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Batman/Doc Savage Special #1 Comic Book

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Preview Pages

Sample interior pages from this comic.
Title:

Bronze Night

Date of Publication
January 2010
Cover Price
$4.99

Our Rating:
4 stars

Credits:

Brian Azzarello
Writer
Phil Noto
Penciler
Phil Noto
Inker
Phil Noto
Colorist
J. G. Jones
Cover Penciler

Comic Book Synopsis / Plot

Written by Peter Silvestro

“The world is full of it…wonder.” Those are the words mysterious vigilante known as the Batman hears from dying porn producer Dan Dowd on a late night visit to a nightclub. Discovered by a waitress, Batman engages in gunplay with Dowd’s henchmen and leaps out the window, swooping away on a rope and grapple. In New York, Doc Savage postpones a visit to the cemetery with his aides to head to Gotham City. Young millionaire Bruce Wayne reads about Savage’s impending visit to investigate the Batman over his breakfast table. Later, as TV journalist Vicki Vale reports the arrival of Doc Savage at a gala in his honor, at a bar, Police Captain Raleigh expresses disgust with an outsider interfering in police business, while his subordinate Jim Gordon lends his support to Savage and guarded approval for the Batman. At the party, Doc Savage tries to reassure the assembled big shots of his mission, when a drunken Bruce Wayne mocks Savage’s mission and takes a poke at him, which Doc parries effortlessly. Having sized up his opponent, Batman invades Doc’s room to go through his papers, suspecting a secret link between Doc and the villain. He is surprised by Doc’s aide Renny then a few minutes later by Doc returning with Vicki Vale for an interview. Batman seizes Vicki as a hostage to distract Doc then leaps out the window—and to his horror a plunging Doc Savage seizes him. Batman swings them through a window where Doc immobilizes his gun hands. Batman kicks Doc in the face and drops through the window, speeding away on his cycle. The next evening, after a visit to the morgue, Doc Savage announces on television that Batman is innocent of this crime: the bullet that killed Dowd was of a different caliber than that used by Batman. He is careful to note that this only absolves him of guilt for this crime: “good men don’t wear masks.” That night the two heroes meet and Doc proposes they work together but Batman dismisses the idea, claiming that Savage doesn’t understand the depth of Gotham’s corruption. Doc explains that his late father raised him to be a hero who saved the world; Batman brushes aside a question about his father and reveals that Doc’s Hidalgo Trading Company was listed in a ledger in Dowd’s office as a contributor to the mysterious Golden Tree (as was Wayne Industries, but Batman doesn’t mention that). While they are talking Doc gets a call that Dowd’s murderer has been found dead. Batman swings off saying, “Leave Gotham to me…you save the world.”

 

Comments


Peter Silvestro (February 15, 2010)
Alfred also appears. A back of the book feature profiles the characters who will appear in the forthcoming miniseries: Batman, Doc Savage, Doc’s aides (all five), the Avenger, the Spirit, a reimagined Black Canary, Rima the Jungle Girl (from a DC miniseries in the 1970s, plus episodes of SUPER FRIENDS, inspired by W.H. Hudson’s Green Mansions), a new team of Blackhawks, and villains Anton Colossi and Ferrios. John Sunlight is hinted at.

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Reviews

By Peter Silvestro
Prologue to the FIRST WAVE miniseries, presenting an alternate universe in which pulp adventurers, not superheroes, protect the world. The major change for this new timeline is that Batman is like the Shadow, a gun-wielding vigilante and a young, cocky force for a dubious justice, as he is just starting his mission and still questioning it himself. Doc Savage is presented with a similar mission, also related to his father, and is portrayed as a self-contained, coolly competent adventurer who does not need to prove anything, hence his low-key introduction. Visually he is rather bland, a large solid man with a blond widow’s peak and blond eyebrows, dressed in normal clothes. Renny, depicted as a big handsome man with close cropped hair, is the only aide to appear.
Azzarello’s writing is of a piece with his 100 BULLETS work—dark criminal conspiracies and all that—but it’s largely just another “two heroes meet and fight” story. The point of this tale, aside from giving us a teaser for the coming miniseries, is for Doc Savage and Batman to size each other up, possibly leading to a working relationship similar to the Batman/Superman one in the mainstream DC universe; not surprisingly it’s also similar to the Shadow/Doc Savage interplay from their earlier DC crossover.
Noto’s art is the star: all muted colors and sharply delineated faces, resembling fashion illustration circa 1960, with a slight Art Deco flair. The big question is: when does this series take place? The date is kept ambiguous though the presence of a cassette player and other trappings (including the promise of a second-generation team of Blackhawks) seem to point at a 1970s setting but a cell phone seems to suggest an even later decade. The cassette player and the phones are owned by Doc Savage so they may be examples of “advanced technology,” though.
Verdict: Doc Savage is back, and so far DC seems to be treating him with more respect than they did in the 1987-88 miniseries. I really hope they can pull this off.

Score: 3 (out of 5)