Batman Damned was a Graphic Novel that hit headlines early last year for its appearance of Batman’s dick.
That’s the opening line of the review.
Though the book generated a lot of publicity around this, to the point that it was even edited out in later releases, the massively controversial aspect of the publishing definitely overshadowed the release as a whole.
However, many have said that we need to look beyond the ‘biggest’ moment of the run and take it for what it is.
So throughout this review, I’m going to be breaking down Batman: Damned to let you know whether it’s worth picking up.
There will be some spoilers here so if you don’t want anything about the story ruined then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way thank you for clicking this, now let’s get into Batman: Damned.
The Joker is dead, thrown from a bridge that Batman just happened to be at the night prior. Whilst he’s not initially a suspect, the fall of The Clown Prince Of Crime definitely feels like a mystery wrapped in an enigma and it looks like there may be dark forces behind it all.
With the help of Constantine, The Dark Knight slowly begins to unearth the mystery at the center of his Nemesis’ death and the graphic novel travels deep into the underworld of the DC universe in order for us to discover what’s going on.
From the off the book instantly hooked me and that is in part due to the fact that the artwork by Lee Bermejo is incredible here. He’s always been my favorite comic book artist (to the point I even have a Tattoo of his Batman on my arm) and he sores here creating panels and pages that look like they belong in Art Galleries.
Looks-wise this is an outstanding book and each moment is laced with realism, exceptional colour, and detail that pretty much 99% of other comic book artists do not put to the page.
It makes the book a must-own for the illustrations alone and for people who perhaps shy away from more adult works, I think they will find this difficult to neg on due to how much work has clearly gone into it.
Damned To Underdeliver
Unfortunately, the story itself doesn’t quite match the heights of the artwork.
I’ve always found Brian Azzarello to be slightly underwhelming and here he follows suit presenting some rushed plot jumps and conclusions that aren’t really set up beforehand.
There’s also a moment in the midsection of the book where a rapper has a rap battle with Batman.
I’m not kidding either.
As someone who used to actually be a rap battler, I found this eye rollingly bad and a moment that it was clear that the tone of the art didn’t match the storyline of the work itself.
Harley takes the position of The Joker and for the final chapter, the book descends into the history of both Bruce and Gotham.
The last chapter of the book feels somewhat dreamlike and ends the storyline feeling rather hollow than consequential.
I don’t want to spoil too much but a lot of the ending undoes the entire book and some major plot threads such as Thomas Wayne perhaps having an affair are never resolved.
It concludes far too briskly and out of the blue and for a three-issue storyline, it definitely feels like more time was needed.
In the end, Batman: Damned is a lackluster storyline propped up by amazing art. If you can turn your brain off and just get lost in the incredible illustrations then I’ve no doubt that you will find something to enjoy here.
However, those looking for a story may be underwhelmed.
Batman: Damned gets a disappointing…