The issue opens with Bane kicking ass and shouting names. The ass he's kicking belongs to one Dark Knight, but we've all seen this before. It's the names that I was interested in...Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake, Richard Grayson and Lucius Fox. While I would have been more impressed if Barbara Gordon was part of the roll call, it's still impressive and even scary.
In the meantime, Harley is having a little crisis of the heart and the Penguin is obviously wondering what he got himself into. Sure, Harley is probably a dynamo in the sack, but the whole "I'm going to kill you" thing might get old, real quick. Luckily, she stops shooting at him long enough for him to get a phone call from Scarecrow and agrees to meet him...with Harley and Poison Ivy. All right, threesome!
We then travel below ground to the Gotham Sewers to catch up with the Riddler and his assistant (who may or may not be Jared Leto). Of all the villains in this series, Nygma has been my least favorite. It has nothing to do with how he's written or how he looks...it's the reason he is here. He is planting his Riddler Trophies around Gotham and while I enjoy when this book doesn't forget it's a video game tie-in, this just feels silly. Luckily, it doesn't last long as Scarecrow shows up and invites him to the party.
As Bane continues beating the guano out of Batman, the last big named villain arrives to show his Two-Face. Yep, Harvey Dent is in the house and he looks so awesome. We've had a serious lack of Harvey since his untimely and tragic exit from the main DCU (by the hands of Tomasi, himself), so I love any time we get with him and hope he gets some serious "face time" in the upcoming issues.
The issue ends with a "The Gangs all Here" moment as all the villains are gathered around, watching the battle between Bat and Bane. It's such a cool ass full page that leads to Scarecrow introducing them to their new leader (whether they know it yet or not), the Arkham Knight.
Yes, I loved this issue. Surprise! This week I get to tell everyone that this is the type of issue that made me fall in love with this series and there is the added bonus of it being pretty new reader friendly. Sure, you'll want to go back and find out the full story and if this is your first foray into Arkham Knight, you will want to. Like the Men's Warehouse, I Guarantee It!
Ig Guara's art does some guaranteeing itself...that you will think this book is one of the best looking one's out there. He has already given us a great looking Bat Family and here he gives us a awesome looking Rogues Gallery. The highlight was the full page villain party I mentioned above.
Bits and Pieces:
Peter Tomasi continues writing the best Batman book coming out today. This week is a villain party and while most of Batman's Rogues Gallery watches, Bane gives the Dark Knight a physical and mental beatdown. While Scarecrow has appeared to be the man with a plan, it is in fact the Arkham Knight who is about to show who's boss. Ig Guara's art is great and if you haven't been reading this book, this week is a great time to start. If you have been reading, sit back and enjoy. I did...a whole lot.