Secrets (3 stars)

SAM KEITH

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Secrets (DC/Titan)

BATMAN

Sam Keith is a another singular and distinctive talent in comics. The unlikely co-creator of The Sandman with Neil Gaiman, he’s more famous for his own series The Maxx. His rough, exaggerated painted work is certainly eye-catching, if not to everyone’s taste.

The central premise has the Joker released from the Arkham Asylum, yet again. He’s now on a publicity tour for his new book and out to frame Batman for his latest killing spree. It’s an unofficial sequel to Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke (perhaps the greatest Batman story of all time), and this is where its problem lies. While perfectly readable and pretty entertaining - with the Joker on suitably psychopathic form - it just pales in comparison with the aforementioned classic. The exchanges just don’t have the same resonance in Keith’s hands. Close but no (exploding, toxic gas-filled) cigar.

(Henry Northmore)

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