What is Kevin Smith doing? That was exactly what I was thinking as I read Batman: The Widening Gyre number three. Just like The Unseen miniseries, the Widening Gyre is unable to keep the momentum from issue two into issue three. And, Walter Flanagan isn’t getting any better.
While Kevin Smith seems to be writing an original piece of storytelling, I find myself wondering where it is all going. Smith seems to have a much different agenda with this book then he had when he recreated such characters as Daredevil or Green Arrow. It seems with Batman, Smith likes to tell little clever stories that can be considered humorous. The Widening Gyre seems to be one of those stories, a book with little consequences. Issue three still does not give us a clear definition of where this story is going. We find Batman’s life in the hands of Cornelius Stirk, when Robin shows up and takes care of the situation. We then cut to a dull written conversation between Batman and Robin; this is where Smith should make up for the “cloudy” plot. Instead, the book’s dialogue is rather boring. The story also continues the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Silver St. Cloud. I am still not quite sure what her purpose is yet, but I’m sure this will be explained before this arc is over. We also learn the name of the other caped crusader, Baphomet. We learn that this caped goat is someone who worships Batman and only wishes to help out. Again, I don’t see what role his character is really playing in this story. He appears when Batman needs assistance dealing with a B-level villain apparently. Aquaman also appears in the issue as Bruce’s “Justice League Crony”, who is shocked to find that Bruce has found a companion who is getting close. This story arc in general just isn’t doing anything for me. I feel that Smith’s best days are clearly behind him. However, I am still curious to see where all of this is going.
The mediocre story is one thing; the artwork is something of its own. Walter Flanagan continues his struggles to draw the bat-family. His art is also becoming much more distracting, inconsistencies are noticeable on every panel in the issue. He has no understanding of the character’s body proportions. Batman is drawn as a big brute in one panel, and drawn as a little midget in another. This book severely suffers because of Flanagan’s artwork.
I find it interesting that the bat-books that do contain Bruce Wayne in them, are far less interesting then the books with Dick Grayson as Batman. This is a miniseries that I just do not see serving a real purpose. If you are a Kevin Smith fan, I would suggest that you read this book. This issue, like most of Smith’s work, hinged on the dialogue, and it wasn’t up to snuff. I thought the story was written very flat and we all know that Walter Flanagan isn’t going surprise anyone. I think that this book just has a poor creative team behind it, and I do not know that things are going to change.
Batman: The Widening Gyre #3:
Reviewed by Zfactor