[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Written and Illustrated by: Sean Murphy
Colors by: Matt Hollingsworth
Batman’s entire rogues gallery is causing chaos in Gotham and pushing the bat-family to their limits. It’s all part of Jack Napier aka the Joker’s plan. The destruction caused by the ongoing fight was designed by Napier to uncover a dark secret of Gotham City, a secret meant to be another nail in the coffin for Batman.
But as Napier continues his mission to destroy Batman, Batman suffers another great loss. A loss so great, that Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl believes he will lose control.
I had fears this book couldn’t maintain the level it began with, and this issue proved to me that I most likely don’t have anything to worry about. This is a great, action-packed issue that really takes the story to the next level. The build-up of the Joker to this point has been fantastic, but now we start to see the deterioration of Batman, and Murphy is delivering that tale in a fascinating way.
When the bat-family starts to realize they need to stop Batman, then you know all bets are off in this series and I could not be enjoying this title more.
On top of the great art and storytelling, Murphy has managed to fill these issues with one easter egg after the other. From Joker’s real name of Jack Napier, which only took place in Tim Burton’s 1989 film Batman, to all the Batman memorabilia Napier had in his room, which were images and objects of various incarnations of Batman. This issue manages to mention the Valestra Gang. For anyone that doesn’t know, Salvatore Valestra was the mob boss that played a key role in the 1993 animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
I’m really loving this series overall and find very little fault with it so far, however in this issue there is something that confuses me. It might be too early to say it is a negative, but it’s the closest thing to a negative this issue has.
At one point in the story, Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and Dick Grayson (Nightwing) visit a cemetery and there they see the headstone to Jason Todd. In the dialogue exchange between the two, Grayson tells Gordon that Jason Todd was the Robin before he was. Now on one hand this is a positive because it proved to me that this story is not following the rules at all of the regular series, which means anything can happen. But on the other hand it seems like such an arbitrary thing to make Todd the first Robin over Grayson. Only time will tell if there is a purpose to this odd change.
Another great issue in this mini-series. As someone that has a bit of Batman burn-out, I am surprisingly excited to read each new issue as they come out. This is such a refreshing, new take that you can actually see happen in today’s day and age.
I really hope the rest of this mini-series can be as good as the last three issues, if so it will become one of my all-time favorite Batman stories.