Batman: Death and the Maidens #9
Quick Rating: Great
The Demon’s Head is dead! Long live the Demon’s Head!
Writer: Greg Rucka
Art: Klaus Janson
Colors: Steve Buccellato
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover Art: Klaus Janson
Publisher: DC Comics
If you passed up on this title, thinking it was just another irrelevant Batman miniseries, you made a grave mistake. This is one of those rare miniseries events that actually makes a major, lasting change to the mythos of an iconic superhero. This title makes an enormous change to the world of Batman. Last issue, Ra’s Al Ghul engaged his daughter, Nyssa in a brutal fight to the death. This issue, the victor becomes clear, and although Rucka pretty much choreographed the ending of this issue before this miniseries even hit the stands, I won’t spoil it here.
Rucka is one of the best Batman writers in years, and it is only fitting that he cap off his tenure with the character with a serious shakeup and a chilling new threat. This is the sort of comic book that doesn’t come around every day, especially with long-running and well-established characters. It’s a comic that means something and changes things. He keeps his fine characterization of our heroes, like Batman and Alfred, and makes vast, logical changes to some other characters. Even Batman himself is changed by this miniseries, with the perspective of his relationship with his late parents altered. It’s a good, logical step, but unfortunately, I’m afraid it’s the sort of step that will be wiped out the next time someone wants to write a good “Batman brooding over his mother” issue.
Janson isn’t on top of his form this issue. The fight scenes work well and the cover is lovely, but he has some problems with anatomy, particularly a scene with Talia displaying proportions that would make a Barbie doll tip over laughing.
This has been a really great miniseries that hasn’t gotten very much attention since the initial push to launch it. People should have flocked to this one, because it has been a solid story and it’s one that leaves the playing field of Batman’s life very different than it was when it began. If you didn’t read this, getting the last issue won’t convey how powerful a story it was. Get the trade paperback.