Review: Batman Vs Ra’s Al Ghul #4

Review: Batman Vs Ra’s Al Ghul #4

 

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer:Neal Adams

Artist: Neal Adams

Colors: Neal Adams

Letters: Clem Robins

 

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan

Summary

“The Batman Olympics.  Ain’t thet the reason you’re here” – Marvin O’Hearn questioning the “real” Batman.

Deadman’s intervention into Chiaroscuro’s plot to keep Batman out of his home dimension bears unexpected fruit as she reveals a hidden connection! Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne has invited Ra’s al Ghul to Wayne Manor for afternoon tea and conversation. This is Batman Vs Ra’s Al Ghul.

“Retro” Positives

Neal Adams….no one draws the Caped Crusader like him.  Notice I indicated Caped Crusader as his renditions are like the 1970s.  The artwork, clothing styles, and backgrounds are very much from a retro era gone by in comics.  Neal Adams is on the Mount Rushmore of Batman artists as no one can render a better looking or rugged Bruce Wayne who has not shaven in a week.  His women are beautiful and heroic and scantily clad.  Mr. Adams has not heard of the “Me Too” movement as it doesn’t exist when he draws women fighting over Bruce Wayne.

He slips in jokes that he may the only one familiar with such as Deadman’s horns.  And his renderings of all the Robins as they are adorned in Brady Bunch attire is second to none.

But that is a problem…

“Retro” Negatives

It takes numerous readings to really figure out a Neal Adams story line.  And there really isn’t one in this issue.  Bruce is not Bruce, but he is Bruce when he is in this other dimension that he is a prisoner in.  Unless Zeea wants to take him back and forth to his original dimension.  Why is Dead Man still around?  Oh….Zeea is his sister.  But isn’t she looking for a brother?  Wait, is that a robot Ra’s Al Ghul killed by an Australian who is participating in the Batman Olympics?

What?

And is there one Bruce or two…possibly three?  Two Batmans…or now we are getting a Batman Olympics next issue?  Or are we?  Adams may decide to erase this issue and give us another crazy puzzle.  I am glad that Etrigan showed up.  Maybe he can scare up a story or two.

Adams art is on another scale.  He clearly is one of the best!  But his script writing… I am reminded of a book by Stephen King when he was at the height of taking painkillers due to an awful wreck where he was hit by a van.  His writing went through some real disconnects and I am afraid Adams has as well sans the accident.

 

Verdict

There is a time when all good athletes must retire.  And while Mr. Adams can dribble and shoot, he can no longer remember the plays (script).  As for Batman Vs Ra’s al Ghul #4, leave the script ideas to someone new and keep drawing.  His art is awesome.  His scripts are not!

 

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Carl Bryan

Doc B is a college physical education instructor that has coached numerous sports on the rec, club, and collegiate level. He has a wonderful wife, two awesome kids, and remembers when Kryptonite came in a lot of different forms. He also has learned not to utter "Mxyzptlk" backwards!