Posted on: January 8th, 2010 [REVIEW] Batman: The Widening Gyre #1-3

wideninggyrecoverFollowing the epic Batman: Cacophony, Kevin Smith has blessed us with the 12 part series Batman: The Widening Gyre. Kevin Smith is a genius. He is somehow an even greater genius while smoking copious amounts of pot.

At first read, I thought Smith was just ignoring the whole Bruce is dead storyline. At second read, I would argue that he alludes to it quite heavily in the first three issues of The Widening Gyre. Regardless of contributions to canon, these comics are heavily funny. Very funny.

The series opens back in time with Baron Blitzkreig attacking a Jewish temple. Batman says of Blitzkreig: ‘childish moniker, garish costume, then again, glass houses and throwing stones.’

Batman seems real to life, but flashback Robin is drawn and written in a noticeably cartoonish fashion. At that time Batman seems to think that Robin will grow out of the life of crime fighting, but we soon cut back to the ‘present’ with Grayson as Nightwing (perhaps alluding to Grayson as Batman?) obviously continuing his super-hero lifestyle.

We see a rare Bat-smile as Nightwing slips away in mid-conversation, with Bruce thinking ‘Sonnova…the kid pulled a ME.’

Ivy takes over Arkham, luring Bats in (also drugging him with THC) to fight off the weird cannibal demon Etrigan. The ensuing battle causes Bats panic, knowing he has no successor if he dies. A mysterious masked hero, whom we will call Goat-Mask, saves Bats with a vat of holy water.

wideninggyre1In issue two, Bats takes on a pedophile at an amusement park, and he has this uber-strange dream/memory/fantasy sequence involving the cartoony Robin and Superman. Goat-Mask saves the day again.

Silver St. Cloud pays Brucey a surprise visit, and in issue three, she whisks Bruce away for tropical Island sex. There is a stunning visual of Bruce covered head to toe in battle scars. Back in Gotham, Goat-Mask sheepishly introduces himself to Bats, calling himself Baphomet, which causes Bats to roll his eyes but eventually accept him as a crime fighting helper.

Back at the tropical hideaway, Aquaman visits, having been lured by Silver’s screams of ecstasy which he mistakes as signs of danger. There is another weird cartoony Robin dream/flashback/memory where Bruce is reminded of the dangers of never letting anyone in to his life. This causes Bruce to give Silver a noogie and Aquaman to quip ‘so the ghoul’s got a girlfriend. Great…’

Well I laughed. Check it out for yourself!

Batman: The Widening Gyre is back for Issue #4 on January 13th, followed by issues #5 and #6, then a six month break of pain and suspense before the final six issues in the series are released in late 2010.

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