Batman: Sins of the Father #1 – Christos Gage, Writer; Raffaele Ienco, Artist; Guy Major, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: A Detective Story
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The latest digital-first DC title, Batman: Sins of the Father #1 takes place between installments of the Batman: Telltale series, which has been acclaimed for its dark, twisty storytelling. The negative of that is that it’s taken the character and his world in some unfamiliar directions, and as such anyone who hasn’t played the most recent game is going to be a bit lost puzzling out exactly what’s going on in this series at times.
The first segment of the issue is sort of generic, as the death of Carmine Falcone has left a vacuum in Gotham’s crime scene, and now the Zucco clan and the Bertinelli clan are going to war to claim the open territory. Batman races in, delivering some dramatic Batmobile stunts and capturing a mobster while saving the life of multiple policemen. Batman’s stock has never been higher with the police than in this series, but Bruce Wayne’s status is something very different. That’s where the title comes in – the secrets of Thomas Wayne.
Outside of Scott Snyder’s take, Thomas Wayne has never exactly been a warm and fuzzy guy – he’s usually depicted as a rather stern father and an aggressive businessman, albeit one with some sense of ethics. Not here, as Bruce has recently found out that Thomas was in line with Carmine Falcone in a criminal enterprise at Arkham Asylum, experimenting on innocent people. Wayne Enterprises has been implicated in massive criminal activity, and the company is now being sued by an aggressive activist who aims to bankrupt it and claim the Wayne fortune in the names of the victims. Bruce refuses to declare bankruptcy, instead, he seeks to form a fair settlement, but before he can negotiate, the people who know the secrets of Thomas Wayne start to be gunned down – courtesy of Deadshot. It’s a bit of a mixed bag for the first issue’s plots, but there’s promise here.
Corrina: Batman: Sins of the Father #1 is in the vein of a classic Batman thriller/detective story, a back-to-basics approach to Batman that has him taking on the mob (not crazed supervillains) and unraveling a mystery at the same time, this one surrounding Thomas Wayne’s seemingly horrific experiments. Even Deadshot’s presence fits in this story, a non-powered villain whose skill is assassination.
Given the intense takes on Batman lately, especially with the Metal storyline, and Scott Snyder’s supposition that Gotham is somehow alive and feeds the yin and yang of the Batman and the Joker, Batman: Sins of the Father was a refreshing return to basics for me. I miss this Batman and I’m glad he’s appearing somewhere. I’m not thrilled that Thomas Wayne has become a villain (seemingly?) but I’m thrilled to see the emphasis on Bruce Wayne and Bruce’s desire to do right by his father’s victims. Too often, writers seem to believe Bruce Wayne is simply a front for the Batman identity but, to me, he’s another side of the character that needs to be on the page to fully understand Batman.
Recommended, especially for those wanting a solid out-of-continuity Batman story that doesn’t require them to buy fifty zillion comics or even the TellTale games.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.