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BATMAN: DARK VICTORY (1997)

Written by Jeph Loeb, Illustrated by Tim Sale

Jeph Loeb and Time Sale have collaborated a number of times and with each time, their offering is better than the one before it. What is it about them that strikes gold? Is it Loeb's words or Sale's art? How about putting both extraordinary talents together to create this magic that no one can just deny.

Dark Victory follows teh same tone as that used in the Long Halloween. Loeb weaves his magic by taking us a step further from the plot line of the previous book. Victory is part 2, but can truly stand on its own. People would be happier if they would have known the character before and that occurrs mainly in the first book, the Long Halloween. The two books can really work together, but I have to admit, I liked the first one better. It was more or less like saying which better, the first Godfather or the second, in which both cases you just can't deny the two materpieces.

Dark Victory is at its namesake very very dark and truly pits the Batman deep down to his roots. The book would have made Frank Miller proud. The mystery, on the other hand, is not that much of a great mystery as in the first book. You could easily figure out who was pulling the strings all along, but where Loeb fails in that department, his words are carried off by Sale's tremendous art, which seems to get better with each passing project those two make together. For a book this size, you would expect Loeb to put in some more beef to it and have Batman more, menacing and more detective like than he's used to. The introduction of Robin is a nice touch. Though one thing is for sure, the essence of the Batman character is that of a dark mysterious loner.

All in all, this book is a treat. It's more of a gem. You can't say that you're wasting time going on ahead with the full read. Those two have Daredevil:Yellow soon to be out from Marvel Comics. They're excellent when it comes to dark characters like Bats, I wonder how they would fare with a much lighter tone with Daredevil. If it fits the same style as Superman for all Seasons, I don't think anyone should think twice about getting it.