The legacy of Batman is up for grabs. Who will take on the mantle of the Prince of darkness, the caped crusader? Perhaps Dick Grayson can fill the shoes of those who have come and fallen before him. Both Bruce and his father, Thomas Wayne sacrificed everything, including their lives to protect the people from evil and criminals looking to cause nothing but trouble and death. Is it even possible to fulfill the same destiny, and even shoes that Bruce and Thomas have left in their passing? Legacy as this issue is called, honestly, says a lot in terms of story progression throughout the issue. Interestingly, Grayson isn’t looking to outshine Bruce or Thomas, but rather do them proud by upholding the same standards and oaths that they took. Thomas Wayne, took on the Batman mantle when Bruce was killed saving the world. He wore the cape with similar ideals to that of his late son but with more ruthlessness. Grayson has also made his own take on what the Batman is like, making exciting changes to the armor that Batman wears. Grayson’s take on the Bat suit is quite different from anything you’d see Bruce wear. A red bat logo right on the front of the suit, possibly signifying the blood spilled by Bruce and Thomas as they took their last breaths defending the people as Batman. It seems as though Grayson is on a suicide mission of sorts as he doesn’t have anyone in his life. It turns out his son is alive and was being controlled by the Humanite, an intelligent ape creature capable of telepathic abilities. Now with his son back in his life (who managed to acquire powers), Grayson is even more conflicted on whether the Batman is the right path for him.
The idea of continuing a legacy is an excellent way to start a story. Not only can most people in some way relate to maintaining a legacy, but in this case we are talking about one of the greatest legacies of all time, The Batman. Would everyone maintain the same ideals as the original Batman or create a new image of the all inspiring hero. Would someone use the Batman for a means to themselves or be a selfless hero. Abnett gives us a conflicted Grayson, on one hand, he wants to be the Batman as Bruce would want him to be, on the contrary, he feels that in order to be a great hero he would have to sacrifice his life. Inner conflicts are always interesting in stories especially when they create a situation that can send a character down a path that is catastrophic, it leaves an unknown for the reader, not knowing whether the writer will send our hero down a path that is not what we expect.
Art is always important to a solid comic; this is no exception. Batman is always depicted as a dark character, Grayson’s Batman is the same, granted the red logo definitely stands out a bit more than an all-black suit. Redondo, Neves, Albarran, Jose, work on delivering a dark, gritty issue. Character detail such as expressions and emotions are displayed very well. Getting the sense of self-conflict that Grayson feels is easily picked up within the panels. The style of art is similar to most DC comics, no surprise there.
All in all, this is a great first issue. Sets a good storyline for future issues to follow. If you are not a fan of the idea of having someone other than Bruce Wayne in the Bat suit, then I’d stay away from this series. If you can see past that then there is no reason you cannot enjoy this alternate storyline where Dick Grayson is taking on the responsibilities of the Batman. Last note, $4.99 seems a bit steep for this series. Maybe a price tag of $2.99 would attract more customers, but $4.99 would keep me from picking the issue up.
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Earth 2 Society Annual #1 Writer: Dan Abnett Artist: Bruno Redondo, Diogenes Neves, Juan Albarran, Ruy Jose Publisher: DC Comics Price: $4.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital