Friday, June 26, 2015

Batman: Arkham Knight #19 Review

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic, Art Thibert and John Rauch
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: June 26, 2015

Diver Down

I was worried about this book this week.  While I have loved every minute of it, it is a prequel to the Arkham Knight game...that came out this week.  Once people play the game, are they going to be interested in reading the prequel comic?  Only time will tell, but I really hope that the game's release drums up even more interest because this book deserves all the attention it can muster.  So, what does Peter Tomasi have in store for such a big week for everything Arkham Knight?  Was it any good? Let's find out...

Last week's issue ended with an explosive cliffhanger and yes, I am trying to be cute.  Bane seemed to blow up half of Arkham City and while we saw he survived (though may be in the clutches of the Arkham Knight as we speak), we didn't see what happened to Batman.  I'd be a complete liar if I told you that I am surprised that he survived the blast.  However, I am surprised what Peter Tomasi had in store for the Dark Knight this week.

I have never done any dumpster diving in my day, but I would expect to find some half eaten sandwiches or a slice of pizza if your lucky.  The "diver" in this story finds some spoiled milk and Batman.  Yep, you heard me right.  Batman is laying unconscious in a dumpster and while I have no idea how an explosion put him there. he is lucky such a good guy found him.

This is the start of one of the most laid back comics I've read in a while.  Batman is nursed (almost) back to health by Archie Freeman, an old resident of what has become Arkham City.  Him and Batman talk and Bruce realizes that he's not the only one who has lost someone they love, but also that not everyone has given up hope for a better Gotham City.

I'm not going to say that this issue wasn't a bit heavy handed because it was.  That doesn't mean I didn't like it, though.  Peter Tomasi is giving us an issue where Batman gets to recharge his batteries and remember what makes the fight worth fighting.  Personally, I enjoyed the down time as well.

Of course, there is still some action and a couple of thugs get what they have coming to them courtesy of a Batman double take down.  It was pretty awesome and showed that Batman definitely pays it forward.  The issue ended with a cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise and a smile on my face.

This one-shot is in no ways required reading to enjoy this series, but if you've been reading every week, I think you'll enjoy it.  It's also part of the numbers game of these digital titles to get three issues published in the print copy of the book.  Since the Bane arc was five issues long, we get this epilogue as well.

Viktor Bogdanovic gets to concentrate on the little things this issue.  He does a good job with facial expressions that really help push the story we get here.  Batman is more human in this issue than you usually see him and Bogdanovic does a great job of showing that.

Bits and Pieces:

On it's own, this issue is a bit underwhelming.  However, acting as an epilogue to the just finished Bane arc, it was nice to see a more human Batman and remember what he's fighting for.  I enjoyed the story and Viktor Bogdanovic's art is great as usual.  I can't wait to get back to the non-stop action of Arkham Knight, but this was a nice little detour.


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