Dawn Golden shares her tragic past with Batman, who comes to realize Dawn isn’t just another damsel in distress. Meanwhile, the magic realm strengthens its stronghold in Gotham as Etrigan regains his power of rhyme.
When this series began I was completely stoked. A monthly book with art by David Finch, and it’s a Bat-book? What more could a guy want. Unfortunately, multiple delays have tarnished this book. And I say unfortunately, because this has actually been a good arc. While things started off a bit slow and scattered, this issue does a lot to reel in the different plot threads. Dawn Golden? Not so boring anymore. Little Girl that stole the Batmobile? Even more interesting than before. I’ll admit, though, that Ragman’s role in all this is a bit confusing, but that’s a non-issue. David Finch doesn’t handle art duties in this issue, which is a shame, because as I mentioned that was a major selling point for this series. However, this ends up not being a problem at all because Jason Fabok does a remarkable job filling in. 4/5
Joker has escaped from prison by ingesting a form of his laughing gas, then poisoning the guards by secreting the poison through his pores. Immediately, Gordon attempts to protect his loved ones, while Batman and the police attempt to track down Joker. Unfortunately, Gordon is just too close to this case and another off the record case, that he is unable to see things clearly. At the end of the day you’ve got one pissed off Joker, who’s annoyed that the wrong Batman came to get him, and one psychopathic son/brother, who has completely lost it, in the way only a super evil genius could lose it.
Hot damn! Ever feel like there aren’t enough words to describe how great something is? That’s this book, hell, this series. If you’re reading this series you know, you know how brilliant the writing is, how both artists have been just killing it, you know all this. So instead of rehashing all that, I’m going to focus on two things, the Joker and James Jr. The Joker’s influence on Gotham is like the antithesis of the Batman, especially to the Gordon. He can be found throughout the most painful moments in Gordon’s past, and as a result summons a level of fear like none other, and that fear blinds and distracts Gordon. Brilliant. Even without doing anything he manages to cause damage. James Jr. has the potential of being just as terrifying as Joker, if he already isn’t. He’s almost Dick’s Joker. In that both Joker and Batman have a larger-than-life persona, while Dick and James Jr. are more down-to-earth. 5/5
When we last left the Sirens, one badass lady had just thrown the other two into prison. Of course, this is Gotham, so prison is more like the hospital; you stay for a while, get healthy, and leave. Not wanting to mess with tradition, Poison Ivy does just that. With a little bit of help from her plant friends, Ivy forces her way into Harley’s cell, and though she contemplates killing her for a moment or two, she opts instead to break her out.
I thought this issue was really good, for a number of reasons. One, this final arc is concluding this entire series. It definitely feels like everything is coming to this grand explosion finale where the Sirens go their separate ways. And I think it’s great. Selina makes for an amazing villainess gone hero, with villainess tendencies. However, Harley and Ivy are better served trying to change the world the best way they know how, by wreaking havoc. Better than that, though, the art in this book is fantastic. Guinaldo has been doing some great things with panels in recent issues and takes it even further in this issue. His nature themed borders, panels, and layouts were interesting, unique, and they brought a nice touch to the issue. 4/5
Ollie’s unwillingness to take the kill shot has resulted in the Reverend Billy Miggs escaping from police custody. Unfortunately, his escape isn’t the only thing Ollie and the cops have to worry about. His followers, who happen to be heavily dependent, have taken to creating chaos in the form of mass suicides. Before Ollie is able to infiltrate an arms facility, Batman stops by to help Ollie out by giving him some sick new arrows.
It’s a real shame that this arc is only three issues long. While I think JT Krul has a great handle on Ollie and does an excellent job writing the character, his portion of the series was suffocated by Brightest Day. This arc is without a doubt my favorite arc of the series. The story is strong, the writing is very well done, and the art is fantastic. I thought the conversation between Bruce and Ollie was great, the whole bit about judging the religious followers, characterizing them all as psychopaths, is practically a parallel to Ollie killing Prometheus and being labelled a murderer. And those new arrows? Fantastic. I’ve actually been missing his trick arrows and I thought this was a nice touch. If you’re a Green Arrow fan I do recommend this last arc. 4.5/5
Having been preoccupied for a time with internal affairs, Kyle and Sora’s relationship appears to have peaked and is now on a downward spiral. Unwilling to see love die, Sapphire Lantern pulls the most juvenile attempt to rekindle their passion. However, this ends up being more problematic than anything, as Kyle reveals he never saw Sora in the Star Sapphire’s crystal.
I think it’s safe to say at this point that of all the DC books I’m reading, the GL books are the most badly affected. And by that I mean, these stories, these one-shot fillers, are just that, blatant fillers that make no attempt to be compelling in any substantial way. Kyle and Sora are drifting apart, so their personal Love Lantern (read: cupid or meddling child) has to come in and terrorize innocent people to bring them back together. Really? That’s the story you want to go with? If anything, this issue highlights the logic, or lack thereof, of having such unstable individuals wield rings of such immense power. Basically, if you like Kyle, which I do, you’ll probably want to pick up this book. Otherwise, save your money. Or even better, get Detective Comics instead. Now there’s a creative team that cares more about quality work and less about what’s going to happen in September. 2.5/5
Superboy Prime is back! Though for how long, only time will tell. Superboy Prime has been the thorn in Superboy’s side ever since Infinite Crisis, where Superboy died trying to stop Superboy Prime. It turns out that Superboy Prime slipped into this universe when Headcase tried to destroy everything. Now he’s pissed, and for whatever reason, blames Superboy. Meanwhile, the Teen Titans are taking some well deserved time off, when they are confronted by Prime and the Superboys of the past.
I thought that this issue was decent. If you’ve seen the previews for the new Teen Titans book, you’d notice that the series is getting a major face lift. I imagine that can’t be altogether helpful when it comes to developing a final arc (which, however, can’t be said for the GL books, which seem to be getting very little changes). That being said, I thought that this issue was well paced with a great hook at the end. The artist is new for this issue and I couldn’t be more happy. It’s not breathtaking art, but it’s much better than what we’ve been getting. Overall, I’ve always found Superboy Prime to be an interesting character, though horrendously whiny, and I think he’s a smart character to bring into the conclusion. 3.5/5
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