Batman Annual: 2022 #1 Review

Writer: Ed Brisson  

Art: John Timms, Rex Lokus, Clayton Cowles, and Mikel Janín

Publisher: DC comics

Price: $5.99

Release Date: May 31st, 2022

After commemorating the Abyss story angle, BATMAN has now commissioned Ghost-Maker to subsidize and oversee BATMAN INC.! So, what’s the first order of business? Let’s dive into BATMAN ANNUAL: 2022 #1 by Ed Brisson to discover just what Ghost-Maker has in store and how he’s going to clean up after the mess Lex Luthor created in Chechnya. However, is BATMAN INC. ready? Let’s dig in and find out!

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Batman Annual: 2022 #1 Review.

THE DISPATCH

BATMAN ANNUAL: 2022 #1 is split into two parts. Readers see the re-formation of BATMAN INC. with Ghost-Maker at the helm as well as the overall premise of BATMAN INC. moving forward. Logically, the premise behind Joshua Williamson’s run makes sense and flows into this ANNUAL well. His prior story sets up the re-formation of BATMAN INC. and Ghost-Maker as the new leader, in light of BATMAN’S financial issues and Gotham’s troubles. I suppose the premise fits well together. However, something just doesn’t sit right.

Is it because Bruce isn’t in charge anymore? Did the transition seem too easy and convenient? Or is it just how quickly Ghost-Maker manages to weave into BATMAN’S history and now ultimately takes over Bruce’s entire operation like he’s always been there? Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure. I feel like Ghost-Maker’s premise does fit but in the confines of BATMAN-lore, he’s new to the table and now has command over the other BATMEN. It just seems odd.

And I’m of the mantra that an individual needs to earn their stripes first before they take the leap. Granted, James Tynion recreated a history that makes Ghost-Maker have more experience than the rest. However, as a fan and reader of outside continuity, I know that’s not true which might be what’s making this so hard to swallow. Additionally, the other BATMEN say it better than I could. In part two, they said, “It should have been one of us promoted up to the leader, not some outsider.”

Yet, I feel the most frustrating aspect of the issue is how the other BATMEN are viewed as rookies; misfits, incompetent, unprepared, and almost like fools compared to Ghost-Maker. The history involved with some of these BATMEN is so much more intensive, however, It’s almost as if Ghost-Maker pokes fun at them for most of BATMAN ANNUAL: 2022 #1. Moreover, as much as I loved the new character Gray Wolf, somehow it’s almost as if BATMAN INC. is the side “character” to a Ghost-Maker comic at the expense of BATMAN INC. Sure, Gray Wolf is pretty impressive AND has a ton of potential in which this reviewer noticed in his short tenure. Nevertheless, his quick rise in power along with Clownhunter and Ghost-Maker comes at the detriment of BATMAN INC.

ART

John Timms gets to have a field day in BATMAN ANNUAL: 2022 #1 as he has an opportunity to showcase a plethora of characters across BATMAN INC. Moreover, readers will have a blast analyzing each fight scene and action sequence as Timms incorporates a masterful balance of movement and artistry that brings each page to life. Furthermore, the coloring is sharp and vibrant, the linework is clean, and the introduction to the Gray Wolf is extremely impressive. The artwork is certainly a highlight of this week’s installment without a doubt.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s obvious that the push is for a Ghost-Maker comic. But, why? Has there been that much upheaval for more Ghost-Maker? And with this recent rise to fame of Ghost-Maker, Williamson’s run that re-introduced BATMAN INC. bleeds nicely into the story but managed to fizzle out towards its conclusion. My point is, it appears as though DC COMICS wants to take these runs and mold them into an offshoot BATMAN title with Ghost-Maker as a new “BATMAN” to lead the charge while Chip Zdarsky begins a new story separate from everything that’s happened these past couple years. But is this something we really need?

BATMAN ANNUAL: 2022 #1 showed a re-formation of a BATMAN INC. that lacks strength, intelligence, and direction. It promotes two, if not three, brand new characters that were just created that are somehow better than BATMAN INC. in almost every way, which undermines the history of these characters and makes BATMAN INC. almost like throwaway extras to merely sucker readers into a Ghost-Maker comic. I see the potential and the premise certainly has promise but it comes at the expense of some well-established characters to promote the Ghost-Maker narrative and I can’t figure out why. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!

6.8/10

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