[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Jaime Mendoza
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Rob Leigh
Alfred Pennyworth…attacked at the Wayne mansion! Who’s hunting those closest to Batman? The monstrous shadow creature plaguing Gotham City gains the upper hand when two of the Dark Knight’s most ardent allies fall prey to the violent vendetta. Will those tragedies send Batman over the edge? Good thing he’s on his way to Arkham Asylum—but will he investigate a murder, or get incarcerated in a padded cell?
As the show, Gotham, ends, it truly is needless to say, that Alfred is central to both Bruce Wayne and Batman’s upbringing, belief system and methodology. This issue opens up with him being attacked, and I can already see this one will rock Batman to the core. Most iterations of the character feel more like a sidekick to the character. Then this show, showing his earlier years, as well as the people who would become his rogue gallery, came on the scene and proves that he is much more, and if death really is knocking at Alfred’s door, then his world will not be the same.
Thankfully for fans of the book, the cover and tagline were mere subterfuge, but a central character does die, one that is close to Bruce, and one that evokes his PTSD. This character losing her life, even with the technology within Batman’s reach, leaves him to envision her life flashing before his eyes. This brought back painful memories for the character of his mother’s death and his life up to this point. These events would crack most people and it almost cracks Bruce, and may have if he did not have the steadfast hands and counsel of Alfred.
In typical fashion of this book, not everything is safe, as a last-minute attack leaves Alfred badly hurt. In this telling, Tomasi is working from the vantage point that Batman’s secrets are more known than he would like to believe. I think this is more than a bold step, as it introduces new elements to the canon which have never been used. It will be more than interesting to see how the book moves, now that Bruce is on edge. The end of this issue finds Batman in Arkham, confronting the one person that might be behind everything.
There are no negatives worth mentioning in this issue.
This issue leaves fans on edge, as it is pure suspense, and more than puts Batman on notice. The story by Tomasi is smart, powerful, and brimming with intensity. The art by Mahnke and Mendoza gives fans a different look at the Dark Knight. Overall, a great issue that flips the tables on some characters and gives fans an angry and focused Batman.