- October 20, 2021
Batman Vs Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham #2
Written by: Bill Willingham
Penciling by: Brian Level
Inking by: Jay Leisten
Coloring by: Lee Loughridge
Lettering by: Steve Wands
Firstly, wow… wow, wow… wow. I thought I had my problems with the first issue of Batman Vs Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham. That had more to do with the creator than the issue’s content. The content itself was fine, with a few worrying creative choices, but this issue is just… wow.
Secondly, I hate this issue. Honestly, a lot of people were right to be nervous after the first issue. It was a warning of things to come when it wasn’t one or two Robins around, but all of them. Seeing how Batman and Dick Grayson are drilling and training Robins like soldiers is just… disgusting, and reprehensible.
This Batman feels like a true sociopath. He’s turning kids into child soldiers rather than helping them become heroes to overcome their trauma. The way he talks about them, and the way Dick Grayson talks about and to the Robins is sickening. Even worse, though it’s only a few pages, the characterization of Batman doesn’t clash with a man who would militarize children.
Furthermore, Batman in this book comes off like a monster who wears the Bruce Wayne identity like a mask. He even seems to believe in his own hype to a ludicrous degree. The story problems that come with a Batman who comes up with a plan in two seconds are obvious. Plot and character development gets thrown to the wayside to make Batman look cool, there’s no character progression, and it almost always ends in a boring self-serious ending.
Like I said before, this issue pushes it even further by writing Batman as a man who buys into his own hype. It’s not subtle like he hasn’t even noticed. It comes off more like he actually thinks he can create a plan to beat anyone in two seconds.
The Fables side of Batman Vs Bigby: A Wolf in Gotham doesn’t fare much better. I was wrong in thinking Holly Grace was going to be the killer. *SPECIFIC SPOILERS* She’s Cinderella. Cinderella is a popular character from the Fables comic. Her one interaction with Bigby drives home that unless this story takes place before the events of Fables, or his character has regressed. He’s unlikeable, aggressive, murderous, and every bit as arrogant as this Bruce Wayne.
When we were first introduced to Bigby Wolf in Fables Vol 1, he was an intelligent yet grimy detective. Sure he had a temper, but he wasn’t a bad dude. He used his head and did detective work. He didn’t butcher random people for information, or wolf-out in front of mundies. I thought the biggest problem with this series was going to be the problematic creator. I hadn’t considered that the book would just be unenjoyable.