Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Batman: Imposters Review (David Hine, Scott McDaniel)


Groups of Batman and Joker fanboys – Jokerz and Guardian Batmen – battle in the Gotham streets while an imposter Joker and Batman look on. Why? Because this is a tie-in to the multiplayer first person shooter, Gotham City Imposters. 

Video game tie-ins are pretty much always crap, and Batman: Imposters is no different. Then again GCI isn’t really meant to make sense, it’s just WB cashing in on the popularity of Batman and FPS games, mashing the two together to allow players to run around Gotham shooting guns. So whoever wrote this was never going to produce anything worthwhile and it’s David Hine who’s gotten saddled with the thankless and uphill struggle of making something out of this nonsense. 

The story is surprisingly dark given its silly premise with the imposter Joker’s tragic backstory and even a lil kid who dresses up as a Robin gets thrown off a building to splatter on the ground below! The Joker Juice is what all the Jokerz take to emulate their hero and Batman doses himself with some of it too to understand what he’s going up against (which is something Bruce has done numerous times in the past, by the by). 

For no reason there are a couple of references to Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight with the gun-toting Batman wannabes and the imposter Joker being named Winslow Heath, a nod to Heath Ledger. Shame such a good movie got honoured in such a crap comic but there it is! 

Hine also works in a reference to Bartholomew’s Fair, an historical London event known for its debauchery that was banned in the mid-19th century, which was an informative, if random, tangent. But fairs these days aren’t these massive occasions so it’s bizarre to see the Gotham Fair being reported on the news when usually the only press fairs get is some posters stuck up around town! And this one even banned kids from attending – WTF?! So yeah, the whole fair finale is contrived rubbish. 

Scott McDaniel’s art is ok though I’m not a fan and his style is a bit too cartoony for the dark material. Hine’s character work is very thin though I suppose he should get some credit for crafting a more-or-less coherent story - it’s still not a very interesting read anyway. Batman: Imposters is genuinely not worth bothering with!

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