Death and the Maidens

Book - 2004
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This intense new standalone Batman graphic novel stars one of the Dark Knight's most enigmatic adversaries: Ra's Al Ghul - the featured villain in the forthcoming movie Batman Begins! 600 years old, Ra's Al Ghul has spent his existence trying to wipe out humanity. But now, with his life draining away, Ra's turns to Batman, to help save him, whether to aid his ancient namesis, Batman's decision may be wrested from him when another party enters the fray with their own terrible agenda! Written by Greg Rucka (Gotham Central), with artwork by Klaus Janson (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns), Batman: Death and the Maidens is as cerebral as it is visceral!
Publisher: New York, NY : DC Comics, [2004], ©2004
ISBN: 9781435216105
Branch Call Number: 741.5973 Ru
Description: 214 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 26 cm
Additional Contributors: Janson, Klaus


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Dec 12, 2012

Kudos to the Rucka and Janson team on another in-depth look at not only Ras but his [two?] daughters. I really enjoyed the graphics - and for all intents - the storyline too. Ras is like the Joker; both bug the heck out of you BUT you want more! Maybe the two could duke it out - a sort of jing and jang [though the question begs "who is which?"

Jun 01, 2010

This may be a comic book—which is nearly always geared towards kids—but that doesn’t mean that complex emotional issues can’t be raised using these colourful over-the-top characters.

When it comes to the fictional character Batman—who’s seen thousands of writers and artist re-interpret him over the years since his debut nearly three quarters of a century ago—it’s hard to come up with anything new and original to say about him. Most writers try to hard to make extravagant stories lines and shake up the status quo whereas in this graphic novel, Greg Rucka tries to delve into the character and ask overlooked ideas and questions. This story is about being haunted by the ghost of one’s parents; A parents’ wants, desires and expectations of their child and the child’s desire to be an individual. For all of the countless stories written about Batman, nobody’s tried to ask what his parents would think about his career choice. Various viewpoints on the issue are explored using Batman’s long time adversary, the near immortal, Ra’s Al Ghul.

Greg Rucka continues to prove himself a meditative writer not concerned with flash but with depth. He does get himself into trouble when he writes for Batman character’s by trying to make audacious decisions with longstanding characters that can’t be taken back easily; when writing a character that’s been around for decades and meant to last for decades more, one single writer is seldom allowed to make change the status quo too much, and as such generally nobody stays dead and batman will always be Batman. At least here Batman’s ideas are challenged and his beliefs are reaffirmed.

Klaus Janson, is a long-time DC Comics artist who’s is held in high regard in the industry. As such, it’s almost a crime to criticise him. His drawings here are competent but may be too jagged and inaccessible to comic-newbies. The same could be said of the writing, but if a reader is tired of the stories of excess and wants something that tries to say something, perhaps this book will be appreciated.


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