Hot Best Seller

Batman: Damned

Availability: Ready to download

The Joker has been murdered. His killer is a mystery. Batman is the World's Greatest Detective. But what happens when the person he is searching for is the man staring back at him in the mirror? With no memory of the events of the previous night, Batman is going to need some help. So who better to set him straight than John Constantine? The problem with that is as much as The Joker has been murdered. His killer is a mystery. Batman is the World's Greatest Detective. But what happens when the person he is searching for is the man staring back at him in the mirror? With no memory of the events of the previous night, Batman is going to need some help. So who better to set him straight than John Constantine? The problem with that is as much as John loves a good mystery, he loves messing with people's heads even more. So with John's "help," the pair will delve into the sordid underbelly of Gotham as they race toward the mind-blowing truth of who murdered The Joker. Batman: Damned is a visceral thrill-ride and supernatural horror story told by two of comics' greatest modern creators, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. The DC Black Label imprint features classic DC characters in compelling, standalone stories written and illustrated by world-class authors and artists.


Compare

The Joker has been murdered. His killer is a mystery. Batman is the World's Greatest Detective. But what happens when the person he is searching for is the man staring back at him in the mirror? With no memory of the events of the previous night, Batman is going to need some help. So who better to set him straight than John Constantine? The problem with that is as much as The Joker has been murdered. His killer is a mystery. Batman is the World's Greatest Detective. But what happens when the person he is searching for is the man staring back at him in the mirror? With no memory of the events of the previous night, Batman is going to need some help. So who better to set him straight than John Constantine? The problem with that is as much as John loves a good mystery, he loves messing with people's heads even more. So with John's "help," the pair will delve into the sordid underbelly of Gotham as they race toward the mind-blowing truth of who murdered The Joker. Batman: Damned is a visceral thrill-ride and supernatural horror story told by two of comics' greatest modern creators, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. The DC Black Label imprint features classic DC characters in compelling, standalone stories written and illustrated by world-class authors and artists.

30 review for Batman: Damned

  1. 5 out of 5

    Khurram

    Awesome art work and a good concept but that is about it. Batman wakes up in in an back of a ambulance the the whole story goes to Wonderland from there. Batman learns the Joker is dead, the witness is a hobo who is not a hobo, and the Justice League Dark cast in completely different roles. I have no I death why. Also he is seeing visions that young family life was not as happy as we previously remembered.Constantine is annoying narrator/guide on Batmans journey. I have to say I have Awesome art work and a good concept but that is about it. Batman wakes up in in an back of a ambulance the the whole story goes to Wonderland from there. Batman learns the Joker is dead, the witness is a hobo who is not a hobo, and the Justice League Dark cast in completely different roles. I have no I death why. Also he is seeing visions that young family life was not as happy as we previously remembered.Constantine is annoying narrator/guide on Batmans journey. I have to say I have always hated horror stories, I did figure me liking Batman so much, would even the scales. Unfortunately it did not. I especially hate the ending. A great as the art work is I would not recommend this.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    This thing was incomprehensible. It seemed more like an excuse to show Bermejo's redesigns for DC's magic characters more than anything else. Like Joker was an excuse to redesign Batman's rogues gallery, this was an exorcise for Bermejo to get his hands on Justice League Dark. The art is fantastic, even if he does oversexualize Zatanna. Visually this book is stunning. I just doesn't tell you in more than broad stokes what was going on with Batman at all. The book is semi narrated by John Constantine. This thing was incomprehensible. It seemed more like an excuse to show Bermejo's redesigns for DC's magic characters more than anything else. Like Joker was an excuse to redesign Batman's rogues gallery, this was an exorcise for Bermejo to get his hands on Justice League Dark. The art is fantastic, even if he does oversexualize Zatanna. Visually this book is stunning. I just doesn't tell you in more than broad stokes what was going on with Batman at all. The book is semi narrated by John Constantine. You'd think that would work great given that Azzarello wrote Hellblazer for over 5 years, but it's awful. He just spouts page after page of meaningless bullshit. If there hadn't been all the hullabaloo about showing Batman's dick, this book would have already been forgotten.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Artemy

    Oh boy, what a mess. Batman: Damned is a very clumsy attempt at creating an 'adult' Batman comic, and I'm not just talking about the whole Batwang controversy, or the fact that it daringly uses words like 'shit' and 'fuck'. Azzarello's writing is pretentious, the story is nearly incomprehensible, trying to pass for being deep and meaningful yet not really saying anything profound or interesting about Batman or his world. This book felt like it was written by an angsty teenager who thinks his edg Oh boy, what a mess. Batman: Damned is a very clumsy attempt at creating an 'adult' Batman comic, and I'm not just talking about the whole Batwang controversy, or the fact that it daringly uses words like 'shit' and 'fuck'. Azzarello's writing is pretentious, the story is nearly incomprehensible, trying to pass for being deep and meaningful yet not really saying anything profound or interesting about Batman or his world. This book felt like it was written by an angsty teenager who thinks his edgy poetry is groundbreaking (and hey, I used to be that teenager, too — I really hope I won't be when I'm 56 like Brian Azzarello, though). Lee Bermejo's art is mostly great, though his laughably thick and muscly Batman and over-sexualised Zatanna and Harley do nothing to sway away that hormonal-teenager-is-making-this-book feeling. Overall? :Damned. (sorry, couldn't resist)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. The DC Black Label imprint allows world-class authors and artists to write stand-alone stories featuring classic DC characters. To inaugurate this imprint, the first story to embrace the logo features two exciting creators who have accomplished incredible stories on their own and now look to stun the world with a dark and horrifying tale centered around Batman. Unfortunately, a controversy surges from this story and it is nothing more irrelevant as the You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. The DC Black Label imprint allows world-class authors and artists to write stand-alone stories featuring classic DC characters. To inaugurate this imprint, the first story to embrace the logo features two exciting creators who have accomplished incredible stories on their own and now look to stun the world with a dark and horrifying tale centered around Batman. Unfortunately, a controversy surges from this story and it is nothing more irrelevant as the open portrayal of Bruce Wayne’s penis. While it almost sounds like a joke, this issue has led the company to act quickly, considering this content too mature for its audience. DC thus decided to quickly act upon this revelation and to censor it from any future edition, including this edition. This news has unfortunately tainted the graphic novel and gave this story the burden to try and overcome this obstacle despite the tough start. While fans will hope that the story will speak for itself, it isn’t one that will unanimously please everyone. What is Batman: Damned about? Gravely injured, Batman looks for help as he crawls his way through Gotham until an unexpected helping hand reaches for him and pulls him out of his despair. It’s none other than John Constantine and he isn’t here to make Batman’s life any easier. Having no memory of the night before, Bruce Wayne now discovers that a man was murdered, one who was considered a monster who has brought terror to Gotham and took so many lives out of pure pleasure: the Joker. As the World’s Greatest Detective, Batman looks to find out who killed the Clown Prince of Gotham but runs into more trouble along the way as he embarks on an internal psychological battle where his purpose is questioned. As they both delve into the sordid underbelly of Gotham, they also encounter a couple of allies who could either lead them in the right direction or right into a truth that Batman is not ready to confront. This stand-alone story missed its mark and to dissect it would be to overthink it when the final product should’ve had a better foundation and a clearer direction in the first place. While it could easily be seen as a sequel to Brian Azzarello’s Joker, it still remains the first original story arc to launch the DC Black Label imprint, one that is as dark and supernatural as it could ever get in Gotham. Split into three issues, this miniseries allows writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo to utilize characters often associated with the Justice League Dark while mooring them around Batman. Sadly, none of the characters that are shoehorned into the story know any form of character development and solely relish from an elegant artistic portrayal by Lee Bermejo. Throughout the story, readers are subjugated to Batman’s inner turmoil as he plunges into madness and loses control on reality—which leads the reader to often wonder if they’re in front of hallucinations or not. While it is a treat to watch supernatural elements being infused into Batman’s existence, it struggles to find relevance as it dissolves with the dreams, hallucinations and abstract imagery that is intended to bring him to reflect on his purpose as the Dark Knight. In fact, the whole story tries to help him ponder on his control over fear by thus looking at his lack of control on it. While the idea is interesting, the execution is lackluster. It is indeed fascinating to watch Bruce Wayne go through some of the strongest emotions he has had to suppress throughout his legacy, especially fear. However, we’re also confronted with tangent issues within the plot where hypersexualized female characters make brief appearances with no real purpose, where heroes that delve in magical and mythical lore appear and disappear to only remind us of their existence and nothing more, and where a narrator (John Constantine) who speaks in puns and disorienting maxims steers the reader away from any possibility of understanding what is going on. Fortunately, the artwork is the driving force of this graphic novel and it is no surprise. Artist Lee Bermejo is one of the best at what he does as he draws an astonishingly realistic and grim Gotham, drenched in a colour scheme that is beyond impressive, as well as some of the best character designs in the industry—although the hypersexualization is unnecessary. How he successfully blends the supernatural with Gotham’s landscape is stunning. One conveys the natural menace of criminals while the other illustrates the intangible oddity from the realm of magic. There’s a compact colouring that occurs for either Batman’s shadow or blood that feels like a juxtaposition on the general art, seeming a bit too radical of a contrast. Some of the lettering done is also questionable, especially when directly integrated with the art, making it a bit less appealing. However, the tone throughout the volume remains constant and marvelous. Batman: Damned is a visually-dazzling supernatural horror story that attempts to grope its way to some form of cohesion without any guideline as it delves deeps into the mind of the Dark Knight. Yours truly, Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer Official blog: https://bookidote.com/ _______________________ Damn...

  5. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    Well...just about what I expect from Azzarello on anything other than Wonder Woman. Batman starts off hurt and of course the rest of the story just jumps around. The timeline on this story actually is really confusing. Batman is hurt, then rescued by a friend, but then random cameos that are oversexulized and a rapper version of a real big villain in the DC Lore and...you know what? This story sucks. I wasn't a fan of Joker, but this is in the same vain, with more cursing, and not all that inter Well...just about what I expect from Azzarello on anything other than Wonder Woman. Batman starts off hurt and of course the rest of the story just jumps around. The timeline on this story actually is really confusing. Batman is hurt, then rescued by a friend, but then random cameos that are oversexulized and a rapper version of a real big villain in the DC Lore and...you know what? This story sucks. I wasn't a fan of Joker, but this is in the same vain, with more cursing, and not all that interesting. Overall, besides some amazing art, this isn't worth reading. A 2 out of 5.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mel (Epic Reading)

    Without a doubt the most interesting part of Batman: Damned 3-part over sized comic series is the 'Batwang' seen in Book 1. Yep, I was stoked (and still love, regardless of the controversy) that we finally saw a man with no clothes on in the Batman universe. And boy is he yummy. Add in the hot sexual version of Harley Quinn we get in book 2 and I can't help but be a huge fan of the art and lack of clothing in all genders. In fact all the stars I give this series are for sexy, gritty art. DC Blac Without a doubt the most interesting part of Batman: Damned 3-part over sized comic series is the 'Batwang' seen in Book 1. Yep, I was stoked (and still love, regardless of the controversy) that we finally saw a man with no clothes on in the Batman universe. And boy is he yummy. Add in the hot sexual version of Harley Quinn we get in book 2 and I can't help but be a huge fan of the art and lack of clothing in all genders. In fact all the stars I give this series are for sexy, gritty art. DC Black Label Intended to be a line of comics that are intentionally put together for adults, DC's Black Label started off strong with White Knight. These books are marketed as very dark, gory, sexual and meant to show-off the real grit of the DC Universe. It gives the opportunity for DC to explore all sorts of themes that can't be looked at in their monthly lines (more geared at teens). On the heels of the superbly done White Knight Black Label; I was super excited about Damned. Too bad the art is by far the best part. Oh, and the Batwang I mentioned earlier is just icing on the cake really. It's perhaps interesting to note that in White Knight we see naked, nipple pointing Harley Quinn and no readers or fans protested; but put naked Batman's naked mushroom cap and suddenly the world has ended. *eye roll* As a bi-sexual woman I would love to see comics get a little more fair when it comes to the sexualization of each gender. I don't want the women in more clothing; but instead let's remove some of the clothing on the men. It's worth noting here, the Batwang page is darkened in this compilation edition and so you won't get the full art like in the original first print issue of the comic. (side note: this fact just proves how sexist the comic industry is. And reinforces that the fanboys, a.k.a. a bunch of wussy men, whined enough that DC pulled the glorious nakedness of Batman). Format & Font I read a lot of comics and so the size of the standard modern day comic is very comfortable to me. Damned is printed in a much wider page that felt awkward. I also don't like how much floppier the pages are (even though they are a good heavy stock). I just see more opportunity to damage or hurt the artwork/pages in any format (besides electronic) that this is printed in. And what is up with the font at times? It's hard to read, awkward and just annoying. I know it's Batman's thoughts or inner dialogue to himself but it's really obnoxious in the way it's presented. It's not necessary to put the words in some crazy hard to read font in order to get the feel of the deepness or darkness of the narrative. I'd much prefer being able to easily read the narrative and have the words be portray the ambiance than have it be difficult to read. I realize the font is meant to match the illustration style of this series; but for me it's just trying too hard. Overall Given the hype and controversy surrounding this series, it's a real let down. While I love the moment in Book 2 when Harley bears her heart out to Batman over Joker's demise and how much she misses him; there's really nothing else here. We have little to no new character development, are given annoying Constantine who just confuses the story more (as he tends to), and Zatanna shows for no apparent reason I can tell. And don't even start me on how the angel statues in Book 3 are a poor rip-off of Doctor Who's Weeping Angels. I would speculate on the Enchantress looking character that is unnamed in book 3 but I literally have no clue (and don't really care that much) given her small role in the story. While I'll certainly keep this series in my collection as it features Harley AND a bat-penis; I just can't imagine coming back to it very often to really read it. Unless of course the next Black Label comic builds on this. Although I really hope it doesn't because I'm not loving the end (which felt so anti-climatic to me) and was just typical annoying DC being incapable of leaving anyone dead in their universe. Given the grit and adult content I feel like the least we could get is some continuity in keeping dead characters dead. But then they'd have to come up with amazing new characters and the reality is that we all just read about our faves. My overall recommendation is flip through this one at the library or your local shop to see the art and then move onto something else. Or go read (or re-read) Batman: White Knight; the best mini-series DC has put out in the past couple years.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chaunceton Bird

    Perfect. Everything Batman has needed to be for decades. Gone are the days of hokey daytime crime fighting and PG puzzle solving. Finally, Batman is written and illustrated with the grit, intrigue, and substance suitable for mature audiences. The story is challenging, which is to say it requires the reader to think. The dialogue is from an unknown and (perhaps?) unreliable narrator. The narration examines the core attributes of Batman from unique angles. The depiction of familiar characters in n Perfect. Everything Batman has needed to be for decades. Gone are the days of hokey daytime crime fighting and PG puzzle solving. Finally, Batman is written and illustrated with the grit, intrigue, and substance suitable for mature audiences. The story is challenging, which is to say it requires the reader to think. The dialogue is from an unknown and (perhaps?) unreliable narrator. The narration examines the core attributes of Batman from unique angles. The depiction of familiar characters in new lights is unsettling and expertly executed. And the focus on Batman—not Bruce Wayne, but Batman—shines a spotlight on the myth, not the man. Even when Batman is out of the batsuit, he is still operating as Batman throughout. I've never read a comic that so completely dedicates itself to examining who Batman is. There are also slight supernatural and horrific elements to the story were excellent additions. It gave the story additional novelty and edge without over doing it. Finally, enough cannot be said about how well executed the art and story are. The feel of the comic is consistently dark. Every page is filled with some of the best art I have seen in a comic. One of my favorite books. I really hope this is indicative of the direction Batman is heading.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Logan

    The Batman book that almost crippled DC Black Label, sent Vertigo to its death, all over a guys p****! So despite the controversy, I was a little excited to read this as I did enjoy Joker and Batman: Noel, for their darker look on Gotham and it's characters. So what did I think of this book? I will say the best part of this book is Lee Bermejo's artwork, which is just as fantastic as it was in Batman: Noel and Joker! I love Bermejo's gritty and realistic design of the world and characters. I lov The Batman book that almost crippled DC Black Label, sent Vertigo to its death, all over a guys p****! So despite the controversy, I was a little excited to read this as I did enjoy Joker and Batman: Noel, for their darker look on Gotham and it's characters. So what did I think of this book? I will say the best part of this book is Lee Bermejo's artwork, which is just as fantastic as it was in Batman: Noel and Joker! I love Bermejo's gritty and realistic design of the world and characters. I love his costume design of Batman, as it looks like what you would see in a movie as opposed to classic tights. He also draws new characters he hasn't before which I won't spoil who they are, but he did it very well! From an artwork standpoint, this book overall did not disappoint and gave me exactly what I wanted out of this comic! The story... is another thing... The story basically is the Joker is dead and Batman murdered him or at least thinks he did. Then Constantine shows up and the two heroes go off on a dark, twisted adventure! Sounds simple when I explain it but really this comic is just all over the place! Batman, for the most part, does nothing in this comic and Constantine does all the detective work; the book reimagines characters from Batman's history, in a nihilistic and overall uninteresting way. Especially Harley Quinn, who was, for the most part, was silent in Joker, but when she does appear she seems to have a lot to say! The ending was vague in that 'open to interpretation' kind of way, but thing is, I just didn't get the point of this book or its story. It's basically a story about why Batman shouldn't use guns and kill, but this book handles it in such an uninteresting way! Overall, I am sadly disappointed in this one aside for its artwork. I'd say skip it unless you just want to see Lee Bermejo's art.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    Every once in a while you get to read something groundbreaking. Something that redefines an entire medium of literature. Or an entire genre. Or something that forever changes our perspective. Batman: Damned is one of those books. It changes comic books forever. The story, very briefly, revolves around Joker being murdered and Batman trying to find out if he killed him and, if he didn't, who did. The story is supernatural, involving Hell and demons and Constantine. The story is very dark, an Every once in a while you get to read something groundbreaking. Something that redefines an entire medium of literature. Or an entire genre. Or something that forever changes our perspective. Batman: Damned is one of those books. It changes comic books forever. The story, very briefly, revolves around Joker being murdered and Batman trying to find out if he killed him and, if he didn't, who did. The story is supernatural, involving Hell and demons and Constantine. The story is very dark, and wonderfully portrays the gritty, crumbling, hopeless nature of Gotham. You really feel the gravity of what Batman is eternally up against, and I thought that was great. Some online sources indicate this is "kind of" a sequel to Joker, but after reading it I can tell you it is definitely a sequel, even including some scenes from Joker in flashbacks and directly tying into its story. This was done in a brilliant way, and it made me love this book even more. The art in this book has also been taken to another level. In Joker, the art was also great, but I noticed the quality varied a lot. There'd be a full-page scene that was extremely detailed and bordering on museum art, and then entire pages of panels with far less detail. In Batman: Damned, every single panel and page in the entire book, with maybe a handful of exceptions out of hundreds of panels, is extremely detailed. Even very tiny panels meant to show something like a close up of an eye or a mouth with gritting teeth. It's all meticulously detailed, and incredibly dark, and unbelievably vibrant. The art in this book is simply alive; that's the only way I can describe it. It comes out at you. In many cases it's so good it's almost indistinguishable from a photograph. Lee Bermejo has raised the bar for comic book art here, to staggering, fine art proportions. The ending of the book is also completely mindblowing. It's absolutely brilliant, and thought-provoking, and it leaves you thinking about this book, and Batman, and the nature of his reality long after you turn the last page. The bonus material in my edition, which includes additional art, notes on what was envisioned for specific scenes, and an insightful afterword from Brian Azzarello were also tremendous and added a lot to the overall experience. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here and expect the same old generic comic book they've been reading for years. This book isn't for you. This book redefines comic books, it redefines comic book art, and it will change the way you think about Batman forever. This book is for the brave. For the bold. For those who have ever looked at the comic book medium and wished it could be something more. Because now it can be something more. Now it is. A masterpiece in every sense of the word, Batman: Damned will, hopefully, someday take its rightful place among the greatest Batman comics of all time. Highly, highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lazor Tom

    Admission: this is the first comic I have ever read. Or "graphic novel" as some call these collections. And I must say, I had no idea that a comic could be written with this level of depth. This book is incredible. The art entranced me, and the writing challenged me. Parsing out the story from the narration, and multiple characters was rewarding. I look forward to more of this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    I'm going to get a couple of items out of the way early in this review. The hullabaloo over Batman's penis is way overblown. Big deal, he's not a eunuch (oh wow bet I offended a Comicsgate person there). Maybe we raised our daughter weirdly, but she knew at a young age that people have body parts. some should not be shown in public, in our view, and its nothing to be ashamed of. I do agree that there is a discussion that the scene was done more for shock/titillation value, but then I'm really ge I'm going to get a couple of items out of the way early in this review. The hullabaloo over Batman's penis is way overblown. Big deal, he's not a eunuch (oh wow bet I offended a Comicsgate person there). Maybe we raised our daughter weirdly, but she knew at a young age that people have body parts. some should not be shown in public, in our view, and its nothing to be ashamed of. I do agree that there is a discussion that the scene was done more for shock/titillation value, but then I'm really getting in a digression. And, geez one panel. The other item is people have strong feelings about Azzarello. Before I petered out on 100 Bullets I really enjoyed the title (and will probably go back and finish it someday-it felt like it was going on too long). I enjoyed his Hellblazer run, and thought his Superman was meh. The middle part of this three issue mini is definitely meh. The redeeming feature is the final issue which pulls pretty much everything into a nice tight tale that, if nothing else, explains why Batman hasn't.... An, but that would be a BIG spoiler. Which I will not do.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Stewart

    Did you know Bruce's parents died? Want to experience it again for the millionth time, only this time it's the worst version and it spits on the Wayne family? Eh? EH? Bermejo's art is phenomenal, but this story is an unbearable, incomprehensible disaster. I find it ironic that they removed the penis from the art, but still allowed the script to suck one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marco

    What?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    No Bat-wang in this digital edition. The art, however, is very much the strong suit (birthday or otherwise) for this collection as the story is (mostly) hand wavy magic stuff and cameos from the usual Justice League Dark gang like the insufferable Constantine and Deadman, etc. So in this story the Joker is found dead (or is he...?) and Batman is No Bat-wang in this digital edition. The art, however, is very much the strong suit (birthday or otherwise) for this collection as the story is (mostly) hand wavy magic stuff and cameos from the usual Justice League Dark gang like the insufferable Constantine and Deadman, etc. So in this story the Joker is found dead (or is he...?) and Batman is in rough shape himself, he starts to doubt himself and thinks maaaaaybe he did it? which leads to introspective reminiscing about his parents' failing marriage (an interesting take on Thomas and Martha) as well as an new perspective on little Brucie's aversion to using guns. These were the better bits, plus the introduction of a character well known in DC lore for his rhyming ways as an underground rap battler. Harley Quinn attempting to, ehm, grief-rape Batman, on the other hand? Yeah, not a choice that was easy to stomach. I thought the DC gang learned their lesson after the Batman: Bad Blood movie that saw Damian Wayne conceived via roofies? Jeesh...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I’m not going to rate this yet because the preview I was given was only 23 pages and I’m not convinced that’s enough to make a decision. I will say that I’m interested in reading the whole volume, I like the dark art style and the noir feel of the story telling.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Albert

    Batman: Damned by Brian Azzarello hit the comic book stores with great fanfare and no shortage of controversy. It also launched DC's Black Label line which is something of a bastard child between DC's superhero line and Vertigo. It put our PG rated comics into R and X. Which I don't have an issue with, as long as it is done for telling the story and not shock value alone. It is into this foray that Batman: Damned wades in. There has been a murder and the World's Greatest Detective is Batman: Damned by Brian Azzarello hit the comic book stores with great fanfare and no shortage of controversy. It also launched DC's Black Label line which is something of a bastard child between DC's superhero line and Vertigo. It put our PG rated comics into R and X. Which I don't have an issue with, as long as it is done for telling the story and not shock value alone. It is into this foray that Batman: Damned wades in. There has been a murder and the World's Greatest Detective is on the case. Only there are some issues. First, the victim is the Joker. Second, the prime suspect and all evidence points to the Batman himself. And thirdly, the Batman has no memory of what happened the night before. The night the Joker was killed. Batman must enlist the aid of none other than John Constantine to help him regain his memory and solve the murder. But with Constantine you never know just what you are getting and how much help he will really be. Together they dive into the dredges of Gotham's criminal world and into the darkness of Bruce Wayne's mind. Sounds pretty awesome huh? The concept is, even though this is not the first time the Joker has been killed and the Batman is conflicted in finding out the truth of what happened. But with Damned, the story is confusing and muddled so that we as readers are never quite sure what is happening or what happened. Maybe I just wanted it to be better? Maybe I was hoping that if any character could translate into this kind of book it would be Batman. Azzarello had already done it with a solo book about the Joker so naturally he is the perfect pick for doing the Batman. In truth, I should have realized there was an issue with a story when the first issue had a shot of Batman's genitals to create a little controversy. If you have a good story, then you really don't need to flash the full monty to get people to buy in. Lee Bermejo's artwork is terrific and carries the tone in the book. It's akin to watching the first Aliens movie where you weren't always sure you could see what was on the screen but it still scared the hell out of you. But for me, it just didn't live up to expectations. Too glossy and too expensive for what it ending up delivering.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Connolly

    I didn't hate it as much as everyone else. I was on the fence until I saw Batman's dong. Now I can't get enough.

  18. 4 out of 5

    mangaman

    Wow I can’t believe this was this bad considering the talent involved!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Quentin Wallace

    I still haven't learned my lesson with Azzarello, even after reading the entire 100 bullets series as well as his previous Batman work. It looks and sounds cool as hell, I read it, then I wonder what I've read. Some of Grant Morrison's weirder material always seems similar. I was really stoked when I heard about the DC Black Label line, and still am. But this one just didn't do it for me, even though the premise sounded great. This book LOOKS fantastic. The art is stunning, I still haven't learned my lesson with Azzarello, even after reading the entire 100 bullets series as well as his previous Batman work. It looks and sounds cool as hell, I read it, then I wonder what I've read. Some of Grant Morrison's weirder material always seems similar. I was really stoked when I heard about the DC Black Label line, and still am. But this one just didn't do it for me, even though the premise sounded great. This book LOOKS fantastic. The art is stunning, visually just amazing. There are some cool characters that show up as well: Constantine, Harley, Swamp Thing, Zatanna....and some not so cool ones...Etrigan (not the one you know) and I think The Enchantress? The ending, and really most of the story, just confused me. From the reviews, at least I wasn't the only one. I also didn't like the whole Thomas Wayne affair subplot. Can we not retcon EVERYTHING please? Bruce's parents were happily married, and it does happen, so come on. If you want some of the coolest Batman art ever, this is for you. If you are looking for a great Batman story, maybe not.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jack Bumby

    Originally reviewed on My Creative Ramblings In 2008, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo released Joker - which went on to be a massive hit. Now, and as part of the newly created 'DC Black Label' (an imprint for more mature readers), they've released Batman: Damned. This is a pseudo-sequel to Joker and continues the tone and world-building the pair had established - through Bermejo's luscious art and Azzarello's (potentially Marmite) edgy writing. I adored every page. From the second you see the Originally reviewed on My Creative Ramblings In 2008, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo released Joker - which went on to be a massive hit. Now, and as part of the newly created 'DC Black Label' (an imprint for more mature readers), they've released Batman: Damned. This is a pseudo-sequel to Joker and continues the tone and world-building the pair had established - through Bermejo's luscious art and Azzarello's (potentially Marmite) edgy writing. I adored every page. From the second you see the book you know it's going to be different. It's published in a prestige format which means better quality, thicker paper (which you probably don't care about) and it's laid out on huge square pages. It looks fancy. It's complemented by Bermejo's art. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that this is some of the best art I've ever seen in comic books. Every panel is like a painting. I thought Joker was gorgeous and this just doubles down on everything. But with that being said, for all the lush and detailed images, there is an equal amount of gross and terrifying images - which are just as enjoyable (just in a different way). This is a horror story after all.  The story begins with a mortally wounded Batman in the back of an ambulance. He's suffered serious stab wounds from his battle with Joker on the Gotham Gate Bridge at the end of Joker. After roughing up a few EMTs he is found at death's door by John Constantine (who also has the job of "unreliable narrator" too) who fixes him up. We soon learn that the Joker is dead, and Batman probably killed him. What follows is a deep dive into the magical and supernatural world DC comics, all though the grimy lens of Azzarello, Bermejo, and DC's Black Label. This includes cameos from some of the more wacky DC characters, like Zatanna, Swamp Thing, and Deadman. But they've all been frightfully realised in this more realistic style and Azzarello's down-to-earth plot. It's gruelling stuff. And it makes for a very dark night in Gotham. A lot of the imagery is genuinely scary. Some of it is terrifying, like Enchantress' Momo-like face towards the climax of the story; some of it is horrifying; and some of it is just icky. If you consider Stephen King's three levels of horror (The Gross-Out, Horror, and Terror) this one checks all three boxes. It feels like a horror version of the Batman we've seen countless times before.  The story is intentionally elliptical, with the plot being told a little out of order and by an self-confessed unreliable narrator who spouts prophetic religious nonsense at every turn. Azzarello is pushing as many buttons as he can too. Everyone's already aware of the whole Bat-Penis controversy but that's just the start. There are some things in this comic that would make Garth Ennis and Frank Miller blush. Ok, so maybe not that bad, but there are a few pretty surprising story beats and the pair get the very most out of the mature rating with as many f-bombs as they can. It's a heavy, nihilistic, story if you just accept it, and go along with it, it's a hell of a ride.  My biggest complaint is the very end. They throw a hell of a lot of plot at you and you really need to stop and think about it - Is this real? Is any of this happening - but then there's another twist, another confusing moment, and then it...ends. I guess I need to give another read, but something tells me a thousand reads won't explain it. I love my stories to be open to interpretation, and this isn't confusing enough to be a real detriment - I just worry it'll be another decade before we get any answers.  Overall, this is a must-read. I see people are split on it, and I wonder how much of that is about the Bat-Dong. The majority of negative reviews seem to mention it. My two cents on the Bat-Wang are that, though it added very little to the story, DC shouldn't have caved and got rid of it. It's a mature comic for mature readers, let them decide. If they don't want it, they won't buy it (the irony being that the issue with a glimpse of the Bat's pork sword flew off the shelves). That controversy plagued this book, and it's a damn shame because it's a really confidently told, sometimes scary, and often beautiful interpretation of a timeless character. It's clearly not for everyone. The content is extreme, and I wonder how much of it is there to simply push buttons. But that's what DC Black Label should be all about - potentially different takes on these icons. Between this and Sean Murphy's White Knight, consider me hooked.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ramon

    I actually didn't really like it, but it's hard to give one star to such great Bermejo art. But what, or who is this book for? Black Label, Elseworlds, mature readers... why? Who was clamoring for more fetishy Bat stories? There's a new villain introduced here, I think, but she isn't named, and I'm not even sure why she's doing what she's doing but she can make statues come to life or something but she also feels like the Calypso lady from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies but less interesting I actually didn't really like it, but it's hard to give one star to such great Bermejo art. But what, or who is this book for? Black Label, Elseworlds, mature readers... why? Who was clamoring for more fetishy Bat stories? There's a new villain introduced here, I think, but she isn't named, and I'm not even sure why she's doing what she's doing but she can make statues come to life or something but she also feels like the Calypso lady from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies but less interesting. People swear and stuff. As John Oliver would say, "Cool." But who was clamoring for an alternate universe where Thomas Wayne was an asshole? And ends on a cliffhanger thus making it feel like an incomplete story? Why do we need an intro to alternate universe Vertigo staple characters like Constantine, Swamp Thing, Etrigan, Zatanna? Only Etrigan's different, and I don't even know if it makes me comfortable. Is Azzarello the David Ayer of DC Comics? Also, much as I am an Azz fan from the 100 Bullets days, his writing style is giving me diminishing returns these days. Too many cliche puns and wordplay, the style of the language is so overbearing and keeps calling attention to itself. It can be impressive at times, but with this non-stop frequency it just becomes annoying. We get it. You love an entendre. Just tell a story. That's complete, that hopefully isn't 30% flashbacks any Bat-fan's already familiar with.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Beelzefuzz

    Do you remember how Sopranos would have a crazy dream episode at the beginning of some seasons and if you kept watching you could unlock the symbolism from the dream in the real life episodes and it was all somewhat rewarding? Azzarello does too, except he misunderstood how to make it rewarding. Batman has to make a choice, a choice we do not see until the end of the book, but one we are told he made at the start. He has a supposedly symbolic fever dream for about 150 pages and unmake Do you remember how Sopranos would have a crazy dream episode at the beginning of some seasons and if you kept watching you could unlock the symbolism from the dream in the real life episodes and it was all somewhat rewarding? Azzarello does too, except he misunderstood how to make it rewarding. Batman has to make a choice, a choice we do not see until the end of the book, but one we are told he made at the start. He has a supposedly symbolic fever dream for about 150 pages and unmakes the choice, but that means he never made it to start with so the symbols do not mean anything. If you want to decode the fever dream then you get, some ramblings about how we all can identify with Batman. So Azzarello wants you to bring your own baggage to his symbols so he does not have to do any work, but then that means they never pay off. Azzarello references "the old plate-of-shrimp collective unconscious" in the first issue, but I am afraid it spoiled under the heat lamp while we were waiting for him to open the full buffet. He did accomplish an amazing trick herein, however: Azzarello managed to make Etrigan more annoying than he has ever been.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sohan Surag

    And here's the quasi-sequel to Lee Bermejo and Brian Azzarello's Joker, Batman Damned Hardcover. This is a great companion piece to the duo's previous Joker HC and Batman Noel and goes well with them but Joker HC is definitely the MVP when it comes to story and art. Damned, at least, art-wise, still packs a punch though. Although the story acts as an extension to the Joker HC, it doesn't completely fullfill a satiating read. It crams in a ton of supernatural 'DC beings' into a Batman story and s And here's the quasi-sequel to Lee Bermejo and Brian Azzarello's Joker, Batman Damned Hardcover. This is a great companion piece to the duo's previous Joker HC and Batman Noel and goes well with them but Joker HC is definitely the MVP when it comes to story and art. Damned, at least, art-wise, still packs a punch though. Although the story acts as an extension to the Joker HC, it doesn't completely fullfill a satiating read. It crams in a ton of supernatural 'DC beings' into a Batman story and still can't carry a good plot. With the slew of characters, it should have been great, but it never does. What we get is an amazingly gorgeous book packed to the brim with wonderful art and topped off with an okayish story. I am not sure if we might get another extension to the Joker-Batman Damned arc but given the buzz it created over the Batwang, we just might. Hope at least that one's as good as Joker. The hardcover book has that same DC Black Label dimensions and despite the backlash it had gotten, I still like it. The dust jacket is that plastic wraparound that usually comes with lenticular covers which is prone to easy tearing and damage so be careful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Woolfie Silvanus

    What lets this graphic novel down is pure incoherence. The art is incredible, it’s visceral it’s confused it’s insane but brilliant. This is the sort of story that would benefit hugely in my opinion from an explanation video on YouTube and there is one or maybe a few. It’s very possible to be immersed in the world that Azzarello creates but at the same time it’s also extremely easy to be lost in it and to be turned around and feel as though you’re going nowhere that your mind is rebelling, pulli What lets this graphic novel down is pure incoherence. The art is incredible, it’s visceral it’s confused it’s insane but brilliant. This is the sort of story that would benefit hugely in my opinion from an explanation video on YouTube and there is one or maybe a few. It’s very possible to be immersed in the world that Azzarello creates but at the same time it’s also extremely easy to be lost in it and to be turned around and feel as though you’re going nowhere that your mind is rebelling, pulling you away from the gruesomely graphic pages. I feel the story is fascinating but if it were told in the more coherent manner its brilliance would be revealed, but as it is it’s four-star purely because it’s convoluted to the point of not making sense. Definitely one to re-read more than twice.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    This Batman story from DC Black Label features high-quality, completely detailed illustrations from Lee Bermejo and a dark, gritty mystery written by Brian Azzarello. It opens with Batman in an ambulance, and even though he quickly goes out into the city, he doesn't remember everything about the night--and learns the next morning that the Joker is dead. Flashbacks give the story even more depth, and it feels more like a horror story than an action-adventure. This series looks promising.

  26. 5 out of 5

    A.j. Garner

    Three stars might be a stretch plus no bat wang in the reprints/collected issues. I liked the idea and seemed to be an interesting take on Bruce’s childhood. I feel like if it didn’t try so hard to be trippy, it would have been better. Trippy is a bad word, maybe misleading... I enjoyed it for a bit and the ending wasn’t too bad for me, but I am sure some would think it is a cop out.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    The art saved this book from total damnation. With more run-of-the-mill art, this book would be worth about 1 star at best. Lee Bermejo’s work on this book is truly spectacular, standing out as some of the most beautiful, horrifying, and engrossing artwork I’ve ever seen in a comic. I would put this art up there with Kingdom Come or Adi Granov’s work, though I prefer this art to Alex Ross or Granov. Color and light are used to gorgeous effect, the faces and musculature were amazingly lifelike, a The art saved this book from total damnation. With more run-of-the-mill art, this book would be worth about 1 star at best. Lee Bermejo’s work on this book is truly spectacular, standing out as some of the most beautiful, horrifying, and engrossing artwork I’ve ever seen in a comic. I would put this art up there with Kingdom Come or Adi Granov’s work, though I prefer this art to Alex Ross or Granov. Color and light are used to gorgeous effect, the faces and musculature were amazingly lifelike, and there were full-page spreads that made me literally say “holy shit that’s gorgeous” out loud, in the dark, while I read this before bedtime. It can’t be overstated how masterful the art is in this book. The writing, however, is unfocused. It’s very difficult to grasp onto the central idea of the story, and there are abrupt jumps in space and time that had me going back and re-enjoying the artwork on previous pages... I mean, rereading previous pages. In fact, the ending was a puzzler for me. When it ended, my first thought was “what the hell was that about?” Somewhere in this book are half-realized ideas about... um... stuff? This book was gorgeous. That’s what counts.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Batman

    Easily the best comic book ever written. Truly. This demands an attentive reader who wishes to discover the true nature of the Dark Knight. And the art. Goodness gracious the art. It's all just so good.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tiferet

    Fantastic art but the story was a mess.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    2.5 because all the effort Lee Bermejo put into his gorgeous art cannot overcome the zero effort Azzarello put into making this story make any kind of sense.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.