This issue was okay but I feel like this series as a whole has lost a tremendous amount of its magic for me. I hated the Joker story, thought the last Harper Row issue was much worse than #12, and between the fill-in feel and loss of Glapion, I wasn't really that impressed here.
The Clayface story is alright but it doesn't really seem (as of right now) that it has much purpose in terms of the overall story Snyder is telling. Snyder did a better job during The Black Mirror of using his shorter stories to prop up his entire major narrative. Here this just feels like a fill-in that is killing time. I liked the scenes of Clayface as Bruce, as that's fun to read, and the Reaper scene was sort of pointless but featured some great art. The scenes of Bruce brooding in the cave weren't very enjoyable to me, as I thought with Grant's recent Batman run we had finally gotten past "brooding Bruce," and it's a shame we're back to that now. I get that his son died, I'm just sort of bummed with DC and Morrison in general about that decision. I think Damian's death adds absolutely nothing to the Batman family and I fail to see how it's going to lead to any new / interesting / original stories, it's just a retread of Jason's death IMO.
Dialogue / scripting was okay but Snyder's flaws continue to pop up. I'm just tired of all the symbolism, and his dialogue seems to have gotten worse over the past few months. Stuff like "Go ahead and kill me Reaper" and "You're fast, Wayne" (Gordon, to motorcycle Bruce) are just so lame and comic-booky and feel like lines Snyder would have never written a couple years ago.
I'm missing the loss of Glapion. Miki's inks are a lot cleaner and provide more space for the reader to see Capullo's linework, but that sacrifices A LOT of atmosphere. Glapion completely drenched the book in black and I LOVED it, it made the book look amazing. I thought Capullo's art really benefitted with so much darkness. This was a brighter, daytime issue, so I'm curious to see how Miki inks a darker issue.
The backup was pretty out there. By far the worst backup of this series. I've loved the backups for this title because they add to the main story and feel truly relevant, but this was pointless and kind of bizarre. The supernatural nature of the story clashed with this title's identity, and I always find the Bruce / Clark dynamic very played out and dull. I had a real "WTF?" feeling while reading the backup, like it truly did not belong in the book.
TL;DR, this issue wasn't bad but I feel like this series has seriously fallen off in many ways since its first arc.
Dont doubt that kids are exposed to horrible things in media, im positive tons of ten year olds have watched Saw, walking dead
LOL, I should have been more clear. You're right, and I'm not so much worried about exposure to the horror, it's exposure to bad writing that is being passed off as "spectacular". The 80's "bodycount movies" are all over the TV now, fake blood and death are prime-time leaders. My real concern is that no one is there to smack them in the back of the head and say "This is tripe". If they are watching "Saw" without an adult laughing about how ridiculous it is they might grow up to think "Friday the 13th" is cinema gold. At least Walking Dead has some literary value to it.
My father has a lot of respect for comics, and recognizes their place in American Literature. Had my dad tried to read DotF when I was 10, he would have tossed issue one in the garbage and made me read some Poe. If he managed to finish it he would have asked me to read "The Once and Future King" or "Don Quixote" to show me you can tell the tale without, talking down to your readers, or being so pretentious that people suggest you like the smell of your own farts.
Also, if a 10 year old isn't slightly disturbed by flaming horses and living bodies sewn together you might be dropping the ball as a parent. My advice is a psychological evaluation.
Wow. Trifecta! Read this after BG and B&R and didn't expect all 3 titles to be good reads in the same month. This was a fun read with very well done art and colours! Even the backups have only been worthwhile ONLY when they've been connected to the main story BUT this team-up with Superman was intriguing even though it is (probably) not connected to the mystic clay origins of Clayface.
The cover was great - it "got me" too. Usually, don't go for in media res but this opening was perfect with it. The LATERAL DRIVE on the batbike was handled very cool especially trying to capture the image if done on film. The Robin/Reaper flashback was nice - sort of out of the blue but Bats mind is understandable distracted. The Alfred conversation, the cluefinding minutia, the shapeshifters mythology was all engaging.
The backup was fun. Seeing Superman's limits is just as interesting as seeing him unbeatable when done well - like here. His interaction with Batman worked too. I wasn't crazy about how the Batman chest symbol was done but that's minor and the freaky cliffhanger has me hooked.