Thanks to Midtown Comics and my own local Comic Book store, I’ve got all but the last two uncollected chapters of Knightsquest: the Search.
Justice League Task Force. Obviously, this is a Justice League title for the inclusion of D-listers, so I can understand why the comic store guy said they’d banished them all to the $.50 boxes because ‘we just couldn’t move them’. The art is pretty bad; I know Bruce is supposed to look a bit rough after being beaten by Bane, but here he’s drawn like Dustin Hoffman dying of AIDS in Midnight Cowboy. The cameo of Tim Drake makes him look like he’s in his 40s; now, I know how Tim is drawn is hella inconsisten throughout the various titles, but this is the worst I’ve seen him look. The coloring was pretty bad, too, with the villain’s mustache being brown only half the time and fleshtone pink the rest. Bruce was obviously here to raise awareness of a mediocre new title before continuing his story in higher quality lines.
The Shadow of the Bat arc with the Hood, however, is pretty great. In fact, I’ve come to learn from the Knightfall Omnibuses that Shadow of the Bat is a consistently high quality title, and SotB interludes in the main story were often high points. The Shadow of the Bat: Bruce Wane mini-arc is no exception. The art and writing were far superior to the JLTF portion. The villain is pretty WTF evil. Cripple Bruce is cane-wielding faux-british badass, though I’ll admit that I would’ve never thought the dude with the mutton-chops on the cover was the same guy as Batman.
I’ll probably start the Quarry once I get the last two issues of Legends of the Dark Knight, which have proved somewhat more elusive. How good the QUarry is will determine a lot of my feelings for the Search. The JLTF was lousy, the SotB was great, so my opinion hangs in the balance! I do have a feeling that it will make me appreciate the Crusade a bit more. Because Abattoir and Tallyman were both pretty good villains. It’s just nice to have the full story.
Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m going to go all out on “modern” Batman stuff. I figure checking out all of the ‘important’ stories and arcs from between Crisis and Flashpoint gives me a reasonable 25 years of stuff to choose from. If anything, I can be thankful that the “New 52” gave me a nice hardline cut-off point, where I can say “And after 2011, I can stop caring, because that’s not the Batman from my childhood anymore.” Thanks, Dan DiDio!