Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"So... Alfred said a girl came over this morning. Anyone I...?"
"No one you know."
"Alfred says she calls you Deedee. What's all that about?"
"Business, Robin, mind it."
"Did you guys... y'knowww..."
"If I was interested in smutty innuendo, I'd partner up with Eel O'Brian."
"Fair enough. But if you have any questions about the feelings you're having... or just questions about girls in general... you can always come and ask me. Okay, sport?"
"Alfred and his big mouth..."
Hmm, okay, so I am now forced to completely revise my opinions about Kevin Smith as a Batman writer because THE WIDENING GYRE is absolutely everything a great Bat-book should be: packed with action, intrigue, witty dialogue and a brooding Bruce. I'm not completely sure that Mr Smith is halfway to an Absolute edition as he coyly suggests in the afterword, but it's certainly a major stride and flying kick to the side of the head forward from the relatively one dimensional CACOPHONY. I was rather puzzled why this is billed as a sequel to that book. I wasn't by the end, but it would be somewhat churlish of me to say any more, and it's certainly forced me to revise my opinion about CACOPHONY. Seen as an appetiser to the main course, it's a rather different dish, much less bland than it first seemed.
Once again we get a look into an unknown chapter of Bruce Wayne's past, as old flame Silver St. Cloud, aware of his true identity, unexpectedly comes back into his life, and completely prepared to share him by night with the streets of Gotham. And there's another significant new arrival in the form of the vigilante Baphomet, who's got all the makings of a possible ally, and whom, over a significant period of time, Bruce is seriously considering bringing into the inner Bat-fold as a trusted working associate. It's well written stuff as we see Bruce / Batman struggling with trust issues about allowing a new person gradually into the different aspects of his life. The big difference of course is that Silver St. Cloud is already aware that Bruce is Batman, whereas Baphomet is of course unaware that Batman is Bruce. Eventually, won over by his discovery of a very significant tragedy in Baphomet's past, he decides to bring him fully into the fold...
I can't explain why, this is just one of those books that you have to read before someone else tells you too much about it. It is destined to become a minor classic I think, and with the impending publication of a third book which will conclude the wider arc (which becomes apparent) it is actually definitely in with a chance of achieving an Absolute collected edition.