Sunday, April 27, 2014

I Am a Bat-Fan of Gregg Hurwitz

Annual #1 Cover - Alex Maleev
I bought issue #1 of the mini-series PENGUIN PAIN AND PREJUDICE when it first first released, in a comic shop in Chicago, while on a business trip more than two years ago. Sadly, the first issue was buried under a pile of "NEW 52" hype. I believe its beauty was lost in the wake of the "52" gimmick juggernaut. Pain and Prejudice was my introduction to novelist Gregg Hurwitz and his take on the Gotham line-up. As far as I'm concerned, it's the only take I need.

As a comic shop owner, I am embarrassed to say that I am so behind in my personal comic reading, that I should have my head checked, or at least have my geek card suspended until I catch up. With that caveat, I am slowing inching toward the end of Hurwitz's run on BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT (the fact that it was canceled in the first place is a mind boggler -- I truly hope that this isn't just another item which can be tacked on to the shopping list of poor editorial decisions made at DC in that past 5 years).

Part of the reason this title is so powerful, is due to Alex Maleev (Scarlet, George Romero's Empire of the Dead) and Syzmon Kurdanski (Penguin Pain and Prejudice) who join Hurwitz in telling these stories with art perfectly-matched to the unique sooty narrative. While DC veteran David Finch was the initial artist on the title, his art is too clean for these dark, gritty stories.

I just read BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT Annual #1. Holy bat shit, Batman. This issue had me laughing, cringing, and even feeling empathy for its characters. Not bad for an issue that didn't really even feature Batman. This issue is a one-and-done. Find it in the back-issue section at your local comic shop. Then have them order all of Hurwitz's Bat work. Trust me. I'm the comic book guy.
Splash Page - Annual #1

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