Blackest Night: Batman #3

Story by
Art by
Vicente Cifuentes, Ardian Syaf
Colors by
Nei Ruffino
Letters by
John J. Hill
Cover by
DC Comics

I'm giving credit where it's due; Peter J. Tomasi's script for "Blackest Night: Batman" is the first one where I've found myself thinking, "I'm glad this one got written." Most of the non-"Green Lantern" "Blackest Night" tie-ins have been a little pointless, reminding me of the infamous "red skies" tie-ins to "Crisis on Infinite Earths" which consisted of a character suddenly, randomly, noting that the skies were red. With "Blackest Night: Batman," though, Tomasi's made sure to give his mini-series an actual point other than zombies trying to chew on the protagonists.

It certainly helps matters that Tomasi has characters (Dick Grayson and Tim Drake) whose reasons for being a hero are at least partially tied into the loss of loved ones. That initial hook is already set up for Tomasi, although I do give him credit that he uses it better than most seem to in their own mini-series. More importantly, though, Tomasi doesn't center his entire mini-series on dead loved ones returning to life. Tomasi's been having a lot of fun with Deadman running around in this mini-series, and here Tomasi uses the character in a particularly fun twist that I doubt anyone would have seen coming. It's a smart usage of the greater DC Universe, and it also provides another curious piece of information about the Black Lanterns.

Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes provide a solid look for the comic that reminds me a bit of Doug Mahnke's art. It's that full look in a character's that both artists possess, that heavy and rich look that is a pleasant change from the emaciated style that other comics have in abundance. Syaf has fun with a lot of the background details too, from the stripes of a circus big top used to create a dizzying stage, to weathered statues in a cemetery. Syaf's heading from here to take over "Superman/Batman" with Joe Casey, and it's clear here that he's a good choice for the book.

Best of all, though, at the end of the mini-series? It feels like there was an actual purpose. We learn new things about the Black Lanterns, not only about who they can't fight but also a way to at least temporarily stop their attacks. I felt like my time was well spent reading "Blackest Night: Batman," something that I wish all tie-ins could master. For now, though, a thumbs up over here for "Blackest Night: Batman."

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