Review: Batman and The Signal #1

Batman and The Signal is published by DC Comics. It is written by Tony Patrick and Scott Snyder, with art by Cully Hamner.

One of the first things that struck me as soon as I opened this comic was the sunshine.

Yeah, it’s a Bat family member but he fights crime…in the day? While this may sound really strange in Batman-terms, when you think about it, you wonder why Batman never tried this sooner.

Batman owns the night and he has allies and family such as Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin, Bat woman, and so on, all who help him at night. Which he totally does need help because Batman can’t be everywhere at once. But no one has ever taken the daytime crime-fighter role.

The logic that most books, TV, and movies give us is that crime doesn’t happen during the day. Everything is safe during the day. And while I’m not trying to freak anyone out, that just isn’t true. Does crim happen LESS during the day? Sure. But it doesn’t cease to happen at all. Batman can’t work 24 hours a day. He would totally try, but as much as comic push our realm of belief, trying to play him off as a normal dude who fights bad guys literally 24/7, without dying of exhaustion, is a bit much.

That’s where Duke Thomas, a.k.a. The Signal, comes in to play. Like many protégés, Duke is a teenager inspired by Batman to be a hero. However, from the beginning, Duke wanted to be independent of Batman. Not that he didn’t respect him, he trained hard with Bruce, but Duke wants to find what’s right for him as a hero. Batman still helps out a ton though by modifying the Signal’s armor and building a huge new base of operations for Duke. I mean, bats sleep during the day, so Duke is definitely going to need to be able to function on his own during the brief time period Batman actually sleeps.

Batman and the Signal Alternate Cover

Duke isn’t totally by himself though. Other characters from We Are Robin make a return, such as his girlfriend Izzie and their friend Riko. Both of whom were Robins, but unlike Duke they didn’t “graduate”, as Riko puts it.

Though, I’m not really sure if they have super powers. And now that I think about it, Duke is the first bat family member to actually have super powers. Unless I’m forgetting someone. Though we see Batman briefly, that majority of this issue is dedicated to Duke, to his team (which is basically just Riko and Izzie), and to the new villains he is about to be taking on.

I’m a big fan of Scott Snyder, the man is a great writer, but then you add in Tony Patrick (have you read X’ed? You should read X’ed) who I’m pretty sure is about to blow us all away now that he has the reigns of a totally new Bat family character (no pressure, Tony, but if you read this, just know I have a lot of faith in you).

This comic was similar to other Batman titles, but still had its own unique vibe to it. Even though Batman is my favorite super hero, I really wasn’t sure how I felt about yet another Bat member. But this comic has put my mind at ease and I find myself anxiously waiting for the next issue. Also, Duke is just witty, and even he thinks about the amount of “Bat-people” that already exist and how he could possibly fit in. I’m really looking forward to watching his character and story develop.

It was a great first issue, but I still need to see more of this story. There’s also a lot that relies on readers having read We Are Robin and Batman: Zero Year / Endgame. If you haven’t read them both, its not that you’ll be missing the plot points, but you definitely won’t have a full understanding of certain things they mean and even who certain characters are.

OVERALL SCORE: 8.5 / 10

Make sure to pick up a copy of Batman and the Signal from your local comic store! Happy reading!