Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 book 217

Tracy Hickman's Wayne of Gotham
You'd think a novel about Batman (DC-approved, even) would be right up my alley--I mean, I write a column about comic books and Batman is one of the few superheroes I'm actually into. Or maybe that's exactly why I didn't like it, because it didn't do Batman justice at all. If I can see exactly how he's being played and he never catches on . . . well, he's not supposed to be a moron. Yet in this book, he's not just moronic, but incompetent (why does he keep leaving his Batsuit in the Batmobile?). I actually had a lot of problems with this book, which finds Bruce investigated some shadiness his dad was involved in (actually, he doesn't ever really investigate, people just give him information). Half of the story is from his dad's perspective, and that's even worse--Thomas Wayne vacillates between being whiny and being creepy (I, for one, am grossed out that Martha ended up marrying him because of the way their relationship is portrayed).

Other issues:
--WAAAAYYY too much detailed fake comic book science. Four pages describing the Batmobile is three and a half pages too many.
--Hickman tries way too hard to shove all the iconic Bat-characters into this story when they really don't fit. And Joker is pretty lame.
--Grandpa Wayne's only characterization is that he's an asshole.
--Bruce yells at Alfred way too much--their relationship is one of the best things in the Bat-universe and it's all weird here.

I wanted to like this book but obviously it wasn't for me. Batman honestly works better in the comic book format, I think. D.

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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