Batman: Blink a Pulp Noir Excursion

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Batman Blink Dwayne McDuffie DC Comics Critical Blast

BATMAN: BLINK collects two stories from the inventive concept that was LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, a series where Batman stories could be told without regard to where in the current continuity any of the other Bat-books might be.

In this volume, written by the late, great Dwayne McDuffie, readers are introduced to a blind man who has the ability to see through the eyes of others if he touches them. To date, he's been using this ability to live the good life -- just wait until the last 'touch' pays their bills, then use the information about their checking account to funnel money to another account. It was a pretty sweet con... until his last 'touch' puts him behind the eyes of a wanted serial killer, and he witnesses the next victim's capture. He stops this from happening, but in doing so makes himself a suspect.

Enter Batman, who comes to realize (as does the reader) that our character isn't really a bad person, he's just caught up in doing a bad thing. It's cemented for the readers when "Blink" (as we come to call him) gets behind Batman's eyes and follows him home, disconnecting intentionally when he would have the opportunity to learn Batman's identity. Using Blink's abilities, Batman finds not only the serial killer, but the network supporting him, which funded an illicit, underground entertainment industry that reached into the highest strata of Gotham society.

After putting Blink on the straight and narrow path, Batman finds himself crossing paths with Blink yet again, when the man is kidnapped by government agents who augment his abilities to see through the eyes of several foreign targets. Blink has been an honest citizen who has settled down with his girlfriend in a nice little apartment. Unfortunately, she becomes a point of leverage when she's kidnapped.

McDuffie's Batman is more of a pulp hero than the character we see in comics today. He was fallible, could lose a fight, and was capable of turning a blind eye to a technical crime if it served the cause of justice. Val Semeiks captures this pulp feeling superbly, giving the story a believable and violent aesthetic.

If you missed these stories the first go-round, then you won't want to miss them again in this paperback and Kindle re-offering from DC Comics.

4.5 / 5.0