Story: Brian Azzarello
Art: Phil Noto
This one-off special is the first in Brian Azzerello’s First Wave imprint, a universe that harks back to the increasingly popular era of pulp heroes, such as Doc Savage, and an impulsive rookie Batman who isn’t afraid to pack a firearm. When Batman is framed for the murder of a public figure, celebrity explorer Savage publicly announces that he will rid Gotham of the winged menace.
Azzerello’s writing is as sharp as ever, and Phil Noto’s illustrations suits the art-deco landscape perfectly, but the issue ultimately left me feeling a little underwhelmed. As is often a way with these team-ups, so much time is spent bringing Bats and Savage together that there’s little time to either explore the universe itself. Nevertheless, as a succinct introduction to the First Wave world, it more than does its job, and the “behind the scenes” notebook section at the back of the book is certainly tantalising.