Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic, Art Thibert and John Rauch
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: May 15, 2015
It's that time of week again, so strap yourselves in and get ready for a little Arkham Knight action. Except that this one-shot issue has no Arkham Knight action to speak of. I would love to promise never to say "Arkham Knight action" anymore, but I know that would make me a liar and while I'm a spiffy dresser and an excellent breakdancer, I am no liar. Enough about me and my many great qualities, let's get on with the review.
The first thing that every fan will notice about this issue is that it is really bright. That sounds odd, but Arkham Knight has been a book dominated by dark and violent scenes and this issue opens up in the broad daylight with an over saturation of color. I may be a big dummy who misses a lot, but it really frames this issue well. You see, this issue is all about hope for Gotham and it's future.
The issue opens with Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon and Barbara Gordon going for a run in the park and I had a huge smile on my face from the first panel. If you don't know, the Barbara Gordon in the Arkham Universe is Oracle and she is indeed in a wheelchair. That doesn't matter at all because she is running circles around the two old farts. I can't tell you how happy I was while reading this opener.
It gets even better as the Gordons rib Bruce for not getting out much and while Bruce goes along with the joke, the scenes are intercut with Batman kicking thugs asses at the exact places they are at. Bruce may not get out much, but Batman sure knows his way around the Park!
We then get down to the gist of the issue...Bruce and Barbara want Jim to run for Mayor. He protests at first, but after Barbara explains the situation and how much it makes sense, he agrees to look into it. While Jim and Bruce go off to talk shop, Barbara decides to stay behind...way after dark.
I'll tell you, the first time I read this issue, I really thought something was messed up here. Why would Barbara stay that late? Then Tomasi shows us and it was one of the best scenes in this whole series. I really mean it. I won't spoil it, but it's an action scene that had me so pumped I almost jumped out of my chair. It looks like we will get some more of it down the line and we damn well better! The issue ends with more action and while it's not as satisfying, it has been a bit overdue. Bane is back and while I'm not totally sold on him yet, he looks really badass.
This issue is all setup and while my fellow reviewers may look down on such a thing, I don't really care because everything it sets up shoots the story forward and was pure awesomeness. We get Oracle kicking ass, Jim Gordon heading towards being Mayor and Bane being reborn. If that's not enough for you, just stop reading comics and read such things as "Glass Eater", "Bear Baiter" and "Mosh Pitter".
The art team of Viktor Bagdanovic, Art Thibert and John Rauch continue killing it every week. Bogdanovic and Thibert are two of my favorites, but John Rauch wins the MVP this issue. His colors are so much part of this story and he nails it.
Bits and Pieces:
This was a great issue of Arkham Knight and while every fan should agree, those Oracle fans out there are in for a special treat. This issue feels like the beginning of a new direction for Gotham and everybody in it...heroes, villains and everyone else. The story was great and ended with a cliffhanger that promises some big time action, but the art (especially John Rauch's colors) steal the show. I loved this issue.