Title: Batman War Crimes
Authors: Anderson Gabrych, Devin Grayson, Bill Willingham, Bruce Jones, & Will Pfeifer
I will start this review with a warning to readers that my next several reviews are going to be comics and manga as I went on a massive comic manga kick as they are quick and easy to read and I happen to really like them so bear with me during this time and I promise real books will come eventually! Today I am presenting you with Batman War Crimes. If you have read a lot of my reviews, you know that I am a big Batman fan particularly when it comes to the Boy Wonder Robin. My affinity sits chiefly with Tim Drake also known as the Red Robin. Considering that there isn’t a lot of Red Robin comics and a lot of other stories I have ventured out into other Batman and Robin comics, several of which I have not reviewed, for that I am sorry.
Anyway the back of this comic got my attention as this story takes place after the death of Stephanie Brown as Robin. She was the next person to take on the role of Robin when Tim retired for a while from the cowl. I had read the story where he retired and I would love to continue reading what happens there and I thought though I’m missing all of Stephanie Brown’s time as Robin this could be interesting this might be a really good comic! I picked it off the library shelf and was excited to read it but it was nothing compared to the other comics I read. Tim made an appearance but it wasn’t for long and it wasn’t a very strong or memorable story.
The gist of the story here is that Batman is getting blamed for Stephanie’s death and the death of other people as he is being framed for these other deaths as there is another person who is running around in the cowl pretending to be him. This story follows Batman as he tries to get to the bottom of things and understand how and why Stephanie dies because it shouldn’t have happened. It is to be honest a very dark time for the Bats as he deals with this and to me it is clear that he is dealing with a lot of guilt about the situation as well and thus becoming obsessed with his work. To match and reflect the darkness of the story the drawing are very dark and gritty and the lines are very angular. I’m not as fond of the artistic style found in this story. There were really a lot of artists, letterers, inkers, and colorists involved with this story, 20 to be exact (this is why they are not listed in the specs about the book).
In short, I was not that enthused or gripped by the story like I have been with all other stories I have read of course this wasn’t focused on Robin and that might be the big difference as everything else I have read has a focus on Robin and I expected the same here to have a focus on a Robin. So I will give this a 2 out of 5 pages as I wouldn’t really recommend this as a story to read or own. It was what it was and I appreciate it for that but really you are not missing much if you skip this read in the overarching story of Batman and his Robins. At the very least the plot important things found in this story can be easily picked up in other stories that have a much higher entertainment value than this comic.