In atypical fashion, I’m going to first remark on how great the artists on this title are. Bat-fans are spoiled with almost every single Bat-Book being illustrated by an excellent artist. There are so many, in fact, that it’s easy to overlook just how important the artists are in maintaining a highly regarded pocket universe within the DC Universe. Fabok’s art, with Emilio Lopez’s colors, is beautifully illustrated, highly detailed, and a marvelous addition to John Layman’s story. Likewise, Andy Clarke with Blond deliver amazing artwork in the backup story. Layman’s two stories here, the main and the backup, are both fantastic. The main story presents an anti-Batman, a figure who has no problems killing people and finds sidekicks to be expendable. While this isn’t particularly a new concept, it will be interesting to see the direction that Layman takes this. His backup story, retelling the Man-bat and Woman-Bat origin, is well written, smartly paced, and overall wonderful to read. 4/5
The penultimate issue of one of the greatest Batman stories ever told delivers exactly what you think it should. Grant Morrison brings a blend of everything that he’s brought over his seven year run, from an air of mystery, to some great action scenes, to surprisingly emotional scenes, this issue has got it all. There are three major points of interest that this issue brings up. The first is the mystery organization that is led by the mystery woman. Her organization will likely be the turning point of Leviathan’s control, so her identity is that much more intriguing. Talia absolutely stole the show this issue with her beheading her own son, then taking the fight straight to the Bat Cave. No matter how this all goes down, she will go down as one of Bruce’s most formidable enemies of all time. The third point of interest is more speculation than anything, but Ra’s al Ghul’s absence is deafening. As close as Talia and Ra’s are, I can’t imagine he’d ever let his daughter best Batman while he’s still alive. And since he is still alive and kicking, he’s always going to be a wild card. Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn prove yet again that they are two of the best Batman artists around. Burnham’s ability to illustrate action scenes as well as static conversations is remarkable, and Fairbairn’s colors really unite this book in terms of setting the overall tone and feel of each scene. 4.5/5
Swamp Thing’s hunt for The Seeder takes him across the globe to a small town in Scotland, where a dying town received an unlikely gift. Charles Soule is doing an absolutely amazing job with his run. His pacing of the story, which is similar to television with there being a drawn out villain as well as smaller stories along the way, is working out really well. This is allowing him to add depth to The Seeder without needing heavy exposition. What Soule is also doing fantastically is highlighting the conflicting sides of Swamp Thing’s mentality. Unlike Animal Man, who is a human in touch with the Red, Swamp Thing is essentially half plant and half man, and inevitably that brings forth moral issues. The Seeder’s actions bring forth the question of whether or not nature should be bent to support humanity. His inexperience is obviously problematic because it creates major problems as seen in this issue, however, his intentions remain somewhat noble. He manipulates the green in order to benefit the humans, and it will be interesting to see how Swamp Thing handles this while maintaining his connection to his humanity. Kano and Matthew Wilson are an absolute dream team on this title. Their work is very organic and fluid, and is perfectly matched to Soule’s story. 4.5/5
Be sure to check out previous editions of Crisis of Infinite Reviews by clicking here!