Batman: Death by Design is an aptly titled story that pairs striking visuals with a well constructed story.
Chip Kidd’s graphic novel is a 1930’s period piece that manages to balance all of the elements that make an enthralling Batman tale. A great Batman story must be able to balance Bruce’s character both in and out of the cowl, and bend both mystery and action, all of which Kidd succeeds at.
Dave Taylor’s art truly shines in this book. The soft and immaculately rendered pencils build a Gotham that’s a pleasure to spend time in, and all of the retro-futurist technology kept me grinning throughout. The monochromatic look is broken throughout with lush pips of color that add whimsy and light to both the city and a couple fan favorites from Bats’ rogues’ gallery.
It’s hard to view art in a vacuum, and as the Dark Knight’s pop culture persona seems to grow ever darker-looking at you, Zach Snyder!- it was refreshing to see optimism and hope in Bruce. Batman: Death by Design reminded me of some of my favorite episodes from Batman The Animated Series.
Final Rating: Read It
– Joe Sherry is a part-time professional writer and full-time professional werewolf. See his less geeky work at: http://nevernotanerd.com/author/joesherryjr/