"Century Twenty-Four: Family Secrets"
Writer/Artist: John Byrne, Alex Sinclair(c)
My complaints about this issue of Generations are few. The story seems to be cut off from the main one. Byrne's artwork still does not look as good on the shiny paper as it does on the traditional comic book stock. The dialogue also could have been a little smoother, but nothing blatant makes one wince.
My praises are many. Batman and Wonder Woman are an item, and I couldn't be happier since I always thought they were back in the pre-Crisis days. They both look like the genuine articles, and their relationship makes even more sense given their mutual immortality in the elseworlds series.
Batman's relationships with women throughout the mini-series are ten times better than anything he has in the current DCU. I know ten times zero is still zero, but I think you understand my meaning.
The more human, despite being eternal, Batman visits his aged separated wife and mother to B.J. She drops a bombshell on both of them, and this serves as the impetus for a very unusual and original flashback story that makes excellent use of the Byrne Generations continuity. The wife's cunning also is a reflection of Batman's mature taste in women. Batman wouldn't marry a dolt, and his wife outwits the Dark Knight and his protege at each turn.
Despite England seeing better days--and how clever of Byrne to draw upon an extrapolation of one of Britain's dark periods--the mood of the story is one of swashbuckling and good, old-fashioned serial fun. The surprise presence of a former sidekick from Batman history further lightens any potential for tension, and the staging is rollicking with the "wife" explaining the situation as Batman & Robin go into action peripherally on the panels. If anything Generations is a popcorn book. There's not enough popcorn books.
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