Batman Annual #3
Writing - 8/10
Art - 8/10
Overall - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Otto Schmidt
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: December 12, 2018
Who makes sure the Batmobile has gas, who arranges Bruce Wayne’s schedule, who does Batmans laundry? Well, of course, Alfred, so what does a Batman story look like from his perspective?
“Papa Don’t Preach” Batman Annual #3
Alfred Pennyworth maybe one of the most unheralded heroes of the DC Universe. Everyone respects “the” Batman. He can take down the heaviest hitters in the DC Universe and no one questions his authority. But when it all comes down to it, someone has to take care of the Dark Knight. Someone had to raise him as a child, someone has to cook, do his laundry, and spend sleepless nights worrying about him. Batman Annual #3 is a Batman story from Alfred Pennyworth’s perspective.
Batman Annual #3 is a one-shot story written by Tom Taylor. I am, in general, a big fan of one-shot stories, especially within annuals, as you get a few extra pages. Tom Taylor uses all of that to tell a delightful little Batman story, but focusing on Alfred Pennyworth. It seems a new villain is in town and Batman cannot rest until he is stopped. Even though he has the flu and hasn’t slept for days, Batman is still out there fighting. Taylor follows Alfred as he helps Batman through this adventure.
I like that Taylor really focused on the worry that Alfred has for Bruce. He is Alfred’s adopted child, so of course he would be worried sick when he knows he is out there every day fighting criminals and all sorts of baddies. We also follow Alfred through his mundane tasks that helps Batman get through the day. Somebody has to gas up the Batmobile, somebody has to make sure bat-a-rangs are sharpened. Dinner has to be cooked; clothes, cleaned. Alfred does all of this and more while he constantly worries that Batman might not make it home.
It is a very “human” story of parents’ worry for their child set in the DC superhero Universe, and Taylor does it very well. The ending to Batman Annual #3 was fantastic and just a great ending to this one-shot story. I won’t spoil it but it is really just a heartwarming story.
The real reason I picked up Batman Annual #3 was that I saw Otto Schmidt‘s name on the cover. I hadn’t seen his art since Nightwing Annual #1 and he is a name that, when I see it, I always check out what he is doing. This is a bit of a different story/vibe for Otto Schmidt. His art always has this dynamic and, for lack of better terms, “sexiness” to it. I usually see him on more action-oriented stories or stories that are a little more light-hearted. This more dramatic story was definitely a change of pace. Schmidt, though, does a great job in catching the dramatic tone of the issue. His facial expressions are top notch and help tell the story at hand, and add that extra heartfelt drama to Batman Annual #3.
I also like that Schmidt gives Gotham that Batman: The Animated Series feel, with blimps flying in the air, the red/black sky with gothic building architecture. His character designs also continue to be great; I like the little sleeker look he gives Batman. The coloring work is wonderful as well; most of the issue is very dark and morose, which works well for that part of the story, and then he brightens it up a little bit at the end, which perfectly fits the mood and tone for the ending of the story.
Batman Annual #3 is a fantastic one-shot story told from Alfred’s perspective. It has a ton of heart to it and if you do not smile at the ending you might want to check your pulse! The creative team did a fantastic job. Taylor and Schmidt make a really good team that I would like to see work again together in the future. One thing that I love about this is you don’t have to be following the current Batman to enjoy this story, you just need general knowledge about the Caped Crusader (in this day in age, about everyone knows the basics). With just the basic knowledge you can pick up Batman Annual #3 and read a complete and totally enjoyable story!
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