TNTM Trade of The Week: Batman Battle For The Cowl
Tony S. Daniel Writer and Penciler
Sandu Florea Inker
Ian Hannin Colorist
This is one of those books that just did not live up to the hype for me. It's not even that this had been talked up or anything like that. It just didn't deliver what I thought it was going to. It left so much to be desired in the story. The art was absolutely stunning and spectacular. The story just felt rushed. It was over as soon as it got started.
The precedent is that Batman is dead and gone. Gotham has gone to crap even with a network of Bat-allies to help. A Batman shows up with his own sense and form of justice while Black Mask makes his move to take over the city with the assistance of Batman's cadre of villains. Now with their attention split on this new Bat and villain, Tim Drake decides to don the cape, Damian acts like a spoiled brat, and Nightwing refuses to take over. Damian was horribly done in this story. He always acts like a hothead but his character was unbearable and the inclusion of him was done awfully. They figure out who the new Batman is pretty quickly which was quite obvious. They could have easily teased it out a bit more. Leaving it to mystery and intrigue that would require deep and hard hitting detective work from Dick. Tim tracked Batman and tries to take him down with the help of Catwoman for some reason. Nightwing explains his reason to the reader why he hasn't taken over but not to any of his teammates. It's pretty sad and pathetic that killer Bat figures out who the new player trying to take over the city is before anyone else when it should have been Dick figuring it out with all the skills his mentor taught him while showing the new Bat the error of his methods. Nightwing takes care of the Bat but not the Black Mask. Both are left just hanging, un-concluded, and unresolved. The rest of the graphic novel is just a compilation of random yet connected short stories focused on Vicki Vale and Stephanie Brown aka Spoiler. They were pretty great but they didn't fit or offer to enrich the story. They would be better and stronger on their own. I must also mention that the look and design of the more dark and harsh Bat appeared pretty ominous and terrifying at first but the up close full visual was a letdown. This book isn't bad, it just feels incomplete. The only shortcoming in the art was the reveal of Batman. If you want a better version of Battle For The Cowl I suggest playing Arkham Knight. I give this a Skim though.