Time and The Batman: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, And Tomorrow…
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art by TONY DANIEL, ANDY KUBERT, FRANK QUITELY, DAVID FINCH & RICHARD FRIEND
Cover by DAVID FINCH
“DC 75th Anniversary” variant cover by MIKE MIGNOLA
“DC 75th Anniversary” variant black and white cover by MIKE MIGNOLA
On Sale June 9, 2010
DC Comics, 56 pages, Color and B&W, $4.99
The celebration of issue #700 of the Batman comic series pulls out all the stops with four different stories of four different Batmen. The entire 56-page book is entitled “Time and The Batman.” All the stories in Issue #700 were written by Grant Morrison, who fans of The Dark Knight will definitely welcome back to the series.
In the first tale entitled “Yesterday”, you’ve got the original Batman battling all your favorite criminals like The Joker, The Riddler, The Mad Hatter, and Catwoman. The arch enemies are trying to use a scientist’s time travelling machine to change the past. How do they plan on doing that? By sending Batman back in time to when his parents were killed and keep it from happening. The art for this section was done by Tony Daniel and then colored by Ian Hannin. The colors and artwork are very lush and pretty realistic-looking.
The second story is entitled “Today” and features Dick Grayson / Batman and Damian Wayne / Robin trying to solve the murder of the maker of the Maybe Machine from the first story. While hunting for the killer, they decide to make a night of cleaning up bad guys on their way to stop an underworld auction of the arch-villains’ prized paraphernalia. Frank Quitely and Scott Kolins did the art for this portion of the book. Alex Sinclair and Tony Avina did the coloring. There’s not really much of a difference in art and coloring styles between story one and story two.
“Tomorrow” is the third tale and has Bruce Wayne’s son Damian donning the cape and cowl by himself. Damian is trying to get an antidote for The Jokers’ Laughing Death gas that has been released through the futuristic Gotham’s air supply to the Commissioner before it’s too late. He journeys through the city battling mutated citizens and police. He also comes face-to-face with the ringleader of this devious plan – the mutated 2 Face 2. The time-jumping scientist who created the Maybe Machine just so happens to show up to help in this story as well. Andy Kubert drew this with Brad Anderson doing the coloring. Everything looked cool in this segment, but I wasn’t a big fan of Damian’s version of the bat outfit. It was more of a duster with wings over a shirt with a pair of tight leather pants. Not really into it.
The final story “And Tomorrow…” is more of a Prologue that shows the different Batman’s taking up their war on crime in different apocalyptic futures. Very cool stuff brought to realization by penciller David Finch, inker Richard Friend, and colorist Peter Steigerwald.
The stories moving in and out of different times and the doctor popping up at just the right time gets a little confusing at times, but overall this is a smart tale that ties the Batmen past, present, and future together in one well-drawn, written, and colored package. I believe most fans will find it quite enjoyable and get a kick out of seeing The Dark Knight in different settings with different gadgets, weapons, and vehicles.
The issue comes with three different cover designs. The original cover is done by David Finch and has Batman perching ominously on a bird statue protruding from a building. The variant cover is more classic and animated looking. It features Batman and Robin staring up at The Red Hood surrounded by question mark cards. The cover was done by Mike Mignola from an idea by Lew Sayre Schwartz and George Roussos. There’s also a black and white version of the variant cover.
As a special bonus, there’s a 7-page gallery of The Dark Knight drawn in different styles by Shane Davis, Juan Doe, Guillem March, Dustin Nguyen, Tim Sale, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Philip Tan. There’s also a section called “Secrets of the Batcave” which features a sort of diagram of The Dark Knight’s workplace and hideout. It has an Overview, Command Level view, Garage Level view, and Sea Level views. You also get a 5-page black and white sneak preview of Neil Adams’ upcoming Batman: Odyssey series.