Top positive review
A tale of vigilantism, fathers and sons
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2021
I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel, and honestly can't believe I'd never heard of it before. While skimming through available titles on Kindle Unlimited, I came across this 30th anniversary edition that collects the original issues with a sequel that came many years later. It's interesting to note how the book uses two different major artists, as Alan Davis started it, Todd McFarlane picked it up when Davis left, and coming "Full Circle" in more ways than one, Davis ends up returning to finish the story off.
The main villain in this one is one I'd somehow never heard of, The Reaper, who is the darkest version of Batman possible, hunting down criminals and brutally slaying them without mercy. I wonder if this character was the inspiration for The Phantasm in the animated Batman feature that is my all time favorite Batman story.
I also thought the religious aspect of the story, while brief, was unexpected and welcome. I don't see that in any graphic novels, and it's more a layer to a character than anything else.
I also found the entire Joe Chill storyline fascinating. True Batman fans will know that Chill is the character that murdered Bruce Wayne's parents, and not only does he return in this story, he plays a pretty important part, forcing Batman to summon strength and restraint like he's never had to before.
The art is back and forth in this one, despite both artists being top craftsmen. Many panels are excellently, if simply, drawn, while a few others look like they could have been drawn by children. It's not enough to interrupt to the story or anything to that effect, but I definitely noticed it.
Overall, this is definitely one of the better Batman stories I've read, and I'm glad I finally found it.