Is it just me, or does Batman get himself in a situation where he and all of Gotham are going up in smoke nearly every other month? That’s happening now as the League of Shadows attempts to take he and his team out and Batwoman’s father is going to kill all of Gotham as revenge. Great…
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Marcelo Maiolo
Publisher: DC Comics
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“League Of Shadows” finale! It’s all out war against the single most ruthless villain Batman’s ever faced: Lady Shiva and her army of nihilistic killers! But at least one member of the team might wind up swallowed whole by the darkness of the League…
Why does this book matter?
James Tynion IV has adequately ramped up the stakes and made this a ninja battle explosion. Meanwhile, Marcelo Maiolo has drawn incredible double page layouts that go even wider than movies can in an intense and exciting way.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue certainly wraps things up by the end and also leaves you with some morsels to mull over going forward. Opening with the Bat-family back in action, this issue essentially ends up being a beat down as the clock ticks and all of Gotham dies. Along the way Orphan and her mother come to blows, Clayface saves Batwoman in an awkward way, and Batman gets a final word with Ra’s al Ghul. Overall you can’t beat the entertainment value when it’s only $2.99.
With the save!
Orphan, or Cassandra, gets to be the badass she’s been holding back in this one. Tynion does a good job revealing with actions and few words why she’s untethered and stronger than ever too. By the end of the issue we’re left with more questions–though we get a key flashback that flips things on their heads–which should be something to keep an eye on moving forward. On top of this, that Clayface rescue scene is a lot of fun!
Maiolo is excellent in this issue with a great use of light, color, and other techniques to make every panel stand out. From a close up of Cassandra’s eye as she notices something too late, to the intense speed lines in the cloak (see below) you get the impression a lot of time went into every panel. Another top notch issue from an artist you’ll want to see a lot more of soon.
She moves quickly!
It can’t be perfect can it?
A subtitle for this issue could be, “Attack of the deus ex machina!” Whether it’s lack of page count, time, or issues, it stinks when the resolution comes out of nowhere and has everything work out. Did this issue explore Cassandra AKA Orphan well? Yeah. Did it effectively shake up multiple characters so that Tynion and others might tug at those storylines later? Sure. Did this issue wrap up way too quickly with a resolution that is only satisfying if you like completely random happenstance? You betcha!
Is It Good?
Excellent action, new subplots to look forward to, and it’s all for $2.99? This is a great issue for an excellent value. I can’t say the conclusion will satisfy most, but you can’t win them all given the many factors of comic book storytelling.