Tuesday, September 28, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 49

This is an ongoing series looking at books that influenced me as a fantasy author.

Batman: Gothic
by Grant Morrison

Batman: GothicWith superb artwork by Klau Janson, Batman: Gothic is one of the most compelling tales of Batman I've read.

The plot surrounds a mysterious figure called Mr. Whisper, who has links to Bruce Wayne's childhood and who was apparently murdered by a group of criminals years earlier. Somehow, Mr. Whisper survived the earlier attempt on his life, and now he's back in Gotham City some 20 years later, and he's seeking vengeance upon the mobsters who tried to whack him.

Or so you think. Actually, the plot goes much deeper, back several hundred years to a monastery in Europe where a monk made a pact with the Devil for three hundred years of life.

There. That's all I'm going to say on this story's plot, but I'll add that it's a fantastically eerie tale that should be a draw for any fans of gothic literature, even fans of horror, dark fantasy and ... yep, graphic novels.

Batman: Gothic was originally released as a five-part series, but is more commonly viewed today in its graphic novel form.

The Batman here is a little different, though recognizable, from his more common comic bookish persona, a bit darker with a touch of sadness and empathy. But that doesn't mean he won't kick butt when necessary, and can't be quite harsh at times.

One of the things I always loved about this tale was that it's not really one genre. It mixes so many different elements from horror and spandex heroes and fantasy. In fact, this tale mixes these elements so well, it makes a great primer for writers wanting to learn how to incorporate the different speculative genres into one tale.

Up next: Grendel

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Another graphic novel I need to check out. I've only read a few of these kinds of works and my reviews have been pretty mixed so far. I did love The WAtchmen though