Batman: Death and the Maidens #6
Quick Rating: Great
Title: Death and the Maidens Chapter Six
Twenty-five years after their deaths, Thomas and Martha Wayne confront their son.
Writer: Greg Rucka
Art: Klaus Janson
Colors: Steve Buccellato
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover Art: Klaus Janson & Steve Buccellato
Publisher: DC Comics
In the first few issues of this miniseries, I was back and forth as to how much I liked it. This issue places it firmly in the win category, serving up one of the strongest Batman stories Greg Rucka has ever told, and that’s saying a lot.
Ra’s Al Ghul wants Batman’s aid finding a new Lazarus Pit, unaware that his elder daughter Nyssa has taken his younger daughter Talia in an effort to supplant him. Batman, in the meantime, has been offered the chance to speak with his parents once again. He spent last issue touring Gotham City with his mother. This issue, he confronts his father for the first time about the man he has become… and what he learns will astound you.
This is one of those rare comic books that you can read and feel it will have a lasting impact on the mythos of a character even as old and as layered as Batman. He realizes something very important in this issue. He admits something about himself for the first time, and it’s something that not only changes Batman on a fundamental level, but makes him a more realistic character in the process. The only question is whether the writers who are given steward of the character in the future will take what Rucka has done here and build on it. One fears they will ignore it entirely.
Klaus Janson is a fantastic artist, one whose work on this title is as good as he’s ever done. He knows how to draw Batman like few others do – showing him as a real human, but still a strong, powerful character. Steve Buccellato also does a standout job on the colors in this issue – dark blues and red in the alleyway scenes and a wonderful use of light. A particularly horrific flashback scene delving into Nyssa’s past is done in blood-red tones that suit it perfectly.
There are a lot of Batman miniseries out there, and it’s easy for this one to get lost in the mix. Make no mistake, though – if you’re a fan of the character, this is the Batman miniseries, you should be reading. This is the one that’s important. And this is the one that’s going to serve up some of the best stories you’ve read in quite some time.