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Batman & the Signal Paperback – Illustrated, August 28, 2018
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“A chance to see Gotham City in the daylight.” —Hollywood Reporter
About the Author
Tony Patrick is an alumnus of DC's New Talent Development Workshop. Patrick is the creator of X'ED (Black Mask Studios) and Black Card (HBO/Cinemax). BATMAN & THE SIGNAL is Patrick's first series with DC Comics.
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Paperback : 160 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1401279678
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401279677
- Product Dimensions : 6.64 x 0.24 x 10.18 inches
- Publisher : DC Comics; Illustrated Edition (August 28, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #966,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The book is a compilation of a three issue arc which is really too short to try and develop a major new character like the Signal, but that’s only part of the problem. He, along with two girls who work with him, were apparently introduced in a book that is referenced but which I haven’t Read and as a result felt confused about many things throughout this story. Several plot points were, I believe, intentionally left confusing and while that detracted from the enjoyment of the story a great deal. I can’t blame that on not having read the prior book. However, Duke, himself, was never really explained, nor were the two girls who formed his support team. Where did they come from and how did they become a team? How did Duke become Bruce Wayne/Batman’s new protege - he is definitely not a sidekick - and does the Bat family need a new member? Who is this detective that is going to be Signal’s police “partner” in the way Jim Gordon is Batman’s?
Then, there is the mess of the plot. The teen meta humans are never explained . Where they came from and how they got powers remains as much a mystery now as it did when we started. Sure, that’s the basis of future stories but we don’t have many clues. The big bad is rather weak. He appears out of nowhere with no explanation, knows everything about Duke and seemingly everyone else, claims falsely ? To be Duke’s dad and is generally as much a mess as the rest of the story. So, basically, what we have are lots of people dropping in and out with minimal explanation of why while Duke spends the whole book trying to figure out what his powers are all the while trying to take down the big bad with a dumb name who doesn’t even appear until chapter 3.
The idea of Signal as a young analogue to Batman patrolling the Narrows and the rest of Gotham by day and primarily dealing with his age group is not a bad one. It holds a lot of promise, especially with Scott Snyder behind it and the art was decent, for the most part. It’s just that Snyder whiffed the opening chapters.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and DC in exchange for an honest review.
As mentioned earlier this book collects various stories about Batman and Duke Thomas. It began with a story called “Cursed Wheel” and then on page 72 there is a different story called “Role Call.” While I was reading “Cursed Wheel” I felt I had a sense of Déjà vu of being familiar with this story already; it turns out the story appeared earlier in DC Comic’s All-Star Batman, Volume 2: Ends of the Earth. The second story “Roll Call” actually felt like it was more as a “filler” rather than a fully developed story. “Role Call” begins with Batman’s sidekick name Duke fighting “Red Hood” which in this version is former Robin name Jason Todd. It later turn out that Duke was actually in a training program that Batman set up to prepare Duke for his calling of being a superhero. The third and final story began on page 83 and is the “Batman and the Signal” story that the title of this book derived its name. Honestly I felt the first two stories were added to this book as fillers for this volume. The final story in this book was the best one. This final story happen to be told in three part with the first being “Gotham by Day. Part One: Morning” and the final installment being “Gotham by Day: Part Three; Dusk.” Here we see the transition of Duke becoming “The Signal” on his first day of being an hero on his own. This is almost an origin story of “The Signal” since it is here that we see “The Signal” trying to discover what is his secret power that he had and which his villains realize he has and wishes to harvest his power. I appreciate the writer Scott Snyder and his ability to build suspense and mystery especially with the anxiety of wondering who was behind the attack and whether Batman might be knowing a lot more than he let on. The storyline was incredibly well done.
I enjoyed this book for several reasons. First off I think it is awesome that the Signal was a different person and character than the typical side kick of Batman who wore the Robin costume. The Signal has a different uniform with a different color (Yellow) and Batman even moves him away to another location for his operations center so that he can be his own person. Secondly I think you also see a more mature Batman; he’s willing to “think outside the box.” This include training Duke in a different manner than the way he trained other sidekicks. Also Batman has Duke become the Signal as the hero for daytime Gotham as opposed to the usual Batman and Robin duo who worked primarily at night. Thirdly I enjoyed also how Duke parallel Bruce Wayne in many ways. Both have seen their parents get killed as a child. Both are principled superheroes who are detective first and fighters second. Both also work with law enforcement in their fight against injustice. Fourthly I also enjoyed the new characters in this book that I haven’t seen before from older Batman comic books. For instance the Signal is largely new although I was also surprised at how Duke, the character being the hero has been around for DC comics stories about Batman for over ten years beginning with Duke Thomas being a kid that saved Batman by patching him up during Batman’s fight against the Riddler when he held Gotham hostage for months known as Year Zero I never made the connection until after I read this work. That is kind of neat to see.
NOTE: This book was provided to me free by DC Comics and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
Top reviews from other countries
I really enjoyed this book. Duke is not a character I would ordinarily be interested by but he is an interesting lens through which to see the Bat-family – not mention he adds some much-needed diversity to the group.
Building on what Snyder started in his Batman series, Snyder & Patrick write a brilliant story in which they really showcase Duke and his unique set of skills. This book, whilst being called ‘Batman & the Signal’ (and featuring all the Bat-family members and some old favourites from We Are Robin) is really all Duke’s with Bruce playing much more of a supporting character role.
This story follows him as he helps to solve crimes with his mentor, whilst also trying to establish what sort of hero he is and what his place is within the larger group dynamic. This latter part is the central focus of the story and really endeared Duke to me as a character; his feelings of inadequacy and feeling the need to repeatedly prove his worth are ones many people can relate to and are showed brilliantly in his reflective style of narrative.
I especially like the art; the layout and design of the panels on every page alone is something to enjoy, but I also really enjoyed the black and yellow accented pieces and action scenes. I really like Duke’s costume design too, I think it fits perfectly with the corner of Gotham that he has carved out as his to protect.
Overall, I’d consider this a great jumping on point for anyone interesting in reading about Duke, the Bat-family or comics in general.
Writing Quality – 7/10
Image/Illustration Quality – 8/10
Character Development – 9/10
Overall – 8/10
Find my full review on my blog, Bloodthirsty Little Beasts.
It’s cheap pick it up for
Completeness but no way a classic
Eine geheimnisvolle Figur namens Gnomon (scheint 2017 in zu sein, s. Nick Harkaway) scheint sich sehr für Dukes Entwicklung zu interessieren, der gewissermaßenb die Tagschicht übernimmt, denn tagsüber ist Gotham etwas anderes, als in der Nacht, wenn die erweiterte Batfamilie normalerweise unterwegs ist. Und gerade an diesen Tagen tauchen in den Narrows immer wieder neue Metas auf, die Duke auf überaus seltsame Art und Weise gegenübertreten.
Ein wenig sehr konstruiert wirkend - und bisher finde ich die Figur Duke/Signal nur eingeschränkt interessant.
l'histoire avec Zsaz est un petit bijoux, certains passages sont franchement moche et l'histoire principale que conclut cette bd est vraiment pas mal hormis l'adversaire, présenté comme quelqu'un proche de lui puis au final la fin est un poil décevante... bon pas de problème, il a un avenir certain devant lui chez DC si ils arrivent à lui faire une place de choix. L'originalité du perso tient du fait qu'il a tendance à vouloir être le membre de jour pour surveiller Gotham. Bref rien d'incroyable mais surveillons ce Duke de plus près !