Friday, August 14, 2015

Batman: Arkham Knight #26 Review

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic, Richard Friend and John Rauch
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: August 14, 2015

It's a Date

I have gone on and on about how much I have enjoyed this book and one of the biggest reasons are the side characters.  Recently, Deadshot has been great as Batman's new buddy and Amanda Waller's eyes and ears.  They have fought Killer Croc, crazy experimental mud monsters and themselves.  Last issue seemed to end the fun as Lawton was arrested by Gordon, but we did get a peek at the Penguin, Harley Quinn and even the Arkham Knight.  While I was a little disappointed with the issue, I was hoping that this week's finale to the Suicide Blues arc would get back to the business of kicking ass. Well, did it?  Let's find out...

The issue picks up with Deadshot in custody and while that usually means trouble for the perp, it looks like it's more trouble for Gordon and the GCPD.  Why?  Because the Wall is in town with a few hours to kill!  I love Amanda Waller and Tomasi is giving us the classic.  I agree with Gordon that letting her Squad loose is the last thing Gotham needs, but Jim is not winning this argument.

Lucky for him, his beatdown is interrupted by a call and he runs to the roof in time for Batman to deposit Bruce Wayne for safe keeping.  I almost forgot that Bruce was supposed to be missing and I always love when they do the old switcheroo with Bruce and Batman.  This time it's easy to guess that the Dark Knight is actually Dick Grayson and the reason I love these moments are how Bruce overplays how scared and feeble his is.  It's a good thing that Gordon isn't an acting critic.

The issue winds up with some more great Arkham Knight action as we see that the villain wasn't just after Dick's motorcycle because of it's spiffy look.  He was more interested in a little reverse engineering to pimp his own ride.  Wait until you see what his ride is.  You get a good look as he cruises around the block, possibly looking for trouble.  While this is going on, we get a narration that confused me at first, but once I got my head in the right place, I got pretty damn excited.  This book is about to get one of my favorite lunatics who also happens to be part of one of my favorite easter eggs in video game history.

This issue didn't feel like the finale of an arc.  I enjoyed it, but I was expecting more shock and awe.  I think I'd term it as a slow burn setup ending because instead of resolving anything, it gives us more intriguing developments and ends with an awesome, and surprising, cliffhanger.  The Arkham Knight is about to cause some damage, Dick keeps losing motorcycles, the Penguin and Harley are figuring out a plan...everything is still up in the air.  I'm not even sure what's going on with Waller and Deadshot, though I hope both are back.  After all is said and done, however, I really liked this book and can't wait to see where the cliffhanger takes us.

I also really liked Viktor Bogdanovic's art.  While I think that Andrew Dalhouse's colors suit his style better, this issue looked good with John Rauch as well.  I love anytime that Viktor does the Arkham Knight and we get a good dose of him here.

Bits and Pieces:

Though I expected more resolution of the Suicide Blues arc this week, I enjoyed what we got and loved the cliffhanger.  Tomasi continues to tease the identity and intentions of the Arkham Knight, but the villain appears ready to pounce.  Viktor Bogdanovic's art is solid as usual and I am excited to see where this book is headed starting next week.  I just wish we got more this one.


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