Thursday, 3 August 2017

Batman: Hong Kong Review (Doug Moench, Tony Wong)

As much as I rag on hack writers Mike Barr and Chuck Dixon, they at least wrote some good Batman comics at one point - Barr’s The Wrath and Dixon’s Bane stuff were both surprisingly great. That’s why I gave Batman: Hong Kong a shot, hoping Doug Moench - a guy who’s written a ton of Batman comics over many years all of which were stinkers - had finally gotten it right. Nope! HOW did he keep getting work?!

Generic, stale, dull, pointless and convoluted all describe the plot of this book. Someone’s killing people with poisonous snakes and broadcasting it on the internet for cash. The trail takes Batman to Hong Kong where he becomes embroiled in some nonsense involving a kid who wants to avenge his mate’s murder, sees Batman and instantly becomes a crappy superhero called Night-Dragon. Also, two brothers - one a cop, another a crook - something something, drivel, finale, the thankful fucking end. 

Tony Wong’s art style is anime-esque (which is Japanese and not Chinese) and weirdly oscillates from painted pages to stark pencils for seemingly no reason. I know mangas sometimes start with beautifully painted opening pages before settling into black and white inks for the majority of the book but Wong switches it up randomly every few pages; I didn’t get what he was going for at all. Meanwhile he designs for Batman some bizarrely massive trailing extensions to his cape which just look stupid as do his unwieldy boomerang-sized Batarangs! 

Awful, just awful. Doug Moench is the worst Batman writer ever and Hong Kong is just another of his bland, boring failures.

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