This issue started off with a sense of urgency and intensity that made me think I was in for a real ride! Then I flipped the page and my willing suspension of disbelief was shattered….
The cliffhanger from last issue was Gordon getting out of the Batsuit to engage his 3 assailants head on. As we resume our story, we see Gordon’s backup frantically trying to get to his location to save his life. The shots are accompanied by closeup panels of Gordon getting beaten down, as blood splatters everywhere. It’s seriously intense, and while I don’t like the idea of Gordon being beat to a pulp, this was the only realistic outcome to this scenario.
When Bullock and crew eventually make it to our endangered hero…low and behold, he actually managed to defeat two of them while the third guy escaped to fight another day. EXCUSE ME?!? How the hell is that even possible? One of those guys was doing cartwheels around Gordon in the Batsuit before, and now somehow (without the aid of the suit) Gordon is able to subdue two of them and force the third to flee.
This opening just ticked me off to no end. While I will say that the opening three pages was story-boarded and paced exquisitely well to up the tension and deliver a surprise, it was also obviously designed to hide the way in which Gordon managed to defeat his adversaries. (I’m guessing even the writers couldn’t come up with a credible way to write that one off.)
So what is all of this about anyway? Turns out the La Morte gang was after the power core to the Batsuit, which Daryl explains can easily be fashioned into a bomb. That’s right…Gordon has been running around with an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back!
Things go from bad to worse when “Joker’s Daughter” shows up. You know, I haven’t had to think about this character in 5 months. I was actually kind of hoping that DC had forgotten about her too…but here she is! I could say more, but I don’t want to give her one second more of my acknowledgement.
My last gripe about this particular issue involves Yip. At this point, it is obvious that she is dirty. They even have evidence to support such an accusation, but do they do anything with it…NO! What makes matters worse is that instead of following some kind of rational procedure for dealing with the turncoat, Bullock asks Gordon to kill her…. I seriously feel like I am in some messed up episode of the twilight zone with all this goofiness going on. I get that they want to add drama to the story, but it would be nice if it made a shred of sense.
All negativity aside, there are a few things about this issue that are done well. Like I already pointed out, while I didn’t care for the resolution to the opening, it was set up incredibly well to maximize tension. The book also does a descent job at depicting what we have all come to recognize as standard police procedural scenarios. You have your dirty cops, your infighting, and your shady figures meeting in clandestine locations to devise nefarious deeds. On top of all that, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are actually multiple villains with multiple transgressions in the works. I initially thought it was going to be a straightforward tale, but it seems we have several twists and turns to look forward to in the future.
Fernando Blanco continues to provide art for the story arc, and while I was initially against his style, it has kind of grown on me. In no way am I saying that it measures up to the work that Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul were delivering in their previous stories, but I am also not going to spend every review berating Blanco for not being them. In and of itself, his work at times has a nice atmospheric quality to it. Mind you, it isn’t consistent, but when he does deliver, it’s worth a screen cap.
Bombshell Variant Cover:
- You want to snatch up that awesome Bombshell variant cover.
- You’d rather be reading about cops than Batman.
With each new issue of this arc, I have the unfortunate responsibility to report to you that it’s not getting any better. When you find yourself enjoying the latest exploits of Bat-Mite more than the adventures of Gotham’s finest, you know something isn’t right.
SCORE: 4 / 10