Batman: No-Man’s Land Has RETURNED!

We seem to be living in a time of reboots and comebacks…for example, words cannot describe how excited I am to watch the ‘V’ reboot. I am even more speechlessly overjoyed over the comeback of Batman: No Man’s Land.  Yes, that’s right; Laura Post’s adaptation of the novel of the same name has returned after a nine-month hiatus with a brand-new installment.

I did a review on the entire series earlier (a lot earlier) but let me re-cap anyway: No Man’s Land, based on the book by the same name by Greg Rucka, tells the story of a Gotham City devestated by natural disasters and disease, cut off from the rest of the world, and worst of all…abandoned by Batman. The events following the beginning of what comes to be called ‘No Man’s Land’ are faithfully chronicled by The Oricle, aka Barbra Gordon, aka the former Batgirl, who was crippled by the Joker and now relies on a trusty network of spies to get her information. The baddies are out of Arkham Asylum and have divided up the city, and whatever’s left has been claimed by various gangs. Gotham has never been more in need of Batman, but he’s nowhere to be seen.

Episode 3 picks up 90 days after NML went into effect. The former officers of the GCPD, led by Commissioner Gordon, are reduced to the level of the street gangsters who have claimed various parts of the city. They are kept bust defending what territory they have and trying to stay alive, but after Gordon begins planning to take back Old Gotham, the ‘Blue Boys’ plot to spark a war between two rival gangs in the hopes that their enemies will wipe eachother out, thus making the takeover much smoother.  On top of all this, a new tag has been spotted graffitied onto several buildings. It isn’t just any gang sign, however: it’s in the shape of a bat. While the former officers wonder hopefully whether this means Batman has come back, Gordon becomes extremely angry. He’s harboring a grudge against Batman for abandoning them in the first place. Across the city, a pair of looters poaching on another gang’s territory are rescued from almost certain death after they’re caught red-handed, and their rescuer is, at first glance, Batman. The theives realize their mistake when one notices that ‘Batman’ is actually ‘Batgirl’, and that the Dark Knight hasn’t returned to Gotham after all.

Since I read the book over the summer before listining to the other episodes of No Man’s Land, I can’t help making comparisons between the two while I’m listening. It’s pretty easy to do, since this is a very truthful adaptation. That alone moves it up very high on the Ladder of Epic. Really, the only thing I don’t like about this series is that the episodes are very, very short… one clocks in at under 10 minutes, and other than the introductory episode, average length seems to be about 11-12 minutes. It makes me sad inside, since as soon as I start getting into the story, it goes to credits. Still, all things considered, No Man’s Land  meets all of the requirements on my List: True to source material? Check. Brilliant cast? Check. Shiny Music? Check. (And there’s one particular piece that plays right before the end of this episode that’s driving me CRAZY, because I recognize it but I don’t know what its FROM!) So, that makes three out of three checks on the List, leaving Batman: No Man’s Land as one of the shows you should be listening… even if it does update sporadically.

Think of it this way, however: If you got a piece of candy every day, would that candy taste as good as it would if you only got one piece every six months? Would you enjoy it as much when you got it? (If you answered yes to these questions, then you probably missed the point entirely.)

Listen to Batman: No Man’s Land Episode 3 by turning on the bat-signal here.

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