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Batman is one of the flagship characters of the DC universe, so it's important that the core New 52 Batman book launches on a high note. With such high expectations, it's unfortunate that issue #1 falls so badly due to poor storytelling and uninspired ideas.
The book starts out with Batman fighting all the insane criminals in Arkham Asylum. It's very much a standard action-packed opening for a book, but then something extremely interesting happens -- Batman runs into the Joker.
"Are you ready to do this?" asks Batman... and then the two proceed to beat the tar out of the other villains!
What's going on here? Why is Batman teaming up with his arch villain? Even Commissioner Gordon later mentions that the camera footage makes it looks like Batman's fighting alongside the Joker, to which Batman replies, "That'd be ridiculous Jim."
Then the Joker shows up in the Batcave? Wow! By now we're on the 10th page, and I'm very much interested. Is the Joker brainwashed? Is Batman Brainwashed? Did they really strike a deal, and if so, why would Batman strike a deal with a killer?
Alas the reality turns out to be a huge let down -- it's just Dick 'Robin" Grayson wearing an EMP mask (aka hologram mask). Wow. Just wow. There was literally a million ways they could have gone with this very interesting plot introduction, but they decided to take that route.
There are two distinct ways to tell a comic book story to your readers. The first is to keep your audience nearly as informed as the main characters. In this case, if we would have known right away that Dick Grayson was on the inside of Arkham Asylum (ready to help Batman), then we would been very pleasantly surprised to find out Dick Greyson was dressed as Joker.
The other method however, used in Batman #1, is to keep the audience in the dark completely. This allows the reader to be "surprised" as the events happen, which is typically used to keep the reader more entertained. This is a great method, as long as there's a good payoff. But treating us as stupid as the the villains who also got fooled? That's a real letdown. You should NEVER treat your reader like they're stupid -- it's the reason World War Hulk failed so badly.
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