It’s the final issue of this series, and while I’m not exactly distraught to see it go, I do think it’s a little sad that this might be the last we see of this version of Batman’s world. I’ve really enjoyed the Gotham Knights universe, and I hope we get to see more of it in the future. For now, though, let’s focus on what we have!
And what we have is good!
I’ve enjoyed Evan Narcisse’s work for a long time, and I’m definitely not about to stop now. I know I just keep saying this, but this series is way better than a tie-in comic had any right to be. It gives us a real, interesting look at the world of Gotham Knights, not only managing to flesh out the characters and their stories, but add completely new ones, all while adding to the narrative of the game. It’s a really incredible feat, and I’m extremely impressed.
The actual content of the issue ties our two storylines together. After 6 issues of searching for a cure, Batman and Co. have finally caught up with Vandal Savage in the present, and, back in the past, the Runaway prepares for an all-out assault on the Court of Owls. All of this culminates in a pretty wild ending that I absolutely was not expecting. More thoughts on that in the spoiler box below, but it’s an ending I’m legitimately surprised doesn’t have a bigger effect on the game (other than the obvious “the game came first” thing).
So during Runaway’s assault on the Court, she stumbles upon Vivian and other kidnapees being experimented upon. After freeing them, it is revealed that Portia, the original Runaway, died after her fight with Vandal Savage, while Vivian stopped aging, taking over the mantle of the Runaway. The newly immortal Vivian then goes on to start an entire group of Runaways, a group dedicated to fighting Savage and Court over the centuries, which is really cool and awesome, but it begs the question:
Where are they?
The end pages of the book make it clear that the Runaways are, at the very least, aligned with Batman on the issue of defending Gotham. Vivian, at the very least, hates the Court of Owls, and is ready and willing to fight against them. So why do we not see them at all in the game? They’re not even referenced, as far as I know.
This is admittedly a bit of a dumb nitpick, given that the game went into production well before this series was written, as far as I know, but that leads to me questioning why the Runaways were established here in the first place! They could have been anything, hell, they probably should have just been Vivian, hunting Savage and the Court across the centuries. It’s just a weird choice for a six-issue prequel comic that, as far as I know at least, is never getting followed up on. Clown on me if I’m wrong.
A second subheading!
That little side tangent aside, though, I think we have a very solid last issue! Abel and John keep the reader’s eye glued to the page, while Narcisse’s fast-paced, intense action keeping them turning. Every page of this last issue was an action-packed ride, and comes with some of the coolest art yet!
A little Akira reference never hurts, either
Seriously, even just focusing on the designs for a moment, this might be the best Vandal Savage has ever looked. And when you combine that design with an awesome shot like this:
Well, let’s just say I’m in love with this art team.
- You’ve been following along this far.
- Vandal Savage stories interest you.
- Game! Code!
Like I said, I’m not sad to see this series go specifically, but it is a little bittersweet knowing that this is the end for the Gotham Knights universe (at least for now!). I hope we get to see this team work together again in the future, though.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.