Tuesday, 13 February 2018
A Review of Batman: Nightwalker
I really did like this book. I think I preferred Wonder Woman: Warbringer slightly more, but this was still a fun and fast read. This was my first book by Lu, and I will definitely seek out some of her other books.
I think the most important thing to bear in mind is that this book isn't about Batman per se, but about eighteen-year-old Bruce Wayne. It's also firmly AU, so you have original characters and canon characters that act unlike their counterparts in other canon. It is, for all intents and purposes, fanfiction, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Bruce Wayne is young and impulsive, making mistakes, but his heart is in the right place. He's also an idiot at times. Well, I'd say bad at reading people, good with tech. He isn't quite Batman yet, and that's okay. He has two friends, Dianne Garcia and Harvey Dent (yes, I know...) who are there to be his friends, not receiving much character development themselves. Other side characters, such as Richard Price, get more backstory in a couple of lines. This book has a talent for making you sympathise with even people who dislike Batman, and no-where is this better shown then in Batman's discussions with Madeleine. I found myself constantly questioning if she was telling the truth, and if there was even a grain of truth in what she was telling Bruce, did that make her sympathetic?
I actually feel like making Batman do community service in Arkham Asylum was a good idea, in theory. It's the sort of work a rich boy would never have to do, and most wouldn't like. Credit to Bruce, he never complained more than a few snarky comments at the end of the day. It would also show the type of place he could end up if he went down a dark path. I just think it might have been a better idea to keep him away from the inmates.
I have to credit this book with one of the best descriptions of grief I've read. "People always expect you to move on so quickly after you experience loss, don't they? For the first few months, the sympathy pours on you. Then, gradually, it dwindles down, and one day you find yourself standing alone at the grave site, wondering why everyone else has moved on to caring about something else while you stay right here, silently carrying the same hurt."
So, if the security cameras in Arkham record voices, as is implied, why would they need to wire Bruce up to record Madeleine's voice? Bruce tells Draccon to check the security cameras for the record of Madeleine talking to him, Madeleine speaks directly to them to pass a message, and Bruce reminds her that she could lose her bed, even though she's not supposed to know he was wearing a wire. But then, when it's convenient, they can't hear? Maybe they're just not very sensitive, and only record loud sounds?
I would recommend this book to Batman fans, who don't mind something being a little loose with canon, and are looking for a fun read.