Tuesday, June 15, 2010
HeroesCon Booty: Thrillkiller
I have a lot of reading to do and don't anticipate finishing this stack of books until next year's HeroesCon. In the meantime I plan to write about these books. First up: Thrillkiller, by Howard Chaykin and Dan Brereton.
Thrillkiller is a pretty typical Elseworlds story. This line of books eventually ran out of steam because they became predictable and formulaic: the goal was to put characters as far from their origins as possible (communist Russia, the Civil War, etc.) and quickly work them toward their status quo.
Thrillkiller is no different. Set in the early 1960s, it puts Batman and his cast in a setting highly reminiscent of a James Ellroy novel. Here, Robin and Batgirl are quasi-beatnik vigilantes fighting against crooked cops. Batman comes along later, as do an assortment of sometimes "real life" interpretations of Batman's rogues gallery. Unfortunately, neither the characters nor plot points are defined in anything but the broadest of strokes. Oh, and it has a lesbian Joker. Which really isn't as interesting as it ought to be.
I love Howard Chaykin but can tell when he's not entirely invested in a story. This is a by-the-numbers Elseworlds book that doesn't have much to offer besides some dazzling art from Brereton. Panel-by-panel, this is some great work from Brereton. I just wish Chaykin had provided him better scripts.