There’s another author/writer that I think I’ve given a last chance. I picked up the recent Batman/Catwoman one shot by Howard Chaykin and it is utterly uninspiring. The story just doesn’t go anywhere. Plot holes abound, characterization is all off and there’s no reason to care about what’s happening. The plot point is apparently that some people in Wayne Industries have been corrupted by The Cavalier. This tells you this is a story set some time ago as The Cavalier has gone straight and is trying to redeem himself by protecting Dr. Leslie Thompskins. The people have embezzled funds from Wayne Industries. OK, no big deal so far, but Chaykin tries to make it far more important by having Catwoman talk about how “If the auditors start working, they’ll trace all the money back to you being Batman!” (Not a direct quote, just a paraphrase)
This is ridiculous. Giant corporations work with auditors all the time and if people examining the accounts could find that kind of thing out, the people who did the embezzling would surely have found this out by now. The story is so un-compelling that he could have just written “And blah, blah, blah Batman tracks them down and saves the day. Whoopee!” and been done with it. There’s no tension, no focus and no reason to care.
Worse for this comic is that they let Chaykin do the art. The man needs to take a class in drawing human mouths and expressions. I had this same problem with the last book I got by him, a Guy Gardner Green Lantern 2 issue mini-series. In that series there were two ways the mouth was drawn on every character: Mouth closed or Lips open, teeth clenched. It was so distracting I don’t think I bought the second issue. This time, he’s added a third mouth position: Teeth slightly apart, lips pulled back to show lots of teeth. And which of the three mouths he uses has no relevance to what’s going on in the story. I don’t like the overall blobbiness of the rest of his art either, but the mouths are what really kill it for me.
It looks like I’m going to put Chaykin on a short list of creators that will stop me from buying a comic. He joins the illustrious ranks of Kevin Smith, Frank Miller and Tan Eng Huat. There may be a few others on that list as I identify them, but that’s who is there now.