The Psychotic Perspective: Legends of the Dark Knight #22
I know I say this every week, but Legends of the Dark Knight is my favorite Batman series just because it is always fresh. The last story arc was the three part "Haunted Arkham" which was superb until the last panel defied comprehension. Does this week's one shot deliver a great story from start to finish, or was this story doomed before the first panel was ever drawn?
In this week's issue, people are disappearing all over Gotham only to be replaced by wooden replicas.
What the Heck?
Upon seeing the cover, these were the first words out my mouth. The artist here, Tradd Moore, draws Batman with a wickedly long forehead, a scrunched up face, and Stretch Armstrong limbs elongated and contorted in an inhuman manner. Honestly, it is cringe worthy.
Though I am regularly harsh to writers and artists that perform badly, I do not relish talking bad about them for I am sure they work hard on their craft. Nonetheless, I am very confused as to why Moore uses this artistic approach. It is not as if Moore is struggling for the right look; he clearly draws this way on purpose for every character has legs that take up two-thirds of their height and a head that is two-thirds forehead. I guess this might be appealing to some people, but it does not work for me.
Carving Away the Mystery
In a world where many heroes and villains have the power of transmutation, I have a hard time believing that Batman never considered that the people he sought had been turned into wood. After all, how many people have the ability to abduct people at random, make exact wooden replicas of them, and place the wooden copies at the scene of the crime. Perhaps he did research which eliminated this possibility but if so, that should have been made clear to the readers.
Sadly, the real explanation for the crimes made less sense than transmutation. The villain experienced loss and decided to make others feel his pain. Big deal. That is about as trite a motivation as could ever be. Making wooden replicas of them was never really justified.
Part of me wants to belabor this review and explain exactly why the plot of this issue was so stupid, but I am sure you can see for yourself, and I have already spent more time on this than it is worth. Sadly, this is the first Legends of the Dark Knight that I must advise you not to buy.