Monday, October 12, 2015

Batman: Arkham Knight #33 Review

Fear Factor

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic, Richard Friend and John Rauch
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: October 2, 2015

If you haven't been to our site before, let me fill you in on one of our worst kept secrets...I love Batman: Arkham Knight.  I'd love to say that love transcends all mediums, but in fact, I still haven't played the game.  I actually think that's a testament to the quality of this series, that I am fully invested in it without even knowing if I'll ever play the game it ties into.  I have enjoyed the various guest stars Peter Tomasi has included in his story, but maybe none so much as Calendar Man and Scarecrow...who teamed up at the end of the last issue and look to be a thorn in Batman's side going forward.  Does this new "Scare Tactics" arc continue the fun?  Let's find out...

The issue may have started with Tim Drake and Barbara Gordon talking, but it's the guy who is eavesdropping who is sure to get every one's attention.  Of course, it's the Arkham Knight and he seems very interested in the "why" when it comes to Calendar Man abandoning his plan against Batman at the end of last issue.  If you've been reading, you already know the answer, but the Knight needs to find out for himself and goes off to do just that.

While doing so, he is noticed by a very familiar face to Batman fans.  I know I have mentioned in my past reviews of this book that I love when Tomasi is able to mimic gameplay inside this comic, but seeing the Riddler here is a little bit too much.  Don't get me wrong, I always love seeing Nygma, but seeing him constructing the Riddler trophies came off as silly.

We then go to another silly scene that I loved.  Seeing Batman returning the saved baby was cute, fun and just great.  I have to give Bogdanovic full credit here for capturing the Dark Knight's discomfort dealing with a little baby.

While Batman is still confused about what really went down at the end of the last issue, the Arkham Knight is doing field work that leads to the realization that Julian Day has teamed up with Scarecrow. You just know that the Knight won't take that laying down and after seeing that Dr. Crane is planning to up his game, the issue ends with a Arkham Knight/Scarecrow team up.  Well, team up may be a bit of a stretch with how this issue ends.

This issue is a weird combination of tying up loose ends from the last arc while setting up this new one.  Because of that, it came off as less important than any recent issue, but I still enjoyed seeing Batman baby sitting and it ends with a very cool cliffhanger that has me excited for the next issue.

There was nothing wrong with Viktor Bogdanovic's art, however.  Everything looks great and he continues giving this book some of the best character models in any book out right now.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue started a new arc, but Tomasi used it to finish up the last arc's loose ends.  I liked it, but it may be the first issue that didn't feel important.  It did end with a cool cliffhanger and Viktor Bogdanovic's art was top notch, but I still can't recommend this issue except to fans already fully invested in this series.

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