Batman: Year Two - Fear the Reaper (Batman (Graphic Novels)) Paperback – December 1, 2002
"The Fifth Doll" by Charlie N. Holmberg
The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series transports readers to a darkly whimsical world where strange magic threatens a quiet village. | Learn more
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- Grade Level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 0.32 ounces
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1563899671
- ISBN-13 : 978-1563899676
- Product Dimensions : 6.63 x 0.33 x 10.25 inches
- Publisher : DC Comics; Gph Edition (December 1, 2002)
- Language: : English
Best Sellers Rank:
#1,581,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #3,834 in DC Comics & Graphic Novels
- #10,337 in Teen & Young Adult Comics & Graphic Novels (Books)
- #19,551 in Superhero Comics & Graphic Novels
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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With that said, I will agree with other reviewers that you cannot call something Batman Year Two and not get comparisons to Batman Year One. This does not compare. The Reaper story is decent though and I will give kudos to the artwork; however there are a lot of negatives.
First, and foremost, Batman uses a gun. I don't know how DC approved this. It is totally against Batman.
Second, the demise of Joe Chill would just seem to detract from the entire Batman psyche as to why he is out night after night. However, the combination of this, along with a love interest, does have a good tone in that if things may have ended differently, Batman would have ended being Batman right there and been in love. So, that adds to the Batman mystic. I mean if Joe Chill is dead, and Bruce Wayne is in love, so early in the Batman crusade, does Batman just fade away and Bruce Wayne take back his life?
The origins of the Reaper are similar to Batman. The Reaper is just a more violent vigilante than Batman and the line as to what is helping v. fighting crime is much different. I wish we knew more about how the Reaper became so powerful.
I may be a bit hard with only two stars, but it isn't like a Miller story (four stars), and the story itself is not as good as something like Dark Victory (three stars) and there isn't as much Batman significance like the Killing Joke. So, it was hard to place.
This is going to painful to write because if I were less in control, that is if I still had this book to read, I might just record myself throwing up and post that as the review for Year Two - and it would get across my point far more clearly than this review would otherwise - but here goes nothing. And it's a big nothing - Year Two is about the world's crappiest villain called the Reaper. He's clothed in a red gimp outfit, a black cloak, and wears a silver skull mask, minus the jaw. His hands though are what kills me - giant question mark-sized scythes protrude from balled spikes in which house twin handguns. I had to go online immediately to see if Rob Liefeld had designed the Reaper, it was that outrageous - but no, this particularly insane creation was dreamt up by Mike Barr and Alan Davis.
The Reaper aka Judson Caspian (say that name out loud - Judson! Incredible) is also a geriatric. He's ancient! This old guy dresses up like Poe's Red Death but with ridiculously unwieldy blades for hands and heads out into the city's red light district to carve up prostitutes, Ripper-style baby! And he also thinks Batman, who, this being Year Two, is still green around the ears, is his protegé and will replace him when he's gone. He is a godawful villain. His 2 page origin is laughable, his appearance screams 90s chic, and every single aspect of him is cringeworthy.
Oh and he has the most hilarious catchphrase ever. Every single time he shows up he says some rubbish and then says "Have you learned yet to Fear..the Reaper?" That phrase "Fear... the Reaper" is done the same way every time with the ellipses following the word fear. Every. Single. Time.
Batman meanwhile has fallen in love with Judson's daughter in the most forced romance you'll ever read - I forget her name and everything about her because I kept being distracted by her mom hair. Seriously if you were a kid in the early 90s you'll recognise your mom or your schoolteacher or at least a couple of women who had the same look as Bruce's sweetheart in this book. Oh and Batman is also using guns in this book. Yeah. I can sort of forgive him because you could argue it's early in his career and he's not totally forsworn against guns - even though, duh, he should be! - but it's still a terrible choice by Barr and co.
While Batman fights the Reaper, there's a pitiful subplot about Joe Chill and Batman facing Joe for killing his parents, and then when Joe gets offed, we get his son and his grandson going after Batman and oh god make it stop!
I was having such a hard time getting through this crap that I had to look up what Mike Barr looked like so I could visualise my hatred of him. Then I dozed off for half an hour and during that nap I imagined Mike Barr with Year Two books for hands coming after me like the Reaper does after Batman, saying "Have you learned to Fear...My Crappy Book?". Oh yes. The one thing you will learn to fear when reading this is picking it up to keep reading.
It's not just that it's filled with bad characters, a contrived plot, stupid dialogue, crap writing/art and forgettable scenes - it has all of that but it's unlike other bad Batman books in the sense that those things aren't the reason why it's so bad. No, this book is crushingly BORING. It's so, so boring, that's what makes reading this such a chore. Every single thing that happens makes you shrug, "so... what.".
It's amazing how much of a polar opposite Year Two is compared to Year One. Year One is a masterpiece, Year Two is utter garbage. Seriously, if you see this on the shelf, flip it off and move on.
Top reviews from other countries
Not necessarily a follow-on to year one, but i actually preferred this over Y1, as its fast-paced, shows a different and cold batman and really shows the detective doing what he does best!