Batman: Bloodstorm

Batman: Bloodstorm - Doug Moench, Kelley Jones, John Beatty, Les Dorscheid, Dennis O'Neil I have to say it was quite a roller coaster going through "Batman: Bloodstorm." Let me first start off by saying that's its more gory and violent than the first in the installation by a long shot - but not always deep (which I think left me disappointed because there were several points in this where it made me miss the depth and maturity of the first). There are parts of it that I found quite cheesy, but for the moments that were good - they were brilliant.What was good - the exploration of Batman's struggle to not become the demon in the night that he continuously fights against. This comic explores that in the progressive conflict, and it's actually quite good in many spots because you can see how Batman is completely and utterly torn in his morality. He has his systematic rules, but ultimately finds them taken away one by one, and ultimately that causes him to lose the very thing he's trying desperately to hold onto. What makes it even more potent is seeing how it affects those that really know him - I appreciated Gordon's and Alfred's perspectives revealed through the ongoing conflict in this work. You can tell it not only affects them in seeing Batman's transformation, but certainly when it ultimately comes down to when Batman succumbs to his darker senses.There is romance, but I felt that element of it didn't have any significant amount of depth. One could argue that might have been an issue in the first installation, but somehow it worked better in "Red Rain" than it did here in "Bloodstorm". Selina's character just didn't click with me, and it might've been because her story wasn't as fleshed out or brought with a sense of heavy tonality as much as in the former where there was a war raging. She was just kind of the person who kept Batman's "humanity" in check - at least until the breaking point. It's kind of a shame because I think Selina's character did have some potential, but I didn't like the handling of it. Ah well.All in all, however, "Bloodstorm" was worth the read, even for a paranormal installation in the Batman franchise. I'll admit it did surprise and shake me as I read it, but I do think it could've been brilliant if treated differently in spurts.Overall score: 3/5