Review: The Next Batman: Second Son #1

The Next Batman: Second Son #1
Writer: John Ridley

Artists: Tony Akins, Ryan Benjamin, and Mark Morales
Color Artist: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Review by Steve J. Ray

Summary

DC’s Future State event has given us fresh new takes on the greatest comics characters of all time. Now, by popular demand, and after great reviews from fans and critics alike, John Ridley’s expanding on the origins of Tim “Jace” Fox in The Next Batman: Second Son #1.

Positives

Tim Fox is a badass. Yes, this look back at his special forces/black ops days is a real eye-opener, and strengthens the case for his worthiness of the mantle of the Bat. John Ridley writes a sympathetic, believable, and impressive character. Enough seeds are sown to build intrigue and interest for future instalments, and the plot and dialogue pump along at a solid pace.

The art team of Ryan Benjamin, Tony Akins, and Mark Morales, alongside Rex Lokus on colors, also do a fine job. Deron Bennett’s letters are always great, and I particularly love the way he translates Ridley’s sounds of violence to the action scenes.

I’m really looking forward to seeing this on the printed page, as opposed to reading it on a cold, dead screen.

Negatives

I really don’t like the formatting of digital comics. The truncated, landscape pages are clunky, and the auto zooming, while helpful in showing you which way to look may be seen as helpful to some; as a veteran comics reader, I hate it. I like to take a quick scan of the whole page (with my eyes) before reading it, and then focus on the art and story at my own pace. I like taking in the details organically, as a well laid out, and professionally lettered comic-book – which is what I’d expect from this level of creative talent – should be designed to flow, and to help the eye follow the story naturally.

The chapter itself is great, but I’m really not a fan of the digital reading experience.

Verdict

This series really is worth picking up, if The Next Batman: Second Son #1 is anything to go by. The characterization is solid, and  the dialogue comes across as natural and engaging. The art’s solid and a genuine effort has been made to lay solid foundations for what’s to come. I look forward to the story coming out in individual issues, or a collected edition soon, so it can be read the way comics are meant to be.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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