By Will Barber – Taylor
Following on from the previous edition in which we looked at a classic team up book featuring Batman and The Flash, this time we return to another Elseworld, similar to the setting seen in TDTOTDK 17 (The Order of Beasts) except this time the tale is inspired by Orson Welles classic movie Citizen Kane. In typical Bat-pun style here is Citizen Wayne (Legends of The Dark Knight Annual #4).
While Citizen Wayne does share similarities to the aforementioned Order of The Beasts, it does, however, lack something that is essential to Order of The Beasts; originality in its ideas and execution. While the story does feature some interesting ideas, they are ideas taken from Welles own movie simply with an added Batman twist.
It follows the simple formula of the Deputy District Attorney of Gotham attempting to unravel the life of the mysterious Bruce Wayne, the recently deceased editor of the Gotham Guardian. To discover more about Wayne, he has to interview those who knew Wayne, including his mother and former police, Captain Gordon. Running parallel to the main story is the Deputy District Attorney’s investigation into the death of Harvey Dent and the identity of the mysterious Batman who has recently rid Gotham of its crime families.
Though the story is simple enough to follow and attempts to provide a different look at Batman, the problem with it is that it feels unoriginal. The core of the story is really Citizen Kane but with some added sections to make it fit into the Batman canon, therefore making the story appear dull and without any new ideas. The subplot based around the identity of the Batman is fairly well executed though it is obvious from near the beginning that there are only two suspects as to the identity of the Caped Crusader. Because it seems so obvious, when we get to the revelation it comes across as another dull twist in an otherwise banal story.
The artwork for it is, however, interesting and nicely stylized. The artwork on Batman, his gargoyle like look is wonderfully realized as are the landscape of Gotham itself. It resembles a mix between the world of Charles Foster Kane and the world of Batman and is one of the most successful merges of the two genres. Joe Staton’s artwork is magnificent in its complex and yet simplistic detail. Stanton makes it seem as if the whole world is leaping off the page and into your lap.
Like many attempts to take one story and fit it into the continuity or style of another series, Citizen Wayne comes across as a decent if dull attempt to take one of the most famous films in the world and make it Batmanesque with unappetising results.
Next Time we will look at Life Is But A Dream.