[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Bernard Chang
Artist: Bernard Chang
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
“GOTHAM GAMES” part one! Set in the time just after Terry McGinnis returned to his Batman role, this non-stop, all-out action issue pits him against a gauntlet of villains. While Gotham struggles to put society back in order, someone has taken over the city’s defense system, turning it against its citizens. Unable to fly, Batman’s forced to battle an array of old and new villains at ground level. Don’t miss this story written and illustrated by Bernard Chang!
This month, Bernard Chang does double duty as both writer and artist, filling in for regular scribe Dan Jurgens. Often when artists also try their hands at writing, their efforts are sub par, but Chang actually proved that he actually has the talent needed for the job.
The cover promises “Three Stories, Three Threats!” and the story uniquely revolves around the number three. The issue consists of three sections, each involving one of the three villains of the story. But also, each page – except a few splash pages – tells part of three stories. The top section deals with Batman’s encounters with the three villains, while the middle section deals with his brother Matt’s Tri-Ball game, and the bottom section fills us in on the background of the villains. All three sections, when put together tell a complete narrative from multiple viewpoints.
Such a complex structure, if not done properly, would lead to a confusing mess of a story, but Chang pulls it off beautifully. Maybe he should consider doing some more writing in the future, whether here or on other titles.
Also in this issue, we get a glimpse of Gotham’s Mayor Fox, who is presumably Lucas Fox, son of Lucius Fox and present day Batwing. Does this hint that we may see an iteration of Batwing in the future DCU?
This story is set shortly after Terry’s return to being Batman, which is unfortunately before Bruce Wayne’s return to the title. This is a bit of a disappointment for those wanting to see Bruce as he settles back into his role as Terry’s mentor. However, it gives us a chance to see Terry flying solo without Bruce’s assistance and establish that he is capable of being Batman even without Bruce’s guidance.
Bernard Chang did a stellar job on this issue, giving us an exciting story with a unique structure and skillful art. If this issue is any indication, DC should consider giving him further opportunities to write.