[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Christian Duce, Fernando Blanco, Alex Sinclair & Allen Passalaqua
With the mayor dead, the city under attack, and Batwing & Azrael captured, Batman is ordering a regroup of his team. Clayface, Orphan, and Batwoman are keeping safe in the Belfry while the Dark Knight meets with the recently returned Commissioner Gordon. Having been recalled from his attempted vacation in the Bahamas, Gordon is none too happy when he sees the state of the city and when he hears Batman’s plan. To make matters worse, their enemy hasn’t let up. Much like a great wave, they may have temporarily pulled back, but only long enough to regroup and strike with more force.
Readers will really feel just how broken the Bat-Family is now and how the constant pressure of the attack is preventing them from coming back together. They are, however, finding comfort in each other outside of Batman — particularly Clayface and Orphan, who have bonded well over the last few issues.
Clayface’s story arc has been a pleasure to read and to see how he has developed as a character from a mindless killing monster to a rather sad and desperate man. In a way, he has been reborn and is given a more unique connection to Orphan who, like him, has only ever known being a destructive force.
As an avid fan of the Bat and his ability to constantly think his way past opponents’ strengths, I look forward to any future fight between Orphan and the Dark Knight. Much like how he methodically took down Superman in Frank Miller’s iconic The Dark Knight Returns, or how he was able to defeat the entire league in the “Tower of Babel” story, it will be a pleasure to see him try to out-think and out-perform and opponent so much more technically capable of fighting.
I genuinely didn’t expect the final twist ending and reveal. However, once I saw it I was slightly underwhelmed. Like hearing a monster under your bed that you didn’t know was there but when it pops out, it’s just your parent in a costume. In theory, the initial shock value is solid but afterward you’re just both left there staring at each other awkwardly.
This was a solid issue that readers will like and has set up a final climactic battle…or has it?