Batman: The Cult #1 (of 4)

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Batman: The Cult #1 (of 4)

Batman: The Cult #1 (of 4)

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This week we will be discussing Batman: The Cult by Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson, with colors by Bill Wray. I particularly enjoyed a number of sequential panels Wrightson does, for instance after Batman’s been shot and he’s trying to get up, instead he literally falls to pieces. The answer is obvious – having Blackfire discover that Bruce Wayne is Batman would complicate the plot significantly. They begin by hiring homeless people to do various work in furnishing a section of the sewer and Batman's experiences in "the pit" is similar to what he experiences in Blackfire's lair in the sewer.

So paramount is this story that its details—despotic state, underground army, lynchings, blown bridges—partly inspired Nolan’s third Batman film. The majority of Batman’s adversaries are somewhat based in reality (outside of Ra’s Al Ghul) and the character of Deacon Blackfire is seemingly immortal, achieving so by bathing in human blood. It's dumb and riddled with plot holes, poor dialogue, even worse characterisation, and featuring the most contrived bad guy ever. Unfortunately, as with Starlin’s other iconic Batman story, there’s a sense that The Cult works better in theory than in execution. They didn’t stay because they believed in Blackfire or because Blackfire recruited them, I think they stayed because they felt that Blackfire wasn’t a threat to them directly, and because Gotham is their home.

The food is drugged, and over the span of a week or more, he is exposed to religious propaganda and repeatedly asked to join Blackfire's cause. That kind of connects to what I was referring to about the story being mean-spirited, in that the plot revolves around Blackfire causing those suffering under poverty and crime to turn on themselves, rather than rallying them under an uprising and moral crusade that he was speaking of.

I read this book over a year ago and I remember not liking it the first time I read it and I'm not really sure what I didn't like about it.Laying on the ground bleeding, he sees the man who just shot him, stabbed in the back by another shadowy figure.

Nick: While I love that psychedelic color style, especially in the drugged sequences, I think it did sacrifice a bit of coherency for me during scenes that felt like they were supposed to be gritty and, well, a little more comprehensible. Book four of a four-issue series, "Combat" finds a reinvigorated Batman looking to reclaim Gotham City from Deacon Joseph Blackfire and his religious cult. And if I remember correctly, throughout Starlin’s Batman run, Jason wasn’t really in the spotlight or anything.

Art of the Crime • The Attack of the Annihilator • Batgirl of Burnside • Batgirl Rising • Batgirl: Wanted! Michael : Initially I found the premise very intriguing, despite it being yet another “killing criminals is the only way to clean up Gotham.



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