My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another one of my favorites that I’m finally getting around to doing a proper review for. This edition of Batman/Grendel collects both of the two prior Batman/Grendel crossovers in one pleasantly satisfying package. After writing (and drawing) a couple of Batman books before, Matt Wagner finally got a chance to introduce his creator owned property to the one and only Dark Knight and I loved it.
The first half of the collection is set earlier in Batman’s career (sans Robin) shortly after Year One and is probably my favorite of the pair. The Hunter Rose iteration of the Grendel character is the one that I was first interested by and he truly fits in well with the rest of Batman’s rogues’ gallery. Having read all of Wagner’s previous Grendel stuff, I had a leg up in regards to his motivations and personality. Probably not required, but it certainly didn’t hurt having some familiarity with Hunter and his alter ego. Matt tells the story from four different perspectives in this one. The Batman/Bruce Wayne, Grendel/Hunter Rose, Rachel King (an art gallery director), and Hillary Ferrington (a book publisher’s liason). I really dug the idea of using “normal” women with previous ties to one another to tell the story from other angles. And by “normal” I mean no tight costumes, boob windows, or gratuitous ass shots. Ironically, all the shit I typically appreciate in comics. I thought it was innovative of Wagner to have the ladies mix it up with Bruce Wayne and Hunter Rose to bring everything together. And the girls were a little like the Odd Couple. Pretty much opposites that contrasted well with Bruce and Hunter.