Batman/Deathblow: After The Fire

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I really thought I was going to like this a lot more than I did. Batman/Deathblow: After The Fire is a collaboration of sorts between Batman and Deathblow in Gotham City. There is a caveat: the two characters never encounter each other and writer Brian Azzarello did an awesome job with that plot twist.

The premise is fairly simple. Ten years ago, Deathblow and another government black ops soldier named Scott Floyd failed to stop a crime syndicate that employed a pyrotechnic hitman. At the current time, Floyd becomes a friend of Bruce Wayne and is murdered by this fiery villain. Bruce/Batman are off to avenge his death and bringing this criminal to justice. The story goes back and forth between Batman’s present and Floyd’s past as they both race to stop this new mysterious villain.

Batman/Deathblow never delivers that big Batman and Deathblow encounter that I assumed would happen, so in that sense the book doesn’t deliver. Instead, there is a slow burning mystery, which you would expect from an Azzarello written Batman. It is certainly not the most exciting or well written story in Azzarello’s bibliography, but if you are a fan of his you will enjoy this.

Art in this was by Lee Bermejo, who later went on to collaborate with Azzarello on the Luthor and Joker books. It’s dark and moody, thanks to Tim Bradstreet’s inking and an extremely muted color palette.

Grifter # 10-12

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We’re joined in progress for Grifter #10-12. This story arc was a throwback to the old Wildstorm comics; Grifter has assembled a small team and they’re going after the Daemonites. He’s joined by another former Wildstormer in Deathblow as well as Niko, a female assasin/operative type who seems to be the New 52-ized version of Cheshire (Roy Harper’s on-again, off-again lady-friend).

There’s not a lot to talk about these issues to be honest. There’s a lot of gun fighting between Grifter’s group and the Daemonites, all leading up to Grifter to having a massive throwdown with Hellspont. It’s exactly what you would expect from a book written by Rob Liefeld (in this case, co-written by Frank Tierri). The art on this was by Scott Clark, with Marat Mychaels filling in on issue #11. Both were fine.

What drew me into liking this was that it was an easy read. Everything made sense plot wise for the most part, the panels were filled with action and it never took itself too seriously.

This story was an easy read, and seems to be building towards Hellspont being a more prominent villain in the New 52 universe.