Batman vs Ra’s Al Ghul by Neal Adams (graphic novel review)

August 13, 2022 | By | Reply More

I came across ‘Batman vs Ra’s Al Ghul’ by Neal Adams and realised that this must probably be one of last works before his death in April.

Gotham City is still in turmoil when the Batman discovers that Commissioner Gordon has sided with that nice Professor Ra’s Al Ghul who has brought in a team to sort out the crime issue. When the Batman seemingly dies, much to the distress of Nightwing and the two Robins, they are surprised to see Bruce Wayne coming out of the smoke and even a bigger surprise in private at the mansion that he reveals he isn’t Batman nor that there is a Batcave entrance below an expensive clock entrance.

How much to say without going spoiler because so much of this story is. You certainly need a score card to keep an eye on who is who and who’s been replaced. The Batman aspect of Bruce Wayne is stuck in another dimension with Deadman and Etrigan the Demon and the semi-villainess Chiaroscuro the only one who can return him to Earth. Speaking of our planet, there are several contenders to be the next Batman and Bruce Wayne joins them and there’s even Matches Malone, one of his own aliases. Keep an eye on your scorecard as Ra’s Al Ghul stirs the mix.

There are scenes in the story where it could fall into talking heads pages. Adams plays with the scenes so there is different perspectives as they talk but its always a problem with writing a comicbook.

As always, Neal Adams art is worth a look. I was critical of his ‘Fantastic Four: Antithesis’ but this 6-issue graphic novel is pretty much on form, although it would have been nice to have seen more of the Batman on his home turf. As with his more recent Batman work, Adams chucked pretty much what he fancied into the mix, paying respect to Batman’s history that he was involved with although you would be wondering where it fits in any continuity in DC’s 52 universes. It’s more a case of enjoy the story and don’t forget to look under the dustcover.

There is an extra showing how Adams scripted the layouts and having someone or two to interpret his writing for the letterer. The rest is comparing the inked to the coloured version. I do think the hair colour has probably overwhelmed the detail but that’s a minor quibble.

GF Willmetts

August 2022

(pub: DC Comics, 2020. 160 page graphic novel hardback, Price: I pulled a copy for about £12.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-40129-518-9)

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Category: Comics, Superheroes

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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