Author: Starlin, Wrightson and Wray | Publisher: DC Comics
I’m not a fan of the graphic novel; just putting that out there. I’ve flicked through the occasional comic book in my time, but this genre has never really appealed to me. Then again, I’ve never consciously sat down and given a graphic novel a fair shot, either. Since I needed to read one to complete my Book Dragon Challenge, and I did want my reading tastes to be challenged this year, I decided to try it. Batman: The Cult happened to be lying around the house (and was thus free); I’m fairly sure it belongs to my housemate. Free seemed as good a place as any to begin my introduction to graphic novels!
Jim Starlin’s introduction was interesting. I didn’t realise the Senate House Committee Hearings had involved comic book writers; a little piece of history that had previously escaped me. But then it got oddly political for something he himself calls “light entertainment”. Do all comic books attempt to make a political point? Maybe this is some part of the genre I wasn’t aware of…
I liked the artwork, of course. It was interesting, colourful and bold. I thought it had a lovely flow to it through the book. I liked the way the layout and colours changed subtly to match the tone of the story.
My major gripe is that the grammar was really poor: “something cold and infinite awaits for me”. It might be “awaiting” you, or “waiting” for you. It doesn’t “awaits you”. I just can’t look past poor grammar… There’s no excuse for it in a writer, unless it’s intentional. I mean, you don’t go around saying “awaits” when you mean “waiting”, do you? If you do, you probably have no business writing books. And surely graphic novels have editors?
The story was ok. I like super hero movies, and Batman is obviously one cool dude, but I constantly felt like I was missing something. It felt a bit like starting in the middle of a series. It was quite dark; which I hadn’t expected. It was also long, which surprised me. I suppose I’d imagined graphic novels being shorter.
That’s pretty much all I have to say about Batman: The Cult… I’m sort of on the fence about it. It wasn’t a painful experience – but I can’t say I loved the book, either. I’m not adverse to reading another graphic novel in the future, but, based on this book, I don’t see myself suddenly becoming a fan. It didn’t take long to get through, which was a bonus…?
2 out of 5 Archimedes