Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Batman Battle for the Cowl #3 (of 3) – A Review

Batman Battle for The Cowl #3 (of 3)

Publisher DC Comics

Written and Pencils: Tony Daniel

Inks Sandu Florea

Colors Ian Hannin & JD Smith

Okay we wait months and months for this book and at the end of the wait do we get the grand reveal that in fact Dick Grayson is the new Batman – NO we do not, the end leaves with an open question as to who is taking over the mantle of the Bat. What a crock of unmitigated sh*t. Yeah, I know you can read this book and say there is no question that it is Dick Grayson and I can point out spots in the FCBD Blackest Night that solidify Tim as Red Robin, but they never actually show Dick putting on the costume. This type of ending instead gives DC room to switch it up as to who is Batman if they want to before they actually make the reveal. So why I threaten to cancel the Bat-verse I have to hold off, but no matter what happens now a series that I dreaded, then started to like has become a bitter disappointment.

I’m tired of someone advertising something and never giving me what I paid for. In Oracle the cure it was hinted that something big would occur with Babs, nothing, it said see Batgirl #1 in August. No real ending.

Battle for the Cowl a similar thing. This series was all about who is taking over as Batman, three issues for $4 each and I was anticipating a comic again, instead I get this tease ending. It certainly kills any idea that I may have had that if it ended well it would buy the collection. Why do I want a book that does not have an ending?

I have been reading comics longer then 95% of the people who read comics anymore so I’m used to teases, false hype and just plain flat out lies about what will be in a book, but at the end of the day certain books have to deliver otherwise the bond between fan and the company becomes broken and once that happens you threaten to alienate more of your fan base and let’s face it the base is not that big anymore.

This book needed to not leave it with a question, it needed to leave no doubt who is Batman, but they decided to play it coy, it sucked.

If it is Dick Grayson than DC will say, why of course it is Dick Grayson we never meant it to be anyone else. The reader just made a mistake and took the ending the wrong way. To which I will say BULLSH*T. I did not take it the wrong way you where playing it too f**king cute. If it is not Dick Grayson, then the series has been a total miss as there is no rationale for anyone else to even pick up the mantle of the Bat based on what the book has presented. Since that is the case and if it is Dick Grayson why not actually show us that ending. Of course if it isn’t, DC can say, we never said Dick was Batman, which makes my pull list for June a lot smaller and saves me a lot of bucks. If it is Dick we should have seen him talking to Tim and saying I guess I have to pick up the mantle and Tim stating he believes Bruce is alive and will have to go searching for him, so Dick will need a new Robin. Dick states he thinks Tim is wrong, but prays he is right. We see Dick almost in tears as he stares at the costume and slowly walks away and then comes back as Batman. Instead we get Dick beating Jason and then a break and someone talking about becoming Batman and a Batman walks into the cave.

Bravo DC, Bravo. You made a series that I was anxious to get and even after I was not a fan of issue #1, you sold me on this concept that I thought was a little too contrived and lame and sucked me back in. Then after courting me and taking me to dinner and getting me drunk and building up a little trust, you raped me once again.

I don’t blame Tony Daniel, I have to think the ending was mandated by DC and it is a crying shame as Tony had done a nice job with this book. Art and story were strong, character voices were done well and overall I was coming around to liking the series, but the ending was a total piece of crap and an insult to the fans.

Overall Grade D – This book failed. I’ll be back to make sure it is Dick and if it is I will hang out in the Bat-verse, but if not I’m gone from the Batverse for a while. If it is Dick, my staying is more tenuous and the sale for the hard cover / trade of this book was lost.


  1. It's Dick, he is the narrator at the end of the story. I took the final page as a way to hide what his costume looks like, even though it's been advertised clearly with Grant Morrison's return.

  2. James - I agree, it is Dick, but they presented it like it could be someone else. If you read the last two pages they never actually say it is Dick and the narrator never says who he is.

    This is DC's way of being cute and I call it a cheat and it runied the ending and the story for me.

    DC is trying to play something coy instead of being honest. What is the point of the Battle for the Cowl if at the end we cannot know who is Batman - which was the
    point of the series.

    It is fine to make us wonder who is Black Mask (Hush), but Batman - no.

  3. Two things:
    1) It is Dick, at least in this book. But remember, we have two books coming out that could have two different Batmans.
    2)I have a possible theory for who Black Mask is; Bruce Wayne. Yes, he was killed in FINAL CRISIS, but the ending was open in LAST RITES. It's possble he did this to motivate Dick into taking up the mantle.

    Not sure, just sayin'

  4. Ron -

    1) It should and everything is now saying it is Dick, but the ending was not an absolute and with comics you can't trust them.

    2) No way is Bruce Black Mask - Hush yes, not Bruce.