Friday, July 10, 2015

Batman: Arkham Knight #21 Review

Written by: Peter Tomasi
Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic, Richard Friend and John Rauch
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: July 10, 2015

Earning the Name

I really enjoyed last week's issue of Arkham Knight, mainly because of one big thing...the Suicide Squad.  Well, I guess it was the All-New Suicide Squad to be exact.  Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang and Deadshot have gotten the band back together (minus Amanda Waller and her bombs) and are going after Bruce Wayne.  Their inclusion in this book made everything feel so fresh and new and I couldn't wait to see what would happen this week.  Of course, I was also hoping to see more of the Arkham Knight himself, but because of how this book has been going, I wasn't expecting much on that front.  So, was this another kick ass issue?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Bruce Wayne doing a crazy, Arrow-like workout.  Instead of a salmon ladder, Bruce has a weight strapped to his back and is doing upside down push-ups on the ceiling.  I hope that paints the picture the right way because it's crazy and made me tired just thinking of it.  Alfred gets him down for breakfast, but Bruce has to leave for a scheduled meeting.  It's a pretty cool opening scene that turns holy shit crazy in an instant.

When Bruce leaves Wayne Manor, we get more Arkham Knight than we have in all the other issues combined.  I'm not talking face time, but character development.  He is cold, callous and brutal and I loved every damn minute of it.  I've been waiting twenty one issues and avoiding spoilers for this type of scene and it was worth the wait.

We then catch up with the Suicide Squad and they are even better than last issue.  Harley is the leader and is also hilarious...but not as hilarious as both Boomerang and Deadshot.  Tomasi writes Boomerang as an annoying prick who won't shut up and Deadshot as a quiet prick who wants to get the job done.  They are great together, but when you throw Harley into the mix, it's solid gold.  When Harley yells that they need to earn the name "Suicide Squad", it is almost as hilarious as Boomerang's confused response.  I could read an entire book with these three arguing with each other.

After another awesome bit with the Arkham Knight, the Suicide Squad zero in on their Billionaire target and find out that things aren't always what they seem.  The issue ends with one last Suicide Squad joke, Harley on her butt and Batman looking pretty pissed off.

This is another great issue.  In fact, it was an awesome issue that pushed the Arkham Knight story and character forward while also making me laugh out loud at the Suicide Squad.  Peter Tomasi writes the heck out of every character in this book and it pays off in issues like this.  I know the game is out, but I hope he continues giving us this slow burn story because I am loving every minute of it.

I also loved Viktor Bogdanovic's art as usual.  I'm sure his work in this book gets compared to Greg Capullo's, but now that he has an expanded roster to work with, he is really showing what he can do. I love his Boomerang and Deadshot and hope Tomasi throws even more characters his way.  He's been able to handle everything with flying colors so far and his art just keeps getting better.

Bits and Pieces:

This is another great issue of Arkham Knight.  I love what Peter Tomasi is doing with the Suicide Squad, but it's what he gives us in regards to the Arkham Knight that makes this issue so special.  He fits so much character work in such a limited space and I am hungry for more.  Viktor Bogdanaovic's art is outstanding as usual and he easily handles every character thrown at him.  The book ends with the promise of a cool fight and I will be back next week to see it.  If you aren't reading this book yet, I'd jump on the trolley now because things are really starting to heat up.  Highly Recommended.


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