Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic, Richard Friend, John Rauch and Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: October 30, 2015
I feel bad that I fell behind on this book as it is one of my favorite reads each and every week. Peter Tomasi has just killed it from the get go and along with Victor Bogdanovic and Ig Guara's art has given DC another feather in their Digital First cap. So, I am going to hunker down and catch up starting with this penultimate issue of the Scare Tactics arc. As far as I'm concerned, it's never a question of "is it any good?", but more just how good it is. Well, just how good was it? Let's find out...
The last issue ended with a gathering of the Gotham Rogues and it's certainly a who's who...Riddler, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, the Penguin, Scarecrow and of course, the Arkham Knight. Scarecrow has brought the Knight for a little meet and greet with the others with the promise that this newcomer would deliver them from the grip of the Bat. To say they are skeptical is an understatement, but it seems that Scarecrow is making them see the light.
Across town, Bane is seeing everyone as demons and zombies thanks to Scarecrow's new toxin and has Batman on the brink of...well, he's beating the living crap out of him. It's intense enough, but wait until you see Batman through Bane's eyes. It is so awesome.
Back to the Villain's Club, Penguin leads the charge in declining the Knight's offer and the rest follow with drawn guns. Before they can do anything, however, the Knight signals to Deathstroke (I almost forgot about him!) who launches a missile into the meeting. Now that's bad ass! With everything on fire, the Arkham Knight assures them all that there is more where that came from and they still want proof that he is capable of taking down the Dark Knight. Tough crowd, huh?!?
Back at the Bane/Batman Battle Royal, Batman finally looks like he has turned the tide, but out of nowhere, Bane is lassoed and pulled away from the fray. At first, it looked like he was being saved, but the reader quickly learns that is not the case. The book ends with an awesome looking cliffhanger that promises a huge battle next issue.
This issue was setup, through and through. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but it was a means to an end kind of issue. I loved seeing the big bads of Gotham gather together and Tomasi writes them so well. I can't wait to see what this all leads to next issue because it looks to be explosive.
Viktor Bogdanovic's art was awesome as usual. I mentioned my favorite part above (seeing a real Bat Man), but everything else was great as well. Bogdanovic's character work is so good and he gets the chance at a handful of characters this week and nails them all. I love his Penguin so much.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue is pure setup and if you haven't been reading this book, this isn't the issue to jump on. If you have been reading each week, however, I am sure you will enjoy seeing the pieces of the Arkham Knight's plan fall into place as we get nearer to the end of this series. The art and the story are top notch and I enjoyed every bit of it.