The Gangs All HereWritten by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Brad Anderson and Marilyn Patrizio
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 26, 2016
Monster Men is over and while I still have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. it's beginning to fade.
Detective Comics was the book most affected by the crossover and because of that, it was the book I most looked forward to getting back to. Now we can deal a little more with Tim Drake's death while solidifying the team left in the wake of that tragedy. Does this issue hit the ground running or is it just the beginning of a slow burn story? Let's find out...
The issue starts with Batwoman and Renee Montoya at a Wayne Enterprise crime scene. While we get some eye witness accounts of the perps, we also see their dirty work and get a glimpse of them as well. They are mysterious, deadly and already, pretty damn cool. It all ends with the idea that they may not be after Batman, but actually may be targeting Kate.
After a brief peek at Batman playing bad cop, worse cop with Jacob Kane, we find out through Kate that Steph isn't responding to any calls and while it's obvious that she is having a ton of problems dealing with Tim's death, she isn't the only one. In a scene that already feels iconic, we see a grief stricken Batman upset at the newly displayed costume of Tim Drake's.
We then head off to the Thompkins Free Clinic to see exactly how Steph is dealing with Tim's death. She is talking with Harper Row and the minute I saw her on the page, I had a huge smile on my face. I love Harper Row and would give my left pinky for her to put on the Bluebird costume and join this book, but it doesn't seem in the cards just yet. She does comfort Steph and even shows her that you don't need a costume to save lives and after mentioning her brother, Cullen, we get another awesome cameo and move on to the Mud Room in the Belfry.
The Mud Room is all about the training and we see Cassandra and a dashingly good looking Clayface kicking the shit out of Man Bats. They make quick work of them and Clayface asks the computer to give them "the biggest, ugliest bad guy" it can make and the result is awesome, kind of funny and incredibly heart breaking...especially if you have become a Clayface fan like me.
The issue ends with the gang, lead by Bruce and Kate Kane in their Sunday best, attending a Luke Fox gala. While Kate is afraid that Bruce has withdrawn from the team since Tim's death, Luke Fox arrives in a hoover car and comes off right away as a cross between Spider-Man and Tony Stark. If you were a fan of the Batwing series starring Luke, this scene has to give you hope that we will get our man back in the suit. However, Kate is dead set against it (that feels a bit forced) and we get an explosive ending that makes everything and everyone focus on a new bunch of villains...the Victim Syndicate. I won't tell you what they are after, but it's easy to say it's very personal.
This book is right back at it after Monster Men. It's all about moving on from Tim's death while we see a new bunch of villains set up shop in Gotham and start their reign of terror. Tynion writes these characters so well and I'm not just talking our man ones. There are a handful of guest stars and they all feel like they fit the story naturally. No need to force them in at all. As the first part of a new arc happening after a month hiatus, you'd expect some setup and while you get plenty of it, Tynion mixes in so much more to make this feel more like a mid arc issue than the beginning. He is really making this one of the best books in Rebirth.
Alvaro Martinez's art is crisp and clean and keeps everything moving ahead smoothly. I liked Alvaro's art when he worked on Batman and Robin Eternal and with all the guest characters (many who played key roles in that series) it made me think of that weekly while reading it. Don't worry, this is way better.
Bits and Pieces:
James Tynion IV is off to a good start as we look a little at the past while being forced into the future, While I have no idea how good the Victim Syndicate will be as a villain group, I loved the cameos in this issue and the character interactions were great. Add some good art and we have a series that is coming back from a bye and kicking ass and taking names!