While Dan DiDio and J.G. Jones’s story is good–though Jones is a little static and one has to question whether Batman should really be allowing Man-Bat to eat people, even if they are really bad guys–it’s also the only decent story in the issue. The rest are atrocious.
Rafael Grampá, who has a very indie style until he apes Paul Pope’s Batman, does this terrible little story with the Joker and then a big reveal at the end. Awful narration.
Rafael Albuquerque does something similar, just without narration and it makes a little less sense. Batman in purgatory, confronting his past. Dumb final reveal, bad sting.
Then Jeff Lemire goes for the heavy narration too–about Thomas Wayne mostly–set against Alex Nino’s nearly incomprehensible action art.
The last story, with lovely Golden Age inspired art from Dave Bullock, has an idiotic script from Michael Uslan.
Manbat Out Of Hell; writer, Dan DiDio; artist, J.G. Jones; letterer, Travis Lanham. Into the Circle; writer and artist, Rafael Grampá; letterer, Steve Wands. A Place in Between; writer and artist, Rafael Albuquerque; letterer, Sal Cipriano. Winter’s End; writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, Alex Niño; letterer, Dezi Sienty. Silent Night… Unholy Night!; writer, Michael Uslan; artist and letterer, Dave Bullock. Editors, Camilla Zhang and Mark Chiarello; publisher, DC Comics.