Sunday, June 21, 2015

Batman: Arkham Knight #18 Review

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Ig Guara
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: June 19, 2015

If He Dies, He Dies

I keep using these introductions to tell everyone how much I love this book and I'm sure you are getting sick of it.  I know I am.  So, instead I will tell you what I don't like about it.  There is only one thing and it's not really anything to do with what has been in the book, just one thing that hasn't.  I'm talking about the Arkham Knight, of course.  The game is coming out this Tuesday (June 23rd) and up until now we have only seen dribs and drabs of the Big Bad.  I shouldn't be shocked that the major reveals are left for the game, but I thought we'd get more.  Maybe the games release will free up Peter Tomasi to explore things a bit more, but I'm worried that it will also make this book obsolete.  I'll still be reading and reviewing it because I love it (sorry, I had to say it) and it deserves all the attention it gets.  This week ends the Bane of Existence arc and while I was hoping for more, it was still good fun.  Does that equal another good issue?  Let's find out...

Last week ended with Batman at the mercy of Bane and his murder squad underneath Arkham City.  I mentioned that this was a bit of a "been there, done that" scene since we saw pretty much the same thing at the beginning of this arc, but it was still a pretty cool cliffhanger.  Batman got out of it before and it's no shock that he'll give a repeat performance.  If you like issues that are no-stop action, Peter Tomasi has one for you this week.

Being a Bane fan, I've enjoyed this Bane of Existence arc.  Tomasi may not have done his best to show Bane's intelligence, but as a giant brute with a vendetta against Gotham and Batman, it was very effective.  That continues in this finale.  Bane spends the entire issue beating the crap out of Batman while yelling about his birthright and those who have wronged him.  It's nothing that we haven't heard in the last four issues, but you have to give the guy credit for his obsessive tenacity.

Meanwhile, Batman seems to be having the time of his life.  He actually is smiling as he throws shock grenades, punches and insults at Bane and I'm not sure which hits hardest.  I've mentioned in my past reviews that I love when Tomasi mixes game mechanics into the narrative and this issue is the best example of that yet.  When Bane once again tries to "break" Batman, the Dark Knight grapples up to the nearest gargoyle, swings to another and through a hail of bullets glides into a nearby air duct.  Awesome!

To say Bane is pissed is an understatement.  What he does is crazy enough, until you see the aftermath...then you realize how completely insane he really is.  If he can't have Gotham, nobody will.  The issue ends with Bane barely alive, Batman missing and the promise of some Arkham Knight action.

I said it earlier, if you like action, you'll be glued to this issue.  It is one big action scene and while it was well done, I waned more from the end of this arc.  Maybe this was Tomasi's way to tread water a bit before the game came out, but the resolution almost screamed, "okay, next week we can finally get things going".  That being said, it was still a fun read that I'm sure anyone reading this series will enjoy.

Ig Guara's art was fantastic once again.  There was one full page spread that was a bit more confusing than it should have been, but other than that, this issue looked great. Andrew Dalhouse's color work and Julio Ferreira's ink combine with Guara's pencils to make this one of the best looking books I read every week.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue of Batman: Arkham Knight was non-stop action and while it was a fun read, I was hoping for a little more from this arcs finale.  The art team of Guara, Ferreira and Dalhouse kick ass as usual and Tomasi ends the issue with promises of more Arkham Knight in the near future.


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