Selfless, Cold & Composed

I bought this yesterday:

I don't know what it is about Paul Pope's art that grips me, but it does. It's messy and heavy and sort of ugly and I could look at it all day. Plus, Villarubia's colors are seriously impressive. I flipped through it at Barnes & Noble and knew that it was too cool and too beautiful to leave there. I knew it would be coming home with me. Batman as anti-fascist freedom fighter in a dystopian future with ultra-rad Pope mechs? I'm so there.

I don't know if it ranks up there with the Dark Knight Returns or Year One, but I think it's one of the better Batman stories I've read. Pope's Batman is Batman as I've always imagined him: tough, resourceful and grubby. He's dressed in repurposed gear and gets banged up repeatedly. His sleeves are too short and you can see his wrists between the end of the sleeves and the top of his gloves. His utility belt is, well, utilitarian and not a catch-all full of deus ex machina superspy gear. He's a fast, tough man in a creepy mask trying to scare the bejeepers out of the bad guys. He's the Batman.

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