Batman: Battle for the Cowl: Man-Bat #1

Story by
Art by
Jim Calafiore
Colors by
Guy Major
Letters by
Steve Wands
Cover by
DC Comics

First things first: Ladronn's cover is so hauntingly beautiful and a complete departure from the artwork within that anyone buying this book for the cover alone might be a little shocked. They might be shocked by just how amazingly suited Jim Calafiore is to draw the adventures of Man-Bat. This character is Calafiore's. The best panels in the book are when Langstrom is furry and bat-winged.

Harris' writing puts the wings under Langstrom's arms and gives Langstrom a haunting vision that drives him on a quest to find his wife. With Gotham currently submerged in chaos, it is only natural that Langstrom would cross paths with other characters. In this issue, Lynx and the Outsiders (separate and distinct, thank you very much) make appearances, but do not detract from Langstrom's quest. Sure, the quest runs along the path of cliche, but here it is handled lovingly, as a husband's true concern for his bride.

The foe in this issue had me scratching my head, as I thought he was dead, but a little research cleared that up for me rather quickly. The pairing of Man-Bat and his adversary in this story is an odd combination and it is a bit of a stretch to put the two together, but once the plot carries them there, it works as a story.

Unfortunately, this story bleeds out the end of this issue, without any solid clue as to where to follow. I found myself closing the cover significantly more interested in the fate of Man-Bat, but I am unable to determine where he will appear next, save for a guess in "Battle for the Cowl" #2. Following that, I would relish a chance to see Kirk Langstrom make some regular appearances elsewhere in the DC Universe. Maybe those same Outsiders could spend a little time with the winged crusader.

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