A medallion brings back the Boy Wonder
This little story, involving an extensive flashback scene, is called "The Medallion". It's written by the Batman veteran Denny O'Neil and drawn by Dustin Nguyen amd Derek Fridolfs.
Well, Denny O'Neil is my favourite Batman writer, so it is a bit hard for me to not almost instantly consider everything he does a masterpiece.
But even so, the writing is good.
A classic Bruce Batman writer, he easily switches to Dick Batman. Actually there's not much to be said about the writing, it's just solid.
It deals with how twisted is the legislation system in Gotham and how one must learn to accept one's fate. Also showing how Dick is still trying to fill Bruce's shoes and live up to his legacy.
It's well played as in it doesn't require understanding of current events in the Batman universe to get which Batman is which (although it might make you wonder why the hell is Dick suddenly Batman), so the story is easy to follow.
The downside of the story is that it doesn't lead anywhere, it's mostly just stating the fact and leaving it at that.
The art was the stand out part of this issue, which isn't surprising, given the concept.
Let's start with the flashback scenes. They were great. Of course, many artists could do that silver-age and many have done that before but here I think it just brilliantly conveys that Dick remembers starting out in much simpler times.
It was funny seeing a man with a stick through his head, lying in his own blood, drawn in this cartoonish 50's style.
Another thing I liked was those little details added to the flashback scenes to make the pages seem worn out. The colorer must have loved doing them because of the all solid colors with no shadowing.
I've read a fair share of them ol' Batman books so in comparison the main difference is that these dialogues weren't as silly and excessive. I realised I would read a lot more of the old ones if the dialogues weren't as campy.
Now, back to the present day. The art in the other part of the issue was quite good. I loved how the coloring was done, giving the art this almost cut-out like look and having full, lush colors even though it's really dark.
What I liked visually but kinda inside felt as wrong, was that damn cape of Batman's, it seems to have a mind of it's own all flowing around, not concerning itself with silly things like physics. Seriously it was like Batman had borrowed Spawns cape. Another little funny play with physics was in a shot where Batman uppercuts a thug and his earring rips out and flies away. Was that necessary?
The cover was nothing really special. It depicts Dick Batman, having Bruce Batman and Dick Robin, I don't know, projected on the on the inside of his cape. Well, whatever, it symbolizes how he will remember his old days.
I liked this issue, it was fun, but it did lack a punch, it doesn't seem that it might have some importance in any later story arcs. Maybe it is a little bit of a character development for Dick.
If anyone could tell me who was that St. Dumas shirtless guy, it would be much appreciated.