Writer(s): Christopher Golden & Tom Sniegoski
Artist(s): Marshall Rogers, John Cebollero
US Publisher: DC Comics, 2000
Charlie is 27 years old and is mentally handicapped, but he’s also loyal, steadfast and dependable. And he’s obsessed with the Batman of his childhood: the Adam West version of Batman from the popular ’60s camp series. When Charlie sees a childhood playmate — his Robin in younger days — gone bad, he knows only Batman can save her.
This graphic novel may not get the highest star rating on the reviews in lieu of its lack of innovation on the graphical storytelling department, but it is one awesome piece of reading, and it carries more heart than anything I’ve read this decade.
That said, try to buy this book if you happen to find it buried in dust in your local book store, and if you like it, let DC know, so they make more like this.
DC benefited from two very talented writers Christopher Golden & Tom Sniegoski to tell a very delicate and sensitive story in a way that didn’t relay on sappy histrionics, or fell pray of used clichés. In case you didn’t catch it on the PLOT section, the main character in this story is mentally handicapped, and whenever you deal with such topics you incur raising the ire of the PC (Political Correct) Guardians!
But this book is written with such a dispassionate manner, such a realistic demeanor, that mainly you have to credit the writers for actually selecting what to focus on, and letting the story run its course. At the bottom of the tale, there are some archetypes, but this judgments are passed by individuals very much like ourselves, who also in real life go through our daily events thinking “That’s a swell guy” or “What a rotten gal!”
So, while I am sure that the writers also know that behind the bad guy in this books lies a sad sob story of some type of abuse, or something of that ilk, there is a point in life when you (as a functioning human being) start judging people for their actions and how those actions affects us, and not the deeper meaning, or ulterior message behind them.
This is how we should receive more DC offerings. Mixing them with the right measure of realism and professional writing that would serve as a vehicle for claiming recognition from other media outlets. I wonder if the marketing department at DC sent a copy of this to morning shows, or tried to open interview channels with the New York Times. This is a book that would’ve been an amazing ambassador for those vehicles and would’ve given those talking heads in the morning show something relatable they could babble about, while they themselves try to capture a different demographic, the hip comic reader.
The graphic department is effective and drives the message home without any technical gimmicks or shenanigans. Another point in favor of dropping this book on the doorsteps of other critics and outlets. They readers that are not comic book savvy won’t be turned off by an art style that is too personalized, (I know people who actually don’t like Mignola, go figure!)
But at the end of the day, this book flew under the radar quite a bit, and that’s why am I “reviving” it here.
This is the type of books that should be encouraged, supported, and marketed properly that put the industry in its rightful place in our society: As flexible and serious communication tools.
So, on my critics rating, Realworlds: BATMAN gets
7 1/2 STARS