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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

The Battle for the Cowl (Hardback)


Authors: Tony S. Daniel and Fabian Nicieza
Artists: Tony S. Daniel, Dustin Nguyen, Guillem March and Chris Cross
Titan Books
RRP: £14.99, US $19.99, Cdn $24.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 422 0
Available 18 December 2009

Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Jason Todd, Damian Wayne, Batgirl, Catwoman, Two-Face... who will be the Batman? With it's protector gone, Gotham City is aflame. Arkham Asylum is a smoldering ruin, and dozens of Batman's most lethal adversaries are running riot in the streets. Worse yet, a psychopath has declared himself to be the inheritor of Bruce Wayne's mantle. Ruthless, capable and deadly, this dark Batman has challenged Nightwing, Robin and the rest of the city's heroes for the right to wear the cowl. The players are set. The stakes are clear. Gotham must have a Batman. But there can be only one...

Batman: R.I.P. and Final Crisis saw the end of Batman. Now, months following the disappearance of her protector, Gotham City sits at a precipice and it may be too far gone for Nightwing, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and the rest of the city's heroes to save the day. Amid the fires, rioting, looting and gang warfare, one question rings out from the souls of Gotham's desperate citizens: where is Batman?

Battle for the Cowl collects together issues #1 to 3 of Batman: Battle for the Cowl; #1 of Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead?; and #1 of Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive?

Gotham City is plagued with crime and corruption in places high and low, but one man has taken a stand against evil of all forms: the dark avenger known as Batman. After Bruce Wayne's apparent death Gotham City needs a Batman more than ever. As gang violence runs rampant and the city's rogues gallery capitalise on the chaos, Nightwing, Robin, and many of Gotham's other heroes and anti-heroes must battle for the right to wear the mantle of the Bat. Who will succeed Bruce Wayne - and how will they choose to honour his legacy?

This is an interesting collection of tales, which are neatly tied into a tight story arc. However, I have to admit that the whole idea of someone refusing to give up the mantle of the bat felt a little too close to the story arc that unfolded in Knightfall. Otherwise, this is a fairly original tale which will turning the pages almost faster than you can read them.


Darren Rea

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