Neal Adams’ BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 Feels Like a Relic Of The Past


BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 feels like a relic plucked from the past. At points it’s dialogue is stiff, but the story and actions are so obscure that you can’t help but want to read on.
- Advertisement -
Neal Adams’ BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 from DC Comics train-wrecks into your local comic book store this week.

Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1 opens with the most bat-shit insane page that will make you read on in absolute wonder, by the end you’ll ask yourself, “What the hell did I just read.” But the crazy thing? You’ll enjoy every bit of the absurdity. Check out the original press release for Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul check it out here.

Neal Adams' BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 Feels Like a Relic Of The Past 1
The best opening Bat-page ever! By Neal Adams

Adams is most known in the Batman world for his and Dennis O’Neil’s revitalization of the character in the ’70s and co-creation of Ra’s al Ghul. His more recent work with Superman and Batman has been hit or miss, as the reaction from readers at my local comic shop wasn’t very positive. These stories were looked down upon for just how insane, and utterly obscure Adams plot was; which is precisely the category Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul falls under.

As with any character that’s been around 80 years, Batman has evolved with the times by changing his attitude and verbiage, but Adams throws all of that evolution out the window for Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1. Batman’s dialogue comes off awkwardly stiff like he’s stuck in the ’70s, and he’s constantly pissed off, as he yells at people and repeatedly calls Ra’s a liar.

- Advertisement -

Batman’s dialogue isn’t the only one that suffers from an awkward stiffness, as other characters do too, this feeling of weird 70’s writing isn’t limited to just that, as Adams has a newscast sprinkled throughout that feels like one of the most obvious exposition dumps. These newscast segments work great in some scenes, but in others, there is so much exposition that it would read better if it was on a recap page.

Neal Adams' BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 Feels Like a Relic Of The Past 2
Interior art by Neal Adams

At moments Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1 feels like a story Adams had planned for the ’70s and is now has time to get to it. If you grew up with Adam’s Batman, you’ll probably love Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1, but if you’re a new age Batman fan—keep away.

Adams art has been known and loved for the realism he puts into every aspect of his pencils, but as the years have gone by he has slowly lost the beauty of his original work. With his nearly 60 years of pencils in the industry, the last ten has seen Adams once-great pencil work become more of sketches. Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1 art see’s Adams at what may be the worst, with most of the pages seeming like he went with his first sketch, then threw colors on it.

His colors are great, making the pages feel like the story he is telling is gritty and dirty, but the sketch filled pages feel like a new artist trying his or her best to recapture Adams art, while failing. With how many dialogue bubbles there are Clem Robins lettering feels cluttered at times, while the issue is void of sound effects in some scenes and not others. Another weird instance is an editor’s note in a box with an asterisk (*) showcasing an extra bit of information, the only problem is there is no asterisk on the pages dialogue or anywhere else.

Neal Adams' BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 Feels Like a Relic Of The Past 3
Interior art by Neal Adams

Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul vs. 2019 (Conclusion)

Even though Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1 has stiff dialogue, unnecessarily in your face exposition, and a story that feels so weirdly obscure; you will find it hard to peel your eyes off the page. When everything comes together, the issue forms a fun train wreck, that you can at least say it was fun to watch (in this case, read).


Memorable Quote: “What …The living hell is this?!” – Boston Brand (Deadman)

I agree, what the living hell did I just read?


Side Note: I think Adams loves Deadman and that is perfect. Deadman is a cool and fun character that hasn’t been used much lately.

Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!


WONDER TWINS #7 Returns With Life Lessons

After a quick hiatus, DC Comics WONDER TWINS #7 returns to comic stands this Wednesday, keeping the wonderful wit and heartfelt messages it was...

Review: Trust & Revenge are Powerful Pulls in RED SONJA #8

When you’re facing trouble, it’s often vital to put your trust in other people. In Red Sonja #8, out this week from Dynamite Entertainment,...

AfterShock Exclusive Preview: BAD RECEPTION #2 – OMG, The HORROR! 😱🔪🔪

Bad Reception #2 hits your local comic book store on September 25, but thanks to AfterShock Comics, Monkeys Fighting Robots has a four-page preview...

Frank Miller And The Dark Knight: Together Again

He's currently chronicling the adventures of the Man of Steel in Superman Year One, but it seems Frank Miller's heart will always bring him...

Review: DEAD END KIDS #3 Will Leave You Needing Tissues

With the concluding issue, DEAD END KIDS #3 wraps up its emotional coming-of-age story on a somber, yet high note. Word of warning, you...

A Dark and Deadly Tale Begins In NOMEN OMEN #1

Nomen Omen #1 is the start of a dark and disturbing series from Image Comics. It's a tale of the supernatural coming after what is their due, and so much more.

GOTHAM CITY MONSTERS #1 Explores Gotham’s Grotesque Underbelly

Diving deeper into the underbelly of Gotham City, DC Comics Gotham City Monsters #1 explores the uneasy corner known as Monster City, with dusky...

Review: SILVER SURFER: BLACK #4 – Cataclysmic & Calamitous Intent

Silver Surfer: Black #4, out this week from Marvel comics, dives deeper into the origin of Galactus. This issue is an absolutely gorgeous cosmic adventure...
Jason Jeffords Jr
Jason Jeffords Jr
Jason resides in the cold crime-ridden town of Anchorage, Alaska. When he isn't running away from murderers, he "chills" at home reading comics/books, watching films/TV, and playing video games with his three-legged cat Lucky. Oh he also sometimes writes for websites such as Monkeys Fighting Robots, Comics Bulletin, and Witll.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

Neal Adams' BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 Feels Like a Relic Of The Past 7


Neal Adams' BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 Feels Like a Relic Of The Past 8

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.


Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

Neal Adams' BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #1 Feels Like a Relic Of The Past 9


COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!