Batman #666 (DC Comics)

bats-headerThe Dark Knight celebrates an evil anniversary in this blood-soaked one-shot from Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert.

 

 

32 pgs. FC; $2.99

(W: Grant Morrison; P: Andy Kubert; I: Jesse Delperdang)

 

What a lovely little one-shot Batman #666 is for fans of Satan, fistfights, blood, psychopaths, and that ol' Bat magic.

 

As all good heavy metal fans and followers of Jack Van Impe know, 666 is the number of the beast, and this time, the beast is the alleged son of Satan as well as our favorite beastly superhero, Batman.

 

The cover to Batman #666 by Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang. Click thumbnail for a larger image.Some deluded feller calling himself the Antichrist is running amok in Gotham, and a future Batman (the son of Bruce Wayne and Ra's Al Ghul's foxy daughter) is on his trail. The new Bats doesn't waste any time trussing up criminals for the cops, he just kills them. If we have Frank Miller to blame for this willingness — or eagerness, even — to have Batman go medieval on various and sundry asses, let the slaughter commence. The id has so much more fun than the superego (or the Superman, as the case may be). By the end of the book, our hero's costume is positively sopping with the blood of others. It's a good look.

 

Even the speechifying from the caped pragmatist runs to lines like "I promised my father I wouldn't kill…Looks like I let him down again."

 

Artist Andy Kubert and inker Jesse Delperdang give the recent Jim Lee take on Bats a run for its money — their work is tight as can be. And old-timer Grant Morrison gives us more than the standard urban carnage — his imagining of yet another alternate future for Bats is somehow as fresh as it is fast-paced. Towards the end, we learn that Satan truly is more than a figure of speech in this tale — it lends a perfect gravitas to issue #666 of the most overheated adolescent fantasy a guy could want. | Byron Kerman

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