After Absolute DC: The New Frontier, I will check out anything Darwyn Cooke does, even if it’s written by a mega-hack like Jeph Loeb.
And I found that that was the key — look at the pictures, ignore the hackneyed text. For instance, Batman’s introductory splash page is marred by an unnecessary and pointless “I’m coming for you, Joker!”
Those visuals, though… mmmmm. Commissioners Gordon and Dolan commiserating in front of a huge hearth in a men’s club room populated with animal heads. The Spirit falling in front of giant letters spelling out his name. A charming, old-fashioned, *young* Robin. J. Bone (inker) and Dave Stewart (colors) should also be commended for their contributions.
And really, you don’t need the words much. The point of this comic is to show off as many characters from the galleries as possible, and then there are fights and things blowing up. Neither of which are marred by ignoring the balloons. The plot is straightforward: villains team up to disrupt a police convention as a means of capturing Batman and the Spirit. Mayhem ensues. It’s a hoot seeing the mix-and-match, even if I don’t believe for a second that Gordon would make P’Gell his girlfriend, let alone sleep with her, or the Spirit would be interested in Catwoman.