[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, & Adriano Lucas
Throughout the New 52 run on Batman and Detective Comics, the idea of Gotham carrying on, rebuilding, and fighting back is subtle by major concept. Detective Comics #943 reintroduced it in a new way and #944 takes it a step further. The Victim Syndicate is the representation of moving on and getting strong from your hardships, but in the way that Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight got stronger.
Not only are these new villains targeting Batman, but those at fault for him continuing on. As a vigilante, Batman is a criminal and the GCPD are supposed to stop him. There is an unwritten code that they will help him and in return he will help them, but it is still wrong for him to do what he is doing. These new villains are striking at not only Batman, but those who help and enable him.
This is a new villain that Batman has never faced before in such a strong way. These villains are capable of taking out members of the Bat-Family and making those around Bruce question why he brings others into his fight. This Victim Syndicate is definitely going to be an fresh take on a villain, as they don’t fear Batman from the stand point of pain, or punishment.
The art in this issue blew me away. The artistic team on this issue created some terrifying looking villains and the final, full-page panel is just horrifying and beautiful all at once. James Tynion IV continues to be a solid writer with stories that we just love to watch Batman struggle through.
Batwing’s rather chipper attitude conflicts with the overall feeling of the issue which feels odd. It is reflected really well in both the writing and the art. He almost feels like the super happy person home from a great night out when the rest of the family just got news that a relative died. There are a few panels of him smiling that almost don’t fit in the environment. This creative choice may have been done to add some humor into an otherwise serious issue, but it felt unnecessary.
I greatly enjoyed this issue and readers will as well. Finally getting to see a stand-off between the Bat-Family and the Victim Syndicate was exciting and took an unexpected turn which was fantastic.