Batman: Streets of Gotham #9 Review

DC ComicsBatman Streets of Gotham #9 Review

With Paul Dini taking yet another break, this time totally unannounced, my opinion of Streets of Gotham is dropping and I’m losing interest fast in this series. Add in a boring by the numbers detective story we’ve seen a thousand times already with Batman and things aren’t looking too good for Mike Benson’s second issue of his filler arc. Can he save it and turn this into something enjoyable? Let’s find out.

Creative Team
Guest Writer
: Mike Benson
Art: Dustin Nguyen

Story Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: A man holds a gun to Dick and the prostitute he picked up (I know she’s got a name, but she’s a 1 dimensional stupid throwaway character that I couldn’t care less about so I’m just going to call her Ranom Prostitute.) The Man slaps the random prostitute and orders Dick to give him the wallet. Dick moves fast to kncok the guy out.

The Random Prostitute runs out (in her lingerie might I add) of her building and the police stop her. The guy is then being interogated by Comissioner Gordon and Batman. Gordon leaves the man alone with Batman. We then cut to them both interrogating the random prostitute. They show her the photos of the murder and Batman says she murdered them. She gets upset and when they ask her for a name she gives them the name of her crazy ex-boyfriend.

Batman and Gordon talk along the rooftop. Batman tells Gordon to let her go even though she and the guy have been doing this often to steal money from her customers and that it was all an act. Gordon doesn’t want to let her go but Batman says they should. As the woman returns home the doorman says he’d do anything to help as someone watches her from afar.

Back at the club she works at she sees her crazy ex boyfriend. She goes to the elevator but he finds her there and tries talking to her. Her doorman soon shows up and betas him up as Gordon then arrests him. (don’t mess with the doorman, he’ll mess you up) Batman is soon interrogating crazy ex-boyfriend and says he killed those men. (I’m sorry, are you Batman or are you some goddamn rookie cop who randomly points fingers at people to solve a case?) Batman says he has an idea but Gordon isn’t going to like it.

Gordon narrates about how he’s right, that he doesn’t like this idea as he’s in the club talking to a prostitute. They soon head out and on his way from the building they went to a man starts stalking him. (wait a minute, did Gordon just do it with prostitute? I’m confused, this comic has worse transitions then a Windows Movie Maker youtube video) Soon Gordon is attacked by a man asking how was she.

Gordon pulls out his gun (for the 2nd time tonight) but the man rushes him. He’s about to stab Gordon when Batman attacks him. Batman takes him down and Random Prostitute reveals it was her doorman (What did I tell you about them? Their like ninjas!) we cut then to a few days later and she’s getting on a bus out of Gotham and she tells Gordon to thank Batman for her.

Commentary
The Good
: Streets of Gotham #9 was absolute crap. Undeniably craptastically crap. Easily the worst issue of the young series’ life and for good reason. Nearly everything about this issue was horrendous. It honestly offended me both as a reviewer and a reader to see such crap churned out and seen as decent enough to print.

But we at the Revolution try to see the positive in everything so I guess I should at least mention that while this is definitely Nguyen’s worst art in a long time it still wasn’t bad really. It was rushed as all hell but he does a solid job with the character work and expressions and still turns in solid artwork.

I really do love that cover, I am digging this new abstract painting style of covers Nguyen is doing. I hope he keeps it up with future cover work.

My big highlight for this issue wasn’t the actual story at all but the Manhunter back up, which I usually don’t mention since I focus on the main series as a whole. But the only thing that kept this from feeling like a total waste of my 3.99 was the back up which was awesome and I’m really getting into this back up and looking forward to more as the series progresses.

The Bad: Where do I honestly begin? Well I guess with how irritating and idiotic it is that Dini isn’t writing his own comic. I feel really cheated here that I am putting my time effort and money into this series, for Dini’s writing, but he isn’t going to even write it. There are writers who have written hundreds of issues of one comic and never missed a month, but Dini can’t seem to sustain 2 ongoings for more then a few months.

I’m a huge Paul Dini fan and that’s why I’m reading this series. I’m not reading it because it’s a Batman book, I’m reading it because it’s a Batman book by Paul Dini, the man who was born to write Batman. But I don’t think I should give my hard earned money to this title and to DC if Dini isn’t going to commit to writing it as much as I am committing to reading it.

Mini rant about Dini aside, this issue also was crap on it’s own merits, not just it’s lack of Paul Dini. But I think even DC was ashamed to admit Dini wasn’t writing this issue as they credit Benson as a Guest Writer, not wanting people to get the wrong idea and think this crap was what you would get on a regular basis from the series.

Nearly everything about this story was horrible, from start to finish I did not enjoy a single page of this issue. It all reeked of rushed boring and uninspired filler from start to finish. While Yost’s fill in arc wasn’t great, at least you could tell Yost was trying to give an interesting read. Benson totally phoned in this story and it is painfully obvious.

For one the Batman in the cape and cowl sounds and acts nothing like Dick Grayson. Hell he doesn’t even act like Bruce Wayne! Benson goes off and makes a totally out of character and idiotic Batman that is right up there with the weird stupid Dick Grayson that Grant Morrison seems to be writing over in Batman and Robin right now.

Batman here is a total moron. First of all, anyone with common sense knows you don’t go around randomly accusing people of murder. It’s just unprofessional and idiotic and it makes you look like a tool. Which is exactly how Batman came off here. Randomly saying “you kill them, no wait, you killed them!” was just pathetic and it didn’t not only fit Batman, it wouldn’t fit a cop with more then a few weeks on the job.

It’s stuff like that which showed me that Benson just didn’t care at all. Clearly DC was in a pinch since Dini was taking another month off and rather then just delaying the series by a month like anyone else would do they contacted Benson and he phoned in this totally rushed crap. It’s sad to say the least when you see such low mediocre crap even pass for filler.

I honestly don’t get what’s with DC’s policy that if a series is going to be late, give it a filler story. To me that’s a bullshit idea and really turns me off to the series and pushes me away from it. I would much rather get a month with no Streets of Gotham then 2 months of bullshit filler that was phoned in, that’s for sure.

Then there’s the bland mystery plot. For one this was just boring as all hell and not the least bit exciting. Benson failed to even somewhat catch my interest with this one and present us with anything worthwhile. No it was filer in every sense of the word, accomplishing nothing and indulging in it’s mediocre existence as it doesn’t try to be anything other then the bare bones of what you could call a plot.

There’s of course the throwaway characters. I don’t give a damn about the random prostitute, her jackass boyfriend and her murderous doorman. None of that is made even remotely compelling or interesting to where their effect on the story makes me care. It’s dull and uninteresting and I hated this issue even more for it.

Then there’s the reveal that the doorman is the murdered. Honest to god did anyone read this and think, “Oh it must be the doorman, of course, it’s so obvious” Of course not! He’s in all of 4 panels before it’s revealed he’s the murderer and he has all of 2 lines! A good mystery sets up the suspects and gives a reason why each is plausible. This just pretends to have some suspects then pulls a guy out of nowhere to pretend it all makes sense. Bullshit.

Of course Benson also fails at the narration. While last time it wasn’t bad really, here it’s just forced and annoying. Benson realized his plot was as thin as paper so he must have thought that adding some crappy narration would make it all better. Sorry Mr. Benson but your plot is still as interesting as watching paint dry in a field of grass growing.

The art for this issue mirrored the story, mediocre and boring. You can always tell that when an artist overuses shadows it’s a way of hiding detail and rushing things. No better example is there then Nguyen’s art here as nearly every panel is soaked in over use of shadows and dim lights so that Nguyen could rush this out as fast as possible.

I can’t really even blame him since he was probably called up out of nowhere and let it be known that he’s suddenly be writing this script from Benson. No doubt he was on a very strict time constraint so he really had to gloss over any details and turn out whatever worked and while the art never gets bad, it certainly never gets good.

Overall: This issue was a mess of bad character work, weak artwork, a paper thin plot and just total filler crap. Nearly everything about it was awful and if you’ve been looking to get into Streets of Gotham then I highly recommend avoiding this issue like the plague and waiting for whenever, if ever, Dini returns.

Andrenn