Peter J. Tomasi, writer
Brad Walker, pencils
Andrew Hennessy, inks
Rob Leigh, letters
In the last issue, Batman and Jim Gordon investigate the cause for the dead bats found all over Gotham City. Batman followed She-Bat who flew to The Gotham Park Zoo and The Bat-Safari exhibit. Batman’s investigation was interrupted by The Arkham Knight and his followers who detonate a bomb and attack Batman. This issue begins, The Arkham Knight and Batman fight to a stalemate. Later, Bruce Wayne and Alfred investigate the weaponry The Arkham Knight used, marveling at how technologically advanced it is. Robin criticizes Batman’s strategy due to his failure to defeat The Arkham Knight. He develops a plan of his own and goes to capture evidence from Aparo Bay where there are remnants of the energy produced from the Day Bomb. Batman warns Damian to be careful, but will he listen?
This story has weight because Batman is over-matched by a solo assailant, which rarely occurs in comics. He survives only because of assistance provided by Jim Gordon and the GCPD. The Arkham Knight’s motivation for attacking Batman, to rid Gotham of the dark cloud Batman has brought over Gotham, is simplistic. What makes it interesting is Arkham Knight’s ideology, to shine a light on dark places, includes an organization of zealous followers. Batman struggles to find evidence to grasp the depth of this threat before Robin involves himself. Damian is a bratty, over-confident, and impulsive presence in this issue. It fits. And, despite Robin’s self-confidence and plan, he too is overmatched.
The art is bold, colorful, and descriptive. I really enjoyed the initial fight sequences which picture a struggling Batman, a warrior-mindset, persevering, seemingly unfazed despite arrows stuck in his body! The pacing of the story and visual aesthetic is perfect. There are no dead spots in the story. I was particularly captivated by the facial expressions and emotions they depicted, which added to the tension in the narrative. The artist and writer appear to be working closely and complementing each other perfectly as this story continues to develop.
Overall = 9
Long-time fans of Batman will love the amount of detective work and combatant skill Tomasi has infused in this story. Some will question Batman’s vulnerability and ease with which The Arkham Knight overwhelms him in a fight. Either way, I highly recommend this wonderful book to fans of the character and DC.