Batman Damned: Book One Review
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist/Cover: Lee Bermejo
Batman Damned is the first comic released under the DC Black Label. The gist of the line is that its R Rated and aimed squarely at an adult audience. The idea is a brilliant in concept and I'm excited to see it executed well but this issue simply doesn't deliver. It's not that the comic is bad by any stretch but, there isn't really anything here that makes it stand out next to any other Batman story.
Batman wakes up in an ambulance seriously injured and bleeding out. He escapes to an alley and prior to passing out see's John Constantine. He wakes up in a room with John miraculously healed. While conversing they receive the news that Joker is dead presumably at the same location that Batman received his earlier injuries. Did Batman actually kill the Joker?
The big controversy around this comic is that Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo sent the DC audience an Unsolicited pic of Bruce Wayne's Dick. I don't have any issue with nudity but I feel that the only reason that the panel was there in the first place was to justify the "Black Label" moniker. If the rest of the book was as edgy, had more violence and colorful language I could understand but outside of the Bat-Dick the book is pretty tame.
What does Justify the 6.99 price tag is the books art and presentation. I had no idea that the comic would be oversized. It was a pleasant surprise. The book was huge in comparison to a standard comic and is beautifully complemented by Lee Bermejo's art. The art depicts the gothic aura of the best Batman stories and Batman himself is presented in a vibe not dissimilar to Tim Burton's 89 incarnation of the character, which is also my favorite.
The Bottom line is that if you prefer art over story this comic is a must buy. It really is that good. The story to this point is not really all that great but Brian is a great storyteller. I'm sure that he will pull the threads laid here and tie things together. It's an average Batman book with Amazing Art
As it stands its currently going for $60 dollars on Ebay so good luck finding it. DC has already confirmed that there will be no reprints and the digital edition of the comic no longer contains the Bat D.