Review: Batman: The Imposter #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Mattson Tomlin
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Bruce Wayne’s mission as the Batman has only been underway for a year or so, but he can tell he’s making a difference. Unfortunately, he’s made some powerful enemies.
All the traditional power brokers of Gotham resent the disruption the Batman has brought to town…and it seems one of them has a plan to neutralize him. There’s a second Batman haunting Gotham’s rooftops and alleys—and this one has no qualms about murdering criminals, live and on tape.
Detective Blair Wong set her sights on Bruce Wayne as a source of information about the Batman-but neither of them was ready for the sparks that flew when they met. Unfortunately for their relationship, the imposter Batman has killed again, and the pressure is mounting to close the case…immediately!
Director and screenwriter Mattson Tomlin (Project Power, Little Fish) has teamed up with Eisner-winning suspense and horror artist Andrea Sorrentino (Joker: Killer Smile, Gideon Falls) to create a wholly new version of Gotham City, informed by grim reality, where every punch leaves a broken bone and every action has consequences far, far beyond Batman’s imagination!
Mattson Tomlin takes the question of ‘What if Batman was real?’ as far as narratively possible and has conjured incredible potential that hasn’t recently been explored in the comics.
Batman: The Imposter treats Bruce Wayne and the people around him as tragically flawed and vividly real, with the obstacles Batman faces coming from a reality that closely mirrors our own.
Inspired by the 1989 cinematic version of Batman, Mattson Tomlin has taken pulp noir to a new level in Gotham having to deal with the fallout of having a vigilante on the loose in its city.
We are introduced to two strong female leads in this book… Dr. Leslie Thompkins, a psychologist that plays a pretty prominent role in establishing that Bruce is on a mission to really kill himself or instill fear into the criminal side of Gotham Detective Blair Wong, on a three-year investigation of this mysterious Batman, and it doesn’t look good on the inside of the department or outside among the political leaders.
Bruce’s relationship with both Thompkins and Wong is delved into much deeper in Issue #2 as we find Thompkins being the altruistic therapist who never gave up on Bruce when others did… namely Alfred.
Wong and Bruce share a similar past which places them into all familiar territory and eventually sharing a bed. This is a rocky start at best to two tragic figures.
This book is Black Label Royalty already. It is tweaked just enough to where this Batman could really happen. No superpowers…a mention that Alfred has abandoned Bruce…and an injury to Bruce every night. The fact that Alfred gave up on Bruce as a child hits a completely different nerve!
This is raw Batman! The colors, the grit, the seriousness of the art Andrea Sorrentino is contributing to the Batman landscape compliments the script that Tomlin weaves to the fullest. It reminds me of some of the Blade Runner work that is being written now in comics as well as some earlier Spawn comics where the night rules and the underbelly of the crime world is at every turn. If you like psychological police thrillers with a diverse cast…this is your Batman book! Negatives
None thus far as this is both cinematic and pulp noir material. It’s real and gritty… Frank Miller had his treatment of Batman, but I daresay there is a new person that gives a lens to Batman that we have not looked through yet… Mattson Tomlin
This second of a three-issue event is going to be worthy of some space on your bookshelf. I love the tweaking of the story. The lenses of both Detective Wong as well as Dr. Leslie Thompkins, provide a new view of Gotham’s vigilante hero. They are two strong female protagonists trying to heal their city in their own way!