The Comic Queen

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Monday, June 14, 2004

Batman: Death and the Maidens Review

Death and the Maidens Series Review
DC Comics
Nine issue-limited series (issue 9 came out last week)
$2.95 each
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Klaus Janson
Colorist: Steve Buccellato

I’ll admit it, I’m a big Batman fan. I picked up this series because Batman + Greg Rucka = Good Comic. But, this nine-issue series just didn’t completely float my boat. The story revolves around Ra’s al Ghul, one of Batman’s old foes, and his daughters Nyssa and Talia.

Batman has some history with Talia (i.e., fell in love, etc.) but Nyssa is, I believe, new to the continuity. (Please correct me if I’m wrong here.) Since it would take me a while to get into the general plot and, since the story is better told by Rucka (surprise!), I won’t go into it here. Suffice it to say that the story involves themes such as Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, and Man vs Himself (internal conflict) – whew!

The nice points are Rucka’s storytelling (although I’m not sure this is his best effort), the flashbacks throughout history telling Nyssa and Ra’s part of the story, and Batman’s internal struggling in his part of the tale.

The weak points are the art (in my opinion too uneven – one panel will be great, conveying deep emotion or action – the next disproportionate and amateurish), the need for history going into the book (someone unfamiliar with Ra’s will be a bit lost), and the serialized nature of individual comics (I think this one needed to be a graphic novel – I waited until the series was over to read them all at once and with good cause).

I would say that if you are a big Batman and Ra’s al Ghul fan, buy the individual comics. If you are just a big Batman fan, buy the trade coming out in August. If you are a casual Batman reader, save your money for the graphic novel Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia (featuring Batman). But that’s a review for a different time.

Bottom line: B-


  • At 10:43 PM, June 15, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Biggest understatement of the blog so far: Erin says "I admit I'm a big Batman fan." That is like me saying "oh yeah, I kind of like Spider-man." You love Batman. Erin hearts Batman in a big big way.


  • At 8:23 AM, June 16, 2004, Blogger Erin M. Schadt said…

    Yes, it is true: I heart Batman.


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