[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Scott Snyder & Steve Orlando
Artists: Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia, & Clam Robins
With Batman bleeding out on the operating table, Alfred scrambles to literally staple him back together. All the while The Shadow is warning him of the futility, for The Stag’s weapons have metaphysical curses that force death upon their victim once struck. The Batman will die!
As patched up as he can be and with a new suit to hold him together, Batman and The Shadow depart to find Joker and The Stag at the door to Shambal-la, preparing to open it. All of the monster’s secrets are revealed as a mob of mystical assassins emerge to deal death upon the heroes. Blow after blow brings Batman near to death as The Shadow deals out as much damage as he can, without killing that is.
Before long the dastardly duo escape during the fight and head to unlock the door and gain ultimate power before they are stopped.
Two things that will pop out to readers as their eyes scan the pages of Batman/The Shadow #5 are the Bat-Armature, the device keeping Bruce alive, and The Stags.
The armature is a mix between a suit of armor and a mobile hospital. It features thickened armor and all of Batman’s major muscles, as well as large glowing discs and a glowing Bat-symbol. Attached to his belt is some sort of power pack which connects to the armor and looks really cool.
Even more visually stimulating is how Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia depict the Stags. They are meant to be mystical and a single immortal being but are in fact a small army of dedicated killers. To aid to this mystical feeling that they bring, their bodies are almost entirely a shimmering white/yellow which is undefined. This allows them to seem as a massive single creature and be indistinguishable as individuals. The main Stag of course is still in his original black outfit.
There are no negatives worth mentioning in this issue.
This issue was a great read with interesting characters and visuals. I can’t wait to see the dramatic conclusion next issue!