By George Pratt & various (DC Comics)
ISBN: 978-1-56389-692-7 (HC) 978-1-84023-701-6 (Titan Books UK edition HC)
Sometimes even the best of intentions and greatest of artisans don’t quite produce the best result. Master illustrator George Pratt returned tangentially to the Vietnam War for the backstory of this memorable supernatural thriller starring the Dark Knight, but the overall results fall short of his superb par, as established with the landmark Enemy Ace: War Idyll. Even so…
Bruce Wayne is tortured by bloody nightmares of devils and sacrifices as a mysterious killer seeks to re-enact a murder-ritual based on the points of a cross.
Such ritual has been attempted many times throughout history, but on this particular occasion the stakes seem much higher – and far more personal.
Only a girl named Luci Boudreaux, escapee and survivor of the Hell on Earth that was Viet Nam seems to have any answers to the dilemma…
Although painted with astounding passion and skill, and frequently offering unforgettable imagery, the story seems to have been sadly neglected and is – quite frankly – a bit of a mess, with war veterans, voodoo priests, faith-healers, demons and an uncomfortable misunderstanding of the relationship between Batman and Police Commissioner Jim Gordon muddying a rather tired old plot.
Even so, there are plenty of movie blockbusters that have got away with far less to great acclaim and for richer rewards.
If you love bleak and moody style over content, or can always find room for the blackest crannies infested by the darkest of knights, you might want to hunt this down and give it a shot.
So, even if you’re not a Bat-completist, in this anniversary year, there’s still a reason to step out of the light into forgotten realms with the world’s most popular superhero.
© 2000 DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.