Joseph's Reviews > Batman: Cataclysm

Batman by Chuck Dixon
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's review
Aug 03, 08

bookshelves: graphic-novel, fiction
Read in August, 2008 — I own a copy

One of my biggest problems with superhero comics is that they're not self-contained. The major comic company's insistence that all their comics exist within one "comic universe" means that at any given time, multiple artists are working on multiple projects meant to exist both independently and as a cohesive whole. Someday, somebody's going to pull this off, and it's going to be very impressive.

Batman: Cataclysm is not that project. Spanning multiple comic series, the book describes the aftermath of Gotham City being hit by a major earthquake. Each time we jump from title to title, however, from Batman to Nightwing to Detective Comics to Huntress to Catwoman, the story has to be reintroduced and explained. And the stories themselves have little in the way of originality. People are trapped, no one knows what's going on, and a bunch of no-name characters need to be rescued. Aside from that, the Quakemaster storyline, wherein someone tries to take credit for causing the earthquake as part of a scheme to blackmail the city, is not terribly interesting. I did, however, enjoy the bits with the Penguin, who gets threatened by Batman into using his henchmen to help rather than to loot, but determines who to help and who not to help based on how useful they might someday be.

As a one or two-issue story, this could have been good, but there's no need to explore it over and over again through the kaleidoscope of the DC comic universe.
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