07 October 2015

Faster than a DC Bullet: Project Gotham, Part X: Batman: Rules of Engagement

Comic trade paperback, n.pag.
Published 2007 (contents: 2007)

Borrowed from the library
Read December 2014
Batman: Rules of Engagement

Writer: Andy Diggle
Penciller: Whilce Portacio
Inker: Richard Friend
Colorist: David Baron
Letterers: Travis Lanham, Rob Leigh

Year Two, April
It seems natural that Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor should come into conflict: each is an international businessman who works in technical industries, each of them with a secret agenda, only one does so for good... and the other for evil. Andy Diggle, Whilce Portacio, and Richard Friend pit the two against each other in this tale of their first meeting, but it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I don't think the book adequately digs into the philosophical distinctions between the two men that ought to exist despite their seeming similarities. Each man wants to save the world, each man has raised himself to be a form of human perfection, and yet despite Bruce Wayne's wallowing in the darkness and Lex Luthor's seeming magnanimousness, Bruce is fundamentally optimistic, and Lex fundamentally cynical. I don't see that really depicted here, and it seems like Batman's early days ought to be especially fertile ground for this, as Bruce Wayne builds himself into the man he wants to be. There is some of it-- the end of the story sees Bruce (re?)establish the Wayne Foundation-- but most of the book is somewhat generic superheroics, let down by Whilce Portacio's confusing, jumpy storytelling.

Next Week: Batman teams up with Superman and Wonder Woman for the first time in Trinity! Only it's impossible to place in continuity, so it doesn't count! Seriously, Robin's in it and that makes no sense!

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