Batman: No man's Land

Ok I realize that almost all of my posts in the forum have been about Batman, but I don’t care, here is one more.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Batman: No Mans Land is the story that DC unleashed on Gotham in 1999. A 7.6 earthquake hits Gotham city, and as it’s an east coast city wasn’t prepared at all for Quake (they say the fact that the city was on Bedrock under shale just amplified the quake, any takers on that?) As you would expect, city goes to hell in a hand basket rather quickly, with the bat troupe trying to help where they can. How does the Government help? Lock down Gotham, expel the city from the Country and make it illegal to go there. The war zone (this is not a eupimisim, it really is a 24 hours war) is run by various gangs and warlords (even the cops have their own district.)

Now my question is if you’ve read the entire series what do you think about it? Is it done well? Is it a good premise? Any other thoughts

And if you haven’t how likely do you think this is? Given the fact that Gotham was one of the highest crime cities in the world even with a literal gang of the long underwear crowd running around, and a top notch police force.

Like I said in my opening I post allot about Batman and its mostly because I feel that this Character has consistently had the most ponient storylines. Batman: Return of the dark Knight was a great story that I think will stand the test of time as good fiction period. This series has done more to elevate comics to a legit form of literature then any other I can think of. Sure there is the sandman, and watchman and other more “serious” comics, but if not for Batman’s Grim Realism they never would come to pass. Anyway, that’s my two cents, chime in if you want

I think I would have taken the idea and made it an “Elseworld”, rather than trying to wedge it into standard continuity.
And it would have to be an Elseworld that didn’t include any other superheroes of any particular power or status, too.

Too much happened too quickly… I figure it would have taken a full year just to get Gotham declared a “forbidden zone”, and another year to un-forbid it after Luthor fixed everything… and that’s not even taking into account how long it would have taken Luthor’s people to fix the city, or whether even Luthor could have afforded to. He did that just BEFORE he got the B13 tech, right?

I don’t see anybody cutting a disaster-stricken city off from the rest of the nation, either. That kind of callousness would be political suicide for everybody involved.
Superman would have publicly argued for helping the Gothamites, and when Superman goes on TV and says something ought to be done… people DO it! They WORSHIP the man.

As for story value… well, it was standard “Gotham is MY city!” fare. Why bother wrecking the city for that? If Batman had LEFT and started operating elsewhere, the idea might have had merit… Batman trying to carve out a new niche for himself in a totally different environment… but No Man’s Land struck me as primarily an excuse to draw Gotham looking even worse than usual. :slight_smile:

The execution was a little odd, too. Rather than having a consistent creative team working on it, they rotated writers and artists very frequently, sometimes on an issue-by-issue basis. This left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth…as I understand it, the Batman editors and the Powers-That-Be were in charge of the storyline, not the creative teams.

Compare that with, say, the usual fare on the Superman books at the time. The Superman storylines are a coordinated effort between the four writers on each title (Action, Superman, Adventures, and the now-defunct Man of Steel). I got the sense that those books had a little more “heart” to them. The Bat-books were well-done, but it didn’t feel like anybody’s baby.

If I were a Batman writer dreading the need to come up with a new plot for a character that has done everything ten times over, I would have hugged whoever thought this up. It allowed for new plots, new characters, new settings, and a huge amount of innovation, exactly what you would want as a writer.

As a mere reader, however, I hated it so much I couldn’t finish the series. Everything about the series was so contrived as to be absolutely unbelievable. Even if the government were to have written Gotham City off, a proposition so inane that it can’t stand on its own for five seconds, why would the superheroes of the world leave ordinary people in such danger? You can’t say because Batman wanted it that way. Batman was missing for the first and most crucial three months.

When people ask why comic books and comic book plots are sneered at, No Man’s Land will be long be proffered as Exhibit A.

Well I’m glad I read this tread because I was actually considering buying one of them because it was drawn by Mike Deodoto, and he is a crazy artist. But I guess I’ll let this pass.