Batman 'The Chalice'
Wr. Chuck Dixon
Ill. John Van Fleet

When first setting eyes upon Batman, The Chalice; one can't help but be impressed. The hardcovered book first gathered my interest with its curious cover. Even after opening it the pages were so smooth and of such high quality. Of course as the saying is, I didn't judge this graphic novel by its cover.

Just so you know before I criticize the dialogue, the story is interesting as is the artwork.

The story keeps your interest from the beginning with Batman The Chalice by Chuck Dixon & John Van Fleet.mysterious characters and an object that all want to acquire. As to not give any details away that may hinder your reading experience, the line-up of characters shall be kept quiet. But lets just say that even Alfred gets in on a little excitement.

The primary problem with this tpb is that the dialogue and a few of the concepts in it aren't traditional. For example, Alfred stumbles upon Cat-Woman searching for some goodies in Wayne Manor, yet in the process of him holding a shotgun to the back of her head; another group of treasure seekers walk into the mansion. Without hesitation, Alfred lowers his gun and asks Cat-Woman to join his side so that they can fight off the burglars.

Now I don't know about you, but its as if the writer (Chuck Dixon) didn't want to spend the time to elaborate such situations into a more realistic manner. Instead of taking the time to place Alfred and Cat-Woman on a side, he just throws them together with one simple line of dialogue.

Seems small, but their was alot of dialogue that not only hurt the path of the story, but also didn't fit the characters of those that spoke. One last example: at the end of the tpb Bruce realizes that the antique that has been given to him for safe keeping can't be protected as well as it would if it were with someone else. Therefore he gives it off to another to guard it. And as he gives it he makes a comment about how he doesnt want his ego as Batman to interfere with the antiques safe keeping. Its just those small things where one says to themself, Batman would never say that.

The artwork definately complimented the story. Not quite the traditional familiarity that one might have with a comic book, but despite the fact, it was a nice change of scenary (as it were).

A quick read, short book, not worth buying but definately worth borrowing from a friend or the library. Good story, just somewhat corny dialogue.

- Joseph Lookabaugh

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