‘Batman: Eye of the Beholder’ by Tony S. Daniel

Graphic Novel Review

Finished on 12/23/2018



Genres: Graphic Novel, Batman, Comics, DC, Superhero

Similar books: Superhero genre

Recommended with Reservations, if you are a fan of the Batman character

Spoiler-ific review

Now all cards on the table: this is the first superhero graphic novel I’ve ever read. I don’t think this was a very good introduction to the genre/medium.

This graphic novel contained a collection of two story arcs: the Beholder story arc, and a Two Face/Riddler story arc. The Beholder story arc was about trouble in Gotham City’s Chinatown, featuring a guest superhero ‘Peacock.’ The Two Face/Riddler story arc is about Two Face ‘Rescuing’ his ex-wife who he believed long-dead from the clutches of a notorious mafia family. In this novel an adult Dick Grayson (aka the original Robin) has been promoted to be Batman while Bruce Wayne is doing stuff off-screen.

Plot wise the Two Face/Riddler storyline was more engaging. Two Face must ‘save’ his wife from a Stolkholm Syndrome-ish relationship with the don of a notorious crime family. Of course Two Face is a deranged psychopath who kills people out of hand, so this relationship can’t end well. The Beholder plot was a trite ‘Batman goes to Chinatown’ sort of story, where he fights against the villain known as the Sensei in a quest to lay their hands on the magical mask known as the Beholder. It felt like tokenism to me.

The pacing for both groups of graphic novels was pretty good, though I think the pacing for the Two Face story was better. We the reader are constantly left guessing what would happen next, making the story read ‘faster.’

The art style was really good. Filled with deep, moody colors and colorful downtown sections, Gotham at night is a glorious setting. I just wish we got to see Gotham/Dick Grayson during the day for a contrast.

The characters were a bit meh. This was not a very good introductory chapter to the Batman setting, so we are only given a glimpse of characterization. This is like one episode in a ten season-long tv show; there is very little character development per season.

Net total, this graphic novel is fun but not to serious. The plotlines herein aren’t anything special. Read it if you’re curious.

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