silkcuts's Batman/Houdini: The Devil's Workshop #1 - GN review

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Unlocking truths of magic

What is nice about this story is that it is an Elseworlds, which means it is non-canon but uses known DC characters.  In this case it is the Batman mythos.  Batman and Joker are main players, there is also a character likely Ra's Al Ghul (The Demon head).  Writers Howard Chaykin and John Francis Moore weave a tale of suspense and Supernatural.  The explore the world of magic, could it be simple tricks like Houdini was famous for or is there some magic in the world that Batman walks? There are some strange cameos to suggest either way.  There is a "Mr. Queen" which would mean Mr. Oliver Queem the Green Arrow.  The Green Arrow is famous for his trick shots.  In the same page there is a "Mr. Constantine", who would of course be the most active true Magick user in the DCU at the time: John Constantine.  There is that balance in writing that could be up to the reader to decide how real magic is.
The art I have to admit is one of the strongest things in this book.  Mark Chiarello's water coloring is flawless even when there is continuity issues.  The tone and the shadow work give a life to this book that only water colors can.  I always liked watercolors because like how us people are mostly water, watercolors are mostly water.  There is a connection to it and that connection is magnified by the life given to the characters on the page.  There is almost a living quality to well done watercolor and I felt that this comic had that life.  There were a few scenes where continuity seemed a little off, like when Houdini tried to sneak up on Batman, Batman pushes him from behind, the next plan Houdini is not facing forward looking like he is going to fall.
This is a good elseworlds story, but not a must.  
- Silkcuts

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