This is the series’ finale. It’s no secret that I haven’t enjoyed this book, but I’m still curious about how the creative team wraps up this series. So far, we know that Ortega has turned into a murdering psychopath and that Montoya is trying to find a way to stop him. Let’s have a look.
At the start of this series, I thought Sam was an interesting character. I never really connected with Eric, but his arc definitely had potential. Unfortunately, as the series went on, their roles became more and more passive, to a point that we mostly find them sitting in a bar, talking about the events that we have witnessed so far. Of course it’s not a straight-up exposition dump—to say so would be unfair, because their commentary is always filtered through their perspectives. These characters have opinions and emotions and worries. And yet I think that the arcs that were promised for them never really came to fruition, and they didn’t do a whole lot to advance the plot. Granted, Eric reported Ortega to the cops and Sam helps Montoya discover Ortega’s current whereabouts. I just would have much preferred to have seen these character in a more active role, as to me it feels like they were left by the wayside.
Then there are strange and questionable scenes sprinkled throughout the comic as well. For example, there is an action sequence where we see a group of cops blocking a road and a car that’s basically driving straight at them at full speed. The cops give orders to stop the vehicle, but when the driver doesn’t listen, the cops open fire. They hit the car’s tire and the car flips over, and it turns out that the people inside the car were refugees. My questions are: 1) Why would these people drive this fast at a group of cops? 2) Why would they not stop the car when they see a bunch of cops actually aiming their weapons on them? Ridley tries to justify this scene by having another character clarify that these people don’t speak English very well and didn’t understand the commands they were given, but that still doesn’t answer the two questions that I have.
The dialogue is mostly fine throughout. I could nitpick things here and there, but the dialogue really is not what bothers me, except in a couple of instances. For example, Montoya basically says that the Joker and the Penguin are nothing compared to Ortega, who she describes as “a kid carrying an AR-15 and a whole lot of hate.” This seems like a very weird sentence to me, because whatever Ortega has done throughout this series is fact nothing compared to how Joker has nearly destroyed all of Gotham multiple times.
That said, it’s not all bad. For example, I like how Montoya gets most of the focus in this finale. We see her actively trying her best to find a way to take Ortega in alive. She’s more heroic during the final confrontation with Ortega, as she approaches him unarmed. I also like where we leave Montoya: she seems to find a little bit of peace within herself, able to open herself up to others, despite still having to deal with certain struggles. However, even within these moments, there are still a couple of things that I’ll critique.
To me it seems that the storyline is being wrapped up a little too quickly. We rush through the final confrontation, which can feel anticlimactic. The story so far has been a slow burn, and now in the finale the pacing has to speed up significantly to include everything within the limited page count. I’m also not entirely sold on the character of Aliyah, who Renee meets at the end. The idea of a possible romance between them is fine, but I think what Renee really needs is a friend. If the romantic aspect was removed, Renee finding a friend to confide in would have been a perfectly reasonable way to close out her arc and the story, meaning that the romantic aspect doesn’t add anything for me.
The art is much more to my liking in this issue than in previous ones. Finally, we don’t just see people sitting in chairs, talking. Raffaele gets to draw action, creepy abandoned buildings, interesting interiors, cops armed to the teeth, and the lush park at the end that’s a great counterbalance to all the grime and grit that came before. Raffaele is a good artist and he deserves to get interesting scripts to draw. I just wish we had gotten the opportunity to see him draw more cool stuff like we get in this issue.
- You dig Raffaele’s art; it’s pretty good in this issue.
- After getting through the previous five, you might as well pick up the finale.
Overall: I think I appreciate this series a little more, knowing how it ends, but I’m still not really into it. I’m glad that Montoya gets to deal with her personal issues and the situation as a whole, even if she doesn’t completely resolve them. I also think this issue gives us the best art from Raffaele so far. However, seeing as the previous issues mostly weren’t working for me, I can’t really recommend this final issue, either.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.