Friday, July 3, 2015

Batman: Arkhman Knight #20 Review

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic, Richard Friend and John Rauch
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: June 3, 2015

The Squad is Back in Town

This issue starts a new arc and while I enjoyed last week's "quieter" issue, I'm glad to get back into the swing of things.  It's no secret that I love this book, but I'm surprised by how much time Peter Tomasi is taking to tell his story.  Maybe he didn't get the memo that the game this comic is based on came out two weeks ago, or maybe he doesn't care.  Don't get me wrong here, I am glad he's taking a slow burn approach (maybe it's because I don't plan on playing the game anytime soon), it's just surprising in this day and age.  I'm sure that a good deal of readers now know who the Arkham Knight is and I am eager to see how Tomasi deals with that.  If this issue is any indication, it's by giving us a kick ass story with awesome guest stars and incredible art.  Sound good to you?  Alright...let's discuss this issue.

The issue opens with a high security transfer of someone or something.  We don't know who right off the bat, but by the looks of it, it's someone important.  This is Gotham, so things don't go as planned, at least not for the good guys.  The bad guys, however, pull off some tricky maneuvers and end up freeing the prisoner.  I'll admit it, I didn't realize who the bad guys were at first, but I eventually caught on.  Then Tomasi stops being cute and just shows us the awesome guest stars...Captain Boomerang and Deadshot have freed Killer Croc.  Now that's what I call a pretty cool reveal.  It gets even better when Boomerang welcomes Croc to the All-New Suicide Squad!

While I would have loved to see a whole issue with the Suicide Squad, this is a Batman book so we are off to see Bruce Wayne as he helps Jim Gordon prepare to run for Mayor.  Jim isn't too keen on the idea, but that doesn't stop Bruce, Barbara and Tim Drake from  helping.  It's still too early for me to get excited about this whole "Gordon for Mayor" thing, but I did like the dialogue between everyone involved...especially Bruce and Tim.

After a quick, mysterious and quite creepy peek at the Arkham Knight, we get back to the Suicide Squad.  Harley is fittingly in command and I really did love everything about it.  Tomasi pokes fun at the whole thing even while giving readers a kick ass team that already has chemistry to burn.  They head deep into the Gotham Underground where they are given an offer that I'm sure they won't refuse.

This is the way to start a new arc while keeping a book in danger of becoming irrelevant fresh and exciting.  If you have played the game ten times already, there is still so much to enjoy this week. While I was in for the long haul already, this issue gives me confidence going forward.

Viktor Bogdanovic's art has been a hue selling point for this book and while this issue isn't full of explosions and the like, I loved his character work.  The highlight was Captain Boomerang and Deadshot.  I can't wait to see what other characters come down the pike because he's killing them a good, artistic way, that is.  I also want to give a shoutout to Howard Porter and Hi-Fi for their great cover.  Great work, guys!

Bits and Pieces:

As the start of a new arc, this was a really good issue.  As a statement that this book will continue kicking ass and even take more names, this is an awesome one.  I'll admit that I was worried what would happen once the game was out and all it's secrets exposed, but my worries are gone.  Peter J. Tomasi is better than all that and proves it this week.  Viktor Bogdanovic is pretty damn good himself and the two of them are giving me one of my favorite books out right now.  Highly Recommended.

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