Art by: Joe Quinones
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 14, 2015
This is the space where I usually tell you guys what I think of this book in general and fill you in on what happened last issue. I won't bore you with all that nonsense this week. The way Baternal has been, it's kind of hard to do anyway, what with the rotating creative teams and the plethora of story lines. I will tell you this...Kyle Higgins is on this week and he has brought some fan favorite characters with him. It's a really fun issue that is mainly setup, but readers of this weekly should be used to that.
Do you remember Harper Row, Spoiler and the Nanovirus? I hope so because that's what Kyle Higgins is giving us this week. I'll admit that the nanovirus plot line has been least favorite...until now. Why the change? Mainly because of who Higgins has dealing with it. It's no surprise that Tim Drake and Harper Row are on the case, but they have called in backup. When I saw Jason Todd and Barbara Gordon, I couldn't help but smile. Barbara is looking all new and hip and Jason has been one of the highlights of this entire series. He may not do a hell of a lot, but he looks cool and has the best lines. That continues in this issue. I loved the interplay between Jason and Barbara, even if Barbara is a bit too grumpy. Maybe it has something to do with Dagger Type?!?!
The four have located the nanovirus source and have come up with a plan. Jason runs diversion (rubber bullets and all!), while Tim and Barbara try to find the big bad in control. In one of the most forced foreshadowing jobs I've seen in a while, Tim begs Harper to stay put and stay mask-less. We all know what she's going to become, but it's kind of sweet to see Tim try to save her from a life of crime fighting.
Meanwhile, we get a very quick look at Spoiler. Since the huge bounty has been put on her head, she has been fighting off would be assassins. When the next one shows up, Stephanie seems a little too nonchalant for my tastes. However, this guy isn't there to kill her, he's there for another reason. It's definitely a case of "With friends like these..." I have been waiting so long for more Spoiler action so this little bit was more of a tease than anything else. I guess that the question is who sent the guy to get her and while the odds on favorite is Selina Kyle, I'm wondering if there is a wild card in the mix.
Back with Team Nanovirus, things start off pretty good. Jason gets his share of violence and Tim and Barbara figure out where the transmitter of the virus is. Then we get a major reveal when Kyle Higgins shows us the villain responsible for the Nanovirus as well as the man behind Jim Gordon's downfall. I'll tell you, he is not even close to being a favorite villain of mine, but it makes complete sense so I loved it. He steps up his game immediately and the amount of heroes left to fight for Gotham goes down by three. While that sucks, Harper steps up to the plate and the issue ends with her transformation into the character most of us already saw her being in Batman #28. It was still awesome to finally see it (again).
I like fun and this issue had plenty of it. There were a couple of nice reveals and a big bombshell, but the reason I liked this issue so much was because I was smiling the whole time I read it.
Another thing that made me smile was Joe Quinoes' art. Everything looked so good except for one thing. Why do people insist on putting a mouth on Jason Todd's mask? I know it's a pet peeve of mine, but I can't be the only one. Peeves aside, I think this was one of the best looking issues in the series, not just for the art itself, but how well it matched the story.
Bits and Pieces:
This week's issue may have been mostly setup, but it was also a ton of fun. I loved what Kyle Higgins did this issue mainly because of who is involved. Couple that with awesome art from Joe Quinones and this was one of the better Baternal issues in a while. Yes, the story better pick up the pace with the end in site, but I enjoyed smiling while reading this book for a change.