Chris (The Genre Fiend)'s Reviews > Batman: Dark Detective

Batman by Steve Englehart
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Nearly gave it 2 stars, but the art saved it. Honestly, the premise - Joker running for governor - is misleading; he's barely involved in the gubernatorial plot, and it's more about Batman prompting Silver St. Cloud to cheat on her fiance (repeatedly).

I'd heard Dark Detective was a great throwback to the incomparable 70s era of Englehart and Rogers, and while it's certainly in that vein - the exposition reaches Chris Claremont levels of over-explanation - it doesn't quite hit the mark. Flimsy plotting, shaky dialogue that occasionally slides into absurdity, and an ending which - spoilers - is the next best thing to a cliffhanger. I know Englehart had a third book planned that never saw the light of day, but come on. You could at least provide *some* closure here.

Rogers is masterful with the art; as I said, the art's the reason this is getting 3 instead of 2 stars, even though Rogers likes to put Silver in next to no clothing wherever possible. Englehart mentioned on his website that he got ideas for Joker's governor election plot from the real Presidential election occurring when he wrote it in 2004. Given the lack of anything meaningful done with said plot, though, this feels like lip service on Englehart's part. What started as an interesting and potentially incisive excoriation of American politics, and a dark and twisted satire of post-9/11 Republican political tactics, ended up being nothing but a limp, two-dimensional love triangle.

On a personal note, I have a big issue with Bruce Wayne being so quick to propagate infidelity with Silver. I don't think Batman would find that attitude acceptable; Bruce in The Dark Knight might've made out with Rachel while she was with Harvey, but he didn't rope her into bed at every opportunity. He may be morally and ethically questionable, but Batman's not that much of an dick.
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Reading Progress

January 14, 2016 – Shelved
January 14, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
January 19, 2016 – Started Reading
January 19, 2016 – Finished Reading

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