You have to wonder when a “new” superhero shows up to Gotham whether they’re either going to turn evil or be turned evil. The cliffhanger last issue seemed to suggest we were at the cusp and it all comes crashing down this week, but is it good?
Batman #4 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC solicit reads:
“I Am Gotham” part four. When Gotham City falls prey to true evil, will Batman be abandoned by the new heroes Gotham and Gotham Girl? The Dark Knight must decide who to entrust with the safety of his beloved city if he hopes for any of its citizens to survive.
Why does this book matter?
Tom King knows how to pace a story. While the last issue was fast, it was gripping and never let go. It also delivered new details, action or character development exactly when it needed to in order to keep things interesting. Plus, you have David Finch drawing detailed, heavily inked, and moody Gotham. What’s not to love!?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I can’t get that song, “Let the bodies hit the floor” out of my head.
King spent three issues building up the Gotham and Gotham Girl characters and damn does he tear things down fast here. One of the reasons this story arc has been so enjoyable is because it doesn’t hold back nor does it slow things down to decompress the story. While the actual events have been going slower than other stories, the double shipping has helped keep things feeling fast and interesting. Frankly, though, the fall of Gotham’s new heroes comes as a surprise (a good one) and this issue offers even more.
King and Finch understand impactful moments; that’s made very clear in this issue and the previous issues as well. Take for instance the building blowing up below, or the piles of bodies above — these are iconic, almost blockbuster movie moments in this series that stick with you (like Batman casually watching the Batmobile be crushedIt can’t be perfect can it?
Again, this series reads very quickly and this issue is no different. It’s a quick read, but only if you let it be. A lot of time and effort is clearly being put into every panel so as to tell a story within the story. I just envy those who will read this story in the collected format.
The character behind it all is a bit of an eye roll experience. Not because it doesn’t make sense per se, but because it connects to a recent DC movie and seems baked in to capitalize on the movie. It seems like every DC comic is reminding us this certain character is super evil, which is starting to become a bit boring.
Damn, that’s graphic.
Is It Good?
King and Finch remind us there is no story if it doesn’t connect to the human condition. All of the characters in this comic feel something and it’s evident by their actions and emotions. If you enjoy meaningful character moments you can’t do better than this.