As I mentioned, I dropped a number of titles from my pull. The first of these was Batman: The Widening Gyre and honestly, had I been paying attention I wouldn’t have started getting it in the first place. Why? It is written by Kevin Smith and the man is a hack. The series is complete crap. I’m going to make it a point to pay attention to writers more often and if Kevin Smith is listed as the writer, I’m going to leave it on the shelf.
For this series Smith apparently looked at the Batman story and thought to himself “Batman is too happy. He needs some tragedy in his life.” Smith then proceeds to write a very un-Batman Batman and a very un-Bruce Wayne Bruce Wayne. The whole story, all the characters and the various events in the series just don’t track right. As I read, I found myself thinking “Batman never would act or talk like this.” Smith is completely tone deaf.
Not only does Smith handle all the established characters badly, he goes out of his way to try to ruin other events in the Batman story. I’m surprised he doesn’t have a scene where Batman’s parents don’t die, they just run off together.
The art in the series is fine, but he has nothing to work with. I’m hoping that the delays with this series cause DC to rethink letting Smith write for them. The artist (Walt Flanagan) is talented enough that I’m sure he’ll get other series assigned to him. He has a clean, bright, style of art that evokes the art from the 1970s for me. Unfortunatly, that same bright style makes him less appropriate for a Batman series. Yes, Smith is trying very elaborately to make everything happy and lovely for Batman so he can take it all away (standard hack writing), but the art still just isn’t right. When the inane twist comes, the art is so bright and happy that no reaction but “oh brother” is even possible.
In short, stay away from books written by Kevin Smith.