book featuring Damien as Batman.