Review: Batman #712

The Two-Face plot comes to a head, but is the impending reboot causing DC's writers to just give up early?

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Batman 712

I don’t know if Batman #712 is a let down or if it’s just another victim of the DC Reboot. I say that because writer Tony Daniel’s Two-Face story started off with a lot of promise and then… just… ended. It wasn’t a bad ending. It was actually a fairly typical Batman ending but it seemed incredibly anti-climactic. I can’t really fault Daniel for this because I don’t think it’s his fault. Batman #712 felt like a wrap up issue, an issue that gets a major storyline all taken care of before DC erases their entire legacy.

All of the DC books feel that way right now. Green Lantern has totally shit the bed, Superman is plodding along, and Batman is tying up all his loose ends. The rest of the DC Universe is either out of commission, folded into Flashpointless or doing the same thing. Batman #712 is probably the last true Batman story arc we’ll see from the history we know. I guarantee the next issue will be a filler and then we’re knee deep in reboot.

Batman #712 brings to a close Two-Face’s search for his recently come-back-to-life wife Gilda, who is palling around with a Falcone. The issue also solidifies the Riddler’s complete decent back into madness. I have never enjoyed the Riddler. Ever. I’ve always felt he was a missed opportunity. Instead of being creepy, weird and sinister, he was always goofy and annoying. Now that he’s running around like a cheap Joker knock-off, it’s even harder to stand him.

Essentially, Batman follows Two-Face to a final showdown and, just when it looks like Batman has the drop on him, Gilda shoots the Dark Knight in the head (luckily it’s protected by the cowl) and gets away. Two-Face gets away and then Riddler shoots his daughter and laughs manically.  It just kind of ends the story without much fanfare. I have no clue if Two-Face or the Riddler will come back post-reboot and at this point, who cares?

Two-Face has long since outlived his usefulness as a character. If he does return in the post-reboot world, hopefully he gets a radical make over. One Riddler story that might work is if he tries to go toe to toe with The Joker in the crazy department with humanity caught in the crossfire. Whatever DC does with these two, it won’t happen until after the re-boot. The rest of the DC summer will consist of filler issues and other series coming to an end. It’s a sad moment really, the end of this whole era. I think Batman #712 will be an important issue though, if only because it’s the last of it’s kind, the end of a story arc in the universe we all grew up on.

On the art side, Steve Scott does a great job. I like his strong lines and his ability to convey motion. I say that a lot, the ability to convey motion, and not just to say it. What makes comics work is the ability to bring 3D realism into a two dimensional medium. So many artists can’t do that so I always applaud those who can. Scott’s art, as good as it is, just isn’t Tony Daniel, which is strongly missed. Want to know how much of difference there is? Tony Daniel did the cover for Batman #712. Compare it to the inside work and tell me who you’d rather see pencil an issue. This isn’t a bad issue, just a rather clunky end to a story that seemed to give Two-Face some new life.