Batman, Arkham Asylum and Commissioner Gordon are all ripped-off in this uneventful event series from Marvel Comics. Why DC Comics have yet to send a ‘Cease and Desist’ order is beyond me, but they should.
This week’s focus – in lieu of any really convoluted and layered storytelling – is on Nighthawk of the Squadron Supreme of America. The elite superhero team on this Mephisto-created alternative universe. Well, one assumes this reality has been created by Marvel’s devilish rogue given the revelations of last issue.
Nighthawk is Batman with a gun. And even more off his rocker. And here he is unleashed on Kraven the Hunter and others in a deadly assault on Ravenscroft with Commissioner Luke Cage bringing up the rear. It’s a dark and gothic Batman story masquerading as a Marvel plot, but once again I find myself only enamoured by the art – this time provided by R.M. Guéra, who does gothic extremely well – rather than the narrative. I mean, I buy Batman, so why would I need this rip-off? At this point in proceeding it’s really not innovative, original or even clever in any way whatsoever. Jason Aaron is so much better than this. And given how slim the overall story being told really is, I ask myself, why was this even green lit?
Not content with thieving from DC Comics, Aaron even goes back to the Marvel classics with a reinterpretation of the ‘Death of Gwen Stacy’ storyline from The Amazing Spider-Man. It all feels like a very weak, money-grabbing 12” remix, really. And another excuse for a bad guy to remind us that something is most definitely rotten in this universe. Really, you don’t say? Change the record.
Again, we get to the meat of the story only in the brief back-up, illustrated once more by the magnificent Ed McGuinness. But even as a weekly series, this whole thing seems to be moving at a snail’s pace.
As my good old dad would always remind me, “Least said, soonest mended,” so I really think I’ll leave it there for this week’s issue. Nuff said.
Heroes Reborn #5 is out now from Marvel