Batman #696 review- Continuing the major “Who is Black Mask?” storyline, The Penguin and Mad Hatter used gas to control Dick Grayon- Batman- to do their dirty work…or is Dick wearing a False Face to do the Black Mask’s bidding? With only one read through, I’m not entirely sure at this point, but I’m kinda tired of reading the Batman comics 2-3 times to figure them out. The comic book is told in reverse and works its way back to the present.
Okay here’s the bad news- I think my brain is fried. I simply can’t put all of Tony Daniel’s plot points and red herrings together to figure out what is going on. I think rubber bullets is a major clue to determining who the Black Mask is.
There are a lot of characters in this book, including the subplot featuring the mischievous thief Kitrina and Catwoman.
Anyway, I’m sure things would make more sense if I wasn’t so busy in real life or if the DC editors would have a plot summary as the first page like Marvel Comics does. I’m also sure that a trade paperback would be better to understand this mystery.
Anyway, the biggest clue for the Black Mask’s identity is that he quotes Aristotle. The most obvious answer is Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, but that may be a read herring.
Speaking of me being rushed, Tony Daniel’s artwork looked rushed this month, too. Join the club, I guess.
Batman #696 Ratings (1-10, with 10 being perfect, and 1 being poo-poo)
February 2010 publish date
Dan DiDio, Uncredited Editor in Chief
Overall Comic- 5
Writer Tony S. Daniel- 5
Penciler Tony S. Daniel- 6
Inker Sandu Florea with Norm Rapmund- 5
Editors Mike Marts and Janelle Siegel- 4