As a fan of the entire Bat-Family, I was truly hoping that this series was going to pick up. After three issues of character introductions and tiresome fight scenes, I thought “The Many Arms of Death” finale was going to finally pack a punch and show us something interesting. To my dismay, I was wrong.
Bennett and Tynion’s story has slowly built intrigue through the past few issues, but then they sort of flat-lined and went nowhere with it. The finale was a bit dry and the story itself seemed a little choppy.
I would have fallen off the bandwagon here with this title if it wasn’t for the amazing art of Epting and the talented coloring of Cox. The issue itself maintained a dark tone throughout, beautifully contrasted here and there by the bright reds on Batwoman’s costume. It is a very attractive book to look at, but the story itself is dull.
What is this all about?
We start the issue with our “brother-sister-twin-pantomimes” leaving Coryana in a helicopter and talking about blowing it up with bombs and missiles for financial gain…. You know, typical bad guy business stuff. Cut to the next scene that that recounts different times in Tahani’s rough life only to finally make it back to Coryana where she kicks her feet up with Safiyah at the Desert Rose. This is also where she first meets Kate Kane.
Jump forward some number of years to right now, and we get to the splash page. Everyone is in a cave on Coryana and Tahani is slashing at Batwoman with one of her blades. Is anyone else as truly sick of Tahani as I am right now? Good grief… Batwoman is able to get a device to her criminal pals to disarm the bombs and then is immediately tackled by Tahani where they fall down a waterfall deeper into the cave. Hooray! Another Batwoman/Tahani fight scene.
We all know that Batwoman’s red hair is a wig right? Ok good, because there is literally a panel during this fight scene where Tahani grabs Batwoman by her wig and swings her around through the air, slamming her into a stalagmite. Look, I know we’re reading books about superheroes and caped-crusaders and whatnot, but don’t insult my intelligence here. There is no way the wig is THAT attached. Moving on.
The fight takes them deeper into the watery cave where there is an escape boat, or so you would think. Tahani makes it to the boat and Batwoman picks up a knife that she dropped. Batwoman says “You were forged by Safiyah……..I was forged by fire!” She then strikes the knife on a rock and fire erupts all around them. The scene looks breathtaking artistically. But really, Fire? Like what lit on fire? They are seriously surrounded by nothing but rock and water… Ok, ok moving on… Anyways, Tahani made it to the boat so she is going to make her escape by driving it away right? No, she shoots a grappling hook through a hole in the ceiling of the cave that attaches to a helicopter and she flies away… Sigh. At this point, I am laughing because it feels like more of a comedy than anything.
The very next scene is at the Desert Rose, everyone is celebrating with drinks and shouting “VICTORY!” Kate is with them but is lying on the bar in her underwear barefoot. Me laughing again. We see at the end Safiyah may be on the wrong side, typing a mysterious message to initiate Plan B. The mysterious shadowed villain also states that “half her plan is done.” The story is obviously going to continue.
This is becoming an unintentional comedy in my honest opinion. There is not a whole lot to think about in this issue other than some brief history of Tahani. As well as some double crossing going on at the end. I will continue to read it because I can picture this getting good. Bennett and Tynion just need to get on the ball with it and turn it around quickly. If I see another fight scene with Tahani I swear I am going to freak out. I can deal with a story taking some time to get started, but if we see another 4 issues like this I’m dropping it.
Reviewed by Justin Swenson
Written by Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV
Art by: Steve Epting, Jeromy Cox
Published by Publisher DC Comics
Release Date: June 21, 2017