THIS WEEK: The Batman/Dylan Dog team-up reaches its conclusion with Batman/Dylan Dog #3!

Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdict.

Batman/Dyland DogBatman/Dylan Dog #3

Writer: Roberto Recchioni
Artists: Gigi Cavenago and Werther Dell’edera
Colorists: Giovana Niro and Laura Ciondolini
Letterer: Pat Brosseau

Whenever a set of accomplished and well-regarded creators get to do Batman for the first time, there’s an almost charge to the work. I felt it when Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Darington did their Batman Universe story, and I felt it more recently when Jason Aaron and his collaborators sent Batman into space, in Batman: Off World. It’s as if the writers and artists have been waiting their entire career (and maybe life) to get to play with one of the most beloved and enduring characters in modern American fiction.

I think that’s been true throughout this series of Italian creators, writer Roberto Recchioni and artist Gigi Cavenago, who is assisted by Werther Dell’edera and colored by Giovana Niro and Laura Ciondolini, with letters by Pat Brosseau. As such, Batman/Dylan Dog #3 — as well as the two issues that preceeded it — is a gorgeous and kinetic comic. This issue in particular makes fantastic use of the one-page splash, using it to blow-out and spotlight big moments with not just Batman, but also with The Joker as well as Dylan Dog and his own foe, Christopher Killex.

Indeed, Killex and The Joker are both central to the plot of this finale, which sees The Joker reviving Killex from the dead (against Killex’s will) and setting him loose in Gotham City, simply because he “wanted a friend to play with.” This presents problems for Batman, who (for once) is not prepared for Killex, nor is he familiar with his logic (or lack thereof). This means he cannot easily track him, not without the help of one Dylan Dog, and away we go with our plot points.

Now, Batman pairs well with most characters, and there’s a long list of excellent Batman crossovers, ranging from Predator to Grendel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the list goes on. It maybe has to do with the richness of Batman’s world and the familiarity with it that experts of other franchises bring to the table. These things just always seem to hit the ground running. But I think it’s also true that Batman and Dylan Dog pair together especially well.

Batman/Dylan Dog

Dylan Dog is a paranormal detective, an Italian comics mainstay whose history dates back to the 1980s, a fertile period for Batman as well. He takes on vampires, ghosts, werewolves, etc., characters that skulk the streets at night, essentially. So that’s a good match there. He has an Alfred-esque servant — who is basically literally Groucho Marx — but that’s really where the similarities stop. It’s then the differences that make this such a rich team-up, with Dylan Dog being broke and anti-bourgeois.

I got a kick out of the usual crossover trajectory, where the two were at odds but then came to relax and rely on one another. Add to that the high level of writing and art, and you get what for my money is one of the most memorable Batman crossovers of all time.

Verdict: BUY

The Round-Up

  • Action Comics #1065 was a lot of fun — “He’s taking our hogs…SWARM HIM!” — and sort of indicative of what I’ve been enjoying about this big House of Braniac crossover. It’s big cartoony sci-fi of the highest order, mashing so many of Superman’s cosmic elements together and seeing what’s left when it’s done. Good stuff. This issue is written by Joshua Williamson, illustrated by Rafa Sandoval and Miguel Mendonca, colored by Alejandro Sanchez, and lettered by Dave Sharpe.
  • In other Batman AND other Joshua Williamson news, Batman and Robin #9 has some great revelations that this series has been building toward since its start (and maybe before that a bit, in the Robin solo book that Williamson also wrote). And those revelations are a lot of fun. I just really like the tone of this comic, how it knows what it is and is trying to offer a type of Batman story not really found anywhere else in the line right now. This issue was written by Williamson, illustrated by Nikola Cizmesija and Simone Di Meo, colored by Rex Lokus and Giovanna Niro, and lettered by Steve Wands.

Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!

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