Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Batman: Damned #1
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Lee Bermejo
Publisher: DC/DC Black Label
When DC Black Label was first announced I was ecstatic and the possibilities of this new imprint. Finally, there would be a place for new stories, in the same vein as "Killing Joke" and "Dark Knight Returns". Creators could have a place to tell mature stories starring our favorite characters and not be bogged down by continuity. Of all the books announced, "Batman: Damned" was probably the one I was looking forward to the most. It didn't disappoint. Azzarello and
Bermejo have collaborated in the past on other Batman related books, my favorite being "Joker". There take on these characters has only gotten better as the years have gone by.
This story starts off with a severely wounded Batman that looks like he's on the verge of death and the mystery escalates from there. At the heart of this book is a detective case with a supernatural spin. Something I wasn't expecting though was having Constantine be the narrator, genius. Azzarello really helps give the reader the same feeling of confusion to the reader that Batman is obviously feeling as well. After Constantine save Batman form the alley and apparently heals him somehow ,
Batman finds out that the Joker's dead body has been dragged from the river. As he goes undercover to get answers, we see a new take on Deadman that is absolutely disturbing.
Lee Bermejo is one of the most talented artists in comics. His depiction of Gotham City is dirty and grimy, exactly what I imagine Gotham would look like in real life. He draws probably my favorite version of Batman, I love the way he designed his version of the costume. That panel with the dead Joker, made an already creepy face even creepier. I've never seen Deadman look as disturbing as he did in this book, with his entire body looking like his skin was pealed off. This is one of the best books, artistically, on the shelves right now. It definitely helps that the book is oversized so you can really pour of every detail.
As the first book to be launched under the new DC Black Label imprint, this was a very strong debut. I love what Azzarello and Bermejo are doing, another classic in the making. My only complaint is that it's only lasting three issues, other than that, I can't wait to read the next issue.