Sam Quixote's Reviews > Batman: Dark Victory

Batman by Jeph Loeb
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Aug 12, 11


I've read Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Batman books in the order they've written them with Haunted Knight coming first followed by The Long Hallowe'en and finally coming to Dark Victory. I suppose Loeb ought to be congratulated for bringing the Batman stories back to their original format, that is detective/crime stories, where he brings the mob and Batman side by side as natural enemies.

Here's the story: a killer is killing people by hanging them on holidays (Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc) and leaving notes on their bodies with the hangman game on. Early on Arkham is attacked and the Batman's best loved villains escape (Joker, Two Face, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Riddler) and as the bodies pile up the pressure is on for Batman to stop this killer but he'll need help. Enter Robin.

This ain't exactly gripping stuff. If you're like me and have read a fair number of Batman you'll already know this storyline reeks of The Long Hallowe'en. The storyline is practically identical with the holiday killer (this time not the weird Falcone guy but he's in this story too) being renamed the hangman killer and the villains all escaping and Batman encountering them laboriously one by one. Also do we need to hear the same old Robin origin story?

This book is nearly 400 pages! 400 pages of rehashed material with nothing new at all. It's a chore to slog through even if you're new to Batman. Loeb can't seem to get out of 2nd gear while I'm beginning to see Sale as one of the worst Batman artists out there. Joker looks ridiculous, his smile isn't disturbing or grotesque it's stupid. It covers his entire face so that it's just a giant toothy smile with a tiny face above it. Bruce Wayne appears to be 7 feet tall. And what's with the tedious mafia characters? They're all boring stereotypes, eating spaghetti in restaurants thats a cover for smuggling operations! Come on. The press all have pieces of card with "PRESS" written on them and slotted into their hats.

This is really a miss. If you've read The Long Hallowe'en then you can count reading this too as it's completely the same. Only difference is Robin and if you know anything about Batman you'll know what happens there. Give this a miss, it's a dull, dull story and for a character as interesting as Batman that's criminal.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike It's sad to see a guy coasting on his reputation so horribly now. I used to think of him highly, but every time I pick up another Loeb volume I realize I must've been crazy to form that original opinion - and then I just feel bad for my younger self.


message 2: by Sam (new) - rated it 1 star

Sam Quixote I've never been of the opinion that Loeb was a great writer. "Long Hallowe'en" was ok but I haven't really read anything that impressed me too much. What book of his would you recommend as his best work?


message 3: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike Y'know, I've looked through my Read books and I couldn't find anything I rated highly of his. I think my own brain got infected by the mass hallucination that Loeb has ever contributed something worth reading.


message 4: by Sam (new) - rated it 1 star

Sam Quixote I think Loeb is thought of well because of association - he writes a lot of mediocre Batman/Superman stuff and so your brain thinks "Batman = awesome" and see Loeb's name attached and somehow the two get crossed.


message 5: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike I hereby declare this The Unified Field Theory of Jeph Loeb's Inflated Reputation.


message 6: by Sam (new) - rated it 1 star

Sam Quixote right on!


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