Batman - The impostor, review: tonight he grins again

Batman - The impostor, review: tonight he grins again

Batman - The impostor, review

Riding on the arrival in the theaters of The Batman, Panini DC Italia re-proposes in volume Batman - The impostor or the three-issue miniseries released for the Black Label label and created by Mattson Tomlin (uncredited co-writer of the new film) assisted by the Italian Andrea Sorrentino with pencils (Green Arrow, Joker - The Smile that Kills) and Jordie Bellaire with colors.

Batman - The impostor

Batman - The impostor : tonight he grins again

Doctor Leslie Thompkins is suddenly awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of a shattering window: in her living room there is Batman unconscious and seriously injured. Instinctively, the Doctor helps him by removing his mask and thus discovering that the vigilante, who has appeared in Gotham City for about three years, is actually Bruce Wayne. Dazed, Thompkins decides to help the young Bruce by making him officially his patient, in order to maintain confidentiality and therefore his incredible secret, and forcing him to therapy sessions thus revisiting the traumas and choices that led him to become Batman.| ); }
Bruce Wayne vehemently affirms to the Doctor Thompkins that someone is acting in the guise of Batman just as Detective Wong begins to follow an interesting trail, that of money: how can a man scatter steel cables on skyscrapers and hide motorbikes around the city without a large financial resources? The detective obviously starts with the richest man in town: Bruce Wayne.

Batman - The impostor, an analogue and seventies Dark Knight

Every successful cinecomics brings to the fore the age-old question of being able to convert viewers in readers. In this sense, the very justified enthusiasm for Matt Reeves' film with Robert Pattinson (recovered our review of The Batman) found fertile side not only in the vast Panini DC Italia catalog which includes all the great Batmanian classics (recover our article: Batman - The Essential Comics) but also a series of new and fresh proposals designed specifically for novice readers. Specifically, Batman - The impostor is an operation designed specifically for those who would like to rediscover the same atmosphere of the film. The miniseries by Mattson Tomlin and Andrea Sorrentino in fact share not only similar premises with the film but also the same “analogue” approach to the Dark Knight.

Tomlin plays with more or less explicit references precisely with the great classics mentioned above in order to make more familiar, especially to the most experienced readers, what is configured from the very first pages as a classic detection story. If, however, Reeves's film veered towards territories more related to the thriller, Batman - The impostor, on the other hand, remains more procedural, recalling the "usual" Year One, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory but also the 70's production of the Knight The one where the human and psychological component of Bruce Wayne began to be put in the foreground is obscure.

Tomlin, creating a simple but effective script, now relies on more distinctly cartoonish stylistic features, now on sudden cinematic accelerations but it is the television dimension the one that more or less takes over at half volume. On the one hand, in fact, the reference to Paul Dini and the work done in the seminal Batman - The Animated Series is evident, on the other the game of the double homodiegetic narrator, Doctor Leslie Thompkins and Detective Wong, allowing you to investigate Batman and Bruce Wayne in a parallel, effective and often unprecedented way.

However, it is impossible not to notice the influence of David Simon and his The Wire in the way the author puts Gotham at the center of the narrative. Batman and Gotham are an indissoluble synergy, the thematic heart of the character is in this essential ethical-social dichotomy and Tomlin wants to return, with a modern and realistic edge, to the origins of the character: how Batman's actions influence and modify the juridical microcosm and Gotham ethics? What does it mean for a single man to take charge of the administration of "justice"?

For the record, it should be emphasized that in the second half of the volume the story loses a bit of its bite. The mystery of the Batman impostor is excessively diluted with a couple of twists that I can't perfectly also the romantic subplot between Bruce Wayne and Wong at one point monopolizes the plot, but failing to give the right push either in merely dramatic terms or narratives, just rethink the canvas used that follows that of a classic of the 70s or Strane Apparizioni. Net of this, Batman - The Imposter remains one of the freshest and most interesting stories, especially for novice readers, currently available on the shelves. It is not a banality and it is not even an easy goal to reach given the amount of Batmanian material, old and new, which reaches bookstores and comic shops every month.

The work of Andrea Sorrentino corroborates this last statement. and Jordie Bellarie, an incredibly effective test in trying on the one hand to intercept what would have been the aesthetics of the film (the costume of this Batman is really similar to that of the film just to give the most trivial example) and on the other to maintain a very precise iconographic identity that differs from the latest interpretations of the Dark Knight more based on dynamism and muscularity.

Sorrentino therefore from a stylistic point of view returns to using deep blacks for a chiaroscuro effect that recalls David Mazzuchelli and Lee Bermejo. Everything is underlying to enhance the urban setting of a Gotham but so realistic where Batman is actually never the protagonist of the tables but a fleeting and brutal presence, a sort of "black man" that can be seen with the corner of his eye. to counterbalance a shy Bruce Wayne with a marble expression. The designer from Campania, as he had done in Freccia Verde, goes back to digging figures and expressions in these blacks while Jordie Bellaire, with brushstrokes now full and uniform, now faster and more painterly, plays with both algid and crepuscular lights but also with chromatic contrasts between secondary colors such as purples and oranges that are juxtaposed in a very humorous way and where blue and red are used to break up the juxtaposition game.

Sorrentino's approach to table setting. In fact, the Campania designer reworked the concept of widescreen in his own way, both by playing with a horizontality of clear cinematographic derivation but above all with rhetorical-productive solutions with a strong impact between live squares, highlighted details and overflowing elements that act as pivot for the composition itself. In any case, everything is addressed for a completely immersive reading and experience.

The volume

Panini DC Italia packs a soft touch hardcover volume in the classic 17 × 26 cm format, an unusual choice for the productions of the Black Label label that usually benefit from a more square format and tabloid style, using instead the classic format is certainly preferable to be handled even for any novice readers. . The carto-technical care is impeccable: the chosen paper is coated but not excessively glossy, a choice that enhances the graphic work of Andrea Sorrentino, the thread binding is solid and the trimming of the pages allows for easy reading.

From an editorial and editorial point of view, the translation and adaptation are very smooth, at the beginning of the volume there is a brief introduction by the Italian editor of the volume. The only flaw of this volume re-edition of the miniseries is the almost total absence of extras of any kind except for the inevitable variant covers. Small side note: in the official synopsis and on the back cover it is indicated that Batman has been operating for about a year, however in the first chapter it clearly says that "Batman came out of nowhere three years ago".

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