Monday, May 26, 2014

[Best of Batman] Gothic by Grant Morrison

It’s quite an exciting journey where fantasy and horror are blended together with the basic Batman formula of murder mystery to create a unique story that encompasses the surreal in a comprehensible scale. I really like the panel layout and coloring of this comic book. The cinematic quality of the art truly transforms the reading experience into a visual adventure. This story also earns extra points by showing us a fragment of Bruce Wayne’s childhood which was his schooling days. The use of poetry as sinister premonitions was also fascinating; not failing to mention the mystical aspect of the plot which makes it a rich and terrifying gothic tale where Batman faces a man who wishes to cheat the devil and discovers evil in its purest and most ancient form. There are great layers to this comic that are quasi-religious in a way but it can simply be enjoyed as a gripping murder mystery that has supernatural elements.

Though the gothic quality is outlandish, it somehow fit a Batman comic book nevertheless, enabling readers to see Batman confront forces beyond his control and actually see a side to him that’s not all vengeful caped crusader. I also liked the way the mobsters tried to contact Batman by shining an inverted bat signal in the sky. It can be likened to the symbol of an inverted cross. It could be taken as tongue-in-cheek but I personally thought it was a necessary symbol that helped established the mood. Gothic is supposed to reflect a supernatural take on evil, something that Batman rarely comes to terms with. The root of this evil is as dark as it comes for Gothic, and it provided a folklore as a backstory for the menacing Mr. Whisper. This was fun and engaging all throughout the five parts it was divided into. It has many climactic scenes and the pacing was executed with just the right amount of dread and intrigue.


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