We’ve arrived at the penultimate issue of this phenomenal miniseries and I can’t believe it’s almost over already. The best ones always go too fast. Ah, well. Let’s get into another edition of “William heaps praise on Marc Silvestri.”
This issue is one of the strongest yet. There are still some big reveals that are being held back for the final installment but this issue has the task of setting them up and maneuvering everything into place and it is very effective in pursuing that.
The twist is also beneficial to the story’s development. If Donald Simms had been the villain, it would have been anticlimactic and dull. Amanda makes a much more compelling antagonist and her reveal last month worked but it’s still rather predictable. Bringing in this extra layer that recontextualizes Joker’s involvement in the story and changes everything Batman thought he knew increases the intrigue tenfold. Amanda Simms is more interesting thanks to this twist because we know Joker is the one who killed her but she has chosen to work with him anyway. Batman and Joker’s relationship is more interesting now as well, not to mention the plot as a whole. This is the kind of payoff that good writing should deliver.
I particularly enjoyed the dialogue in this issue. Joker stands out as being written well. He’s pretty funny when given a chance amid this month’s flurry of action.
This panel in particular gave me a chuckle.
It’s Harley who makes it land which also reminds me of what these characters used to do for each other. It’s a shame that we can only get interactions like this outside continuity these days.
There’s a great fight sequence between Batman and Amanda Simms in this issue that also features great scripting. Batman hardly says a thing in the fight. That’s always something I appreciate because long-winded conversions while the characters are fighting for their lives always takes me out of the action. Batman’s relative silence also says something about his character. Besides being a strong silent type, he knows that to win the fight he can’t allow for distractions, and carrying on a conversation would be just that. Amanda Simms on the other hand talks the whole time. She’s nearly invincible and she knows it. It doesn’t matter if she’s distracted because, in her mind, she can’t lose. I think there’s also an element of performance to her motivations. She was hurt by her father, Batman, and Joker so by talking herself up to them she makes herself feel more powerful than the people who hurt her.
Of course, all the well written dialogue in the issue is supported by the visuals. And wow. This month features the best work I’ve seen in this book. Issue #5 looked great too but it feels like Silvestri got a second wind here. The detailing feels somehow even more intricate and the emphasis on action this month also seems to set Silvestri loose.
Has Batman ever looked more Badass?
On the other hand, my only art complaint: These two panels.
I know Silvestri has a stylized look for feet but these just look really odd and when they’re spotlighted (In silhouette, no less) so strongly I would hope for something that doesn’t look like… whatever these are. But seriously, that’s a nitpick to the extreme. Two small panels in the midst of everything else this comic has to offer aren’t bothering me.
- You want to give yourself a great gift
- Funny Joker=Good Joker
- Marc Silvestri is a busy guy, who knows how long it will be before he draws more interiors. Get ‘em while you can!
Sometimes I feel like I’m saying the same thing every month when reviewing this book but it deserves the praise. Shoutout to everyone who helped bring this comic to print. I’m really glad I can add it to my collection.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.