November 27, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: Batman: Reptilian #6 (November, 2021)

Batman saves the day from a giant alien lizard thing. Maybe.

Well, here I am at the end of this Batman mini-series that Garth Ennis wrote.  It’s a very Garth Ennis sort of thing in the end.

I am largely fine with that.

Issue:  Batman: Reptilian #6, November 2021

Writer:  Garth Ennis

Artist:  Liam Sharp

The Plot:  Batman does what is necessary to save Gotham from the weird offspring of Killer Croc.

Commentary:  Yeah, that was a Garth Ennis story all right.  Make of that what you will.  I like a lot of his work.  I am less fond of other bits, but this was fine for what he probably didn’t really care that much about in the grand scheme of things.  He wrote it as a favor to his artist pal, the late Steve Dillon, and when Dillon died, Ennis didn’t do much with the project.  He brought it back, and as much as Dillon was a great artist, I think Liam Sharp is a much better fit for a story this bizarre.  Even knowing some of the things Dillon drew in projects like Preacher, I think the overall insanity of the unnamed baby thing as drawn by Sharp is far more appropriate.

But, ultimately, this was a very Ennis project.  He may not care for most superheroes, but he can probably do just fine with Batman if he treats the character as more of a pulp hero, and arguably he does.  This is a Batman who doesn’t seem to mind too much if his enemies get hurt.  Sure, he’ll go out of his way to save as many lives as possible, and he does what he can to make sure none of them die, but if they do get hurt in the process, he isn’t all that upset and may even feel like they had it coming when it does happen.  Plus, the hired goon fellow he more or less forced to become a spy can and will become bait for the monster when all else fails.

Oh, and he absolutely would give Croc to the government for, um, testing.  Yeah, the agent promises they won’t be killing Croc or dissecting them, but the whole scene does suggest even Batman is skeptical of that…just not skeptical enough to change his mind about sending Croc away with the guy.

Honestly, the ending seemed a little drawn out.  This may have worked better as a five part story, but I liked it well enough to recommend it, particularly for Ennis fans.  His juvenile sense of humor isn’t quite on display here for fans of that, and it’s not his best work, but it’s far better than his worst…like that one Spider-Man story he wrote.  Man, that was bad.

Grade:  B+

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