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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Cacophony (Hardback)


Author: Kevin Smith
Artists: Walt Flanagan and Sandra Hope
Titan Books
RRP: £18.99, US $19.99, Cdn $24.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 424 4
Available 02 October 2009

Gotham City is a war zone - but it's not the one-man battle the Batman envisioned when he started his crusade against crime. An entire rogues gallery of disturbed, disfigured masterminds and mass murderers has developed around the Dark Knight. And when they come into conflict, the crossfire is deafening. No one embodies this onslaught better than the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime is on a rampage, determined to unseat a pretender to his bloody throne - and Batman is just as determined to put him down. But a mysterious new player has entered the game, a masked killer intent on using this chaos and confusion to his advantage. The only sound he makes is the noise of his lethal attacks. And in the cacophony of Gotham City, Batman may not hear him coming until it's too late...

Batman: Cacophony is director Kevin Smith's latest graphic novel release. On the first read through I was unsure how I felt about it. While the story is engaging, the art fantastic and the little touches (like Batman telling the Joker that he's just too predictable) worth exploring, there was something that didn't feel quite right. Some of the speech didn't quite flow smoothly (for example, the scene where Bruce and Alfred talk about obtaining the Connor Hawke bullets). It was therefore a surprise to discover that this was the second attempt at the story, as Smith realised a little too late that his original dialogue was a little too wordy and unnatural. Those who wish to see what the original was like can read the script which is included at the back of the collection.

I enjoyed this much more though the second time around. The highlights for me are the Joker and Batman's private chat in the final chapter; the way Deadshot cheats death (even if Batman using it later was a little predictable)

While not up to the same standard of writing as Smith's earlier Quiver story for Green Arrow, Cacophony is certainly worth picking up.

Again I find myself bemoaning Titan Books for charging way over the odds for this collection: £18.99 when our American cousins pay $19.99 (or £11.99 as it would be if the current exchange rate of 1.68 was applied). Thankfully most online stores are released this at around the £11 mark.


Darren Rea

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