Batman: Nevermore

 BATN   (DC, 2003)

™ and © DC Comics

Batman: Nevermore #1 pairs ever so naturally the grim avenger of the night with the definitive writer of grim stories and poems. The teaming of Batman and Edgar Allan Poe is a match made in Heaven (or should that be Hell?), and the creative team of Len Wein, Guy Davis, and Bernie Wrightson (cover artist) do the intriguing concept justice by delivering a nicely packaged, well-told, highly accessible tale that can be enjoyed by Poe fans and non-fans alike. Poe is portrayed realistically as a struggling writer with big dreams, and his uncomfortable brush with the upper class (including a haughty Bruce Wayne) rings true, especially given the sensibilities of the era concerning what it meant to be a gentleman. (Poe’s threadbare coat obviously meant that he couldn’t possibly be a gentleman.)

At first blush, one might wish that horror maven Wrightson (Batman: The Cult) had drawn the entire issue, but Guy Davis (Sandman Mystery Theatre) is certainly no slouch. He captures the mood and the look of a spooky tale (revolving around a pair of grisly murders) set in 19th century Baltimore (Poe’s home town, of course) about as well as could possibly be expected, and his retro Batman design is at once cool and sensible.

This issue (and this series, one must assume) would make a nice companion piece to the old Roger Corman-directed Poe movies (such as The Raven and The Masque of the Red Death).

— Brett Weiss

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#1

  6/1/2003
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Painted cover; Elseworld storyLen WeinGuy Davis

#2

  7/1/2003
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Painted cover; Elseworld storyLen WeinGuy Davis

#3

  8/1/2003
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 Len WeinGuy Davis

#4

  9/1/2003
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 Len WeinGuy Davis

#5

  10/1/2003
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 Len WeinGuy Davis