Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Batman #75 Review and *SPOILERS*

Arkham City



Written By: Tom King
Art By: Tony S. Daniel, Mitch Gerads, Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 17, 2019

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Well, we have finally reached it. City of Bane is finally upon us and I’m really hoping this is an epic story similar to what we got at the beginning of Tom King’s run. However, my fear is that instead we will continue to get half answers and plot points that go nowhere, much like we have been in our most recent issues of this book. One thing I can say is that I am extremely excited to see Tony S. Daniel on this book as I’m such a huge fan of his art and if there’s one thing that Tom King really likes to do, it’s let his artists shine. Hopefully, accompanying that great art will be a story that will properly compliment it by intriguing the audience and giving them what they’ve been waiting for with this book. Let’s cross our fingers and jump into this issue to see where it takes us.


We begin our issue on a rainy night in Gotham City. We see a police car get a call from dispatch informing them about an incident. They accept the call and move on their way. Quickly, we realize that these are no normal policemen but rather the Joker and the Riddler. They arrive at the scene to find two murdered superheroes. Both of the victims were shot in the head, twice. Naturally, this leads our duo to conclude that this is the work of Two-Face. They put a call into the Commissioner who turns out to be Hugo Strange. Strange decides that the only option is to go to the roof and turn on the Bat-Signal. Batman arrives but this time it is Thomas Wayne. We cut to a scene of a man climbing a snow-covered mountain before we move on.


We cut to the Bat Cave to see Thomas Wayne going over the case. Fulfilling the role of the butler is The Ventriloquist. After just a moment, Thomas finds the location of Two-Face and leaves, calling someone for backup as he goes. Meanwhile, the Ventriloquist begins hearing Scarface’s voice in his head. The mysterious figure continues to climb the mountain as we get another fable from Tom King’s bookshelf. We cut back to find Two-Face who is trying to set up a deal with two other people. One of them is Soloman Grundy and the other, I’ll be honest I do not know who this is and they never mention his name but he’s big and strong. It isn’t long before the Batmobile crashes through the wall and the fight begins. Initially, it seems as if the two strongmen have the advantage but soon Gotham Girl bursts through some debris and comes to the rescue. Our mystery climber finds an outpost on the mountain before we cut back. Gotham Girl quips at the two strongmen as she easily takes them down. Two-Face attempts a hail mary by putting his gun up to his own head and threatening to pull the trigger. It mirrors the scene with the Joker and Batman previously in this series. This time though, Thomas uses a Batarang and it connects with the eye of Harvey Dent.

Our mystery climber finds a monk inside the outpost and he asks for the Memory of the Mountain. The monk tells him that he is dead and then attacks the mystery climber. Someone then sneaks up on the climber and hits him with a crowbar, knocking him out. Back in Gotham, Thomas informs Strange that while Harvey is dead, Two-Face is still alive and Strange takes him in. We see the two men that attacked the climber leave him in the middle of the winter without any clothes on. It is all but revealed at this point that the climber is Bruce Wayne. In Gotham, Two-Face is taken to Arkham and strapped into a chair. Thomas returns to the Bat Cave and eventually goes up for dinner with an unknown guest. We get three scenes back-to-back now which reveal that Bruce is woken up by Catwoman, Thomas has dinner with Alfred who warns him that Bruce is still coming for him, and a final scene in which we see the Psycho Pirate use his mask to manipulate Two-Face’s mind to turn him to their side. We end with a couple scenes of Gotham under its new rule and a conversation between Bane and Lex Luthor. They make a deal that allows Bane to have Gotham for his own and he will construct walls around it and be made the legitimate ruler of it. This is where the issue leaves us.


Let me start off by saying that this issue is not perfect and there are still a lot of things that I have issues with. In the previous issue, we only saw one of the two Wayne’s climb out of the pit but now one is in the mountains and the other is back in Gotham doing the Batman thing. It kind of makes that entire set of issues feel completely wasted. I’m sure they will tie in eventually but it’s very jarring to suddenly skip to this. That being said, for all the problems, I really enjoyed this issue. It very much felt like an Arkham game (I loved all of those games). The entire Rogue’s Gallery was here but they had all been changed, which was super interesting. In addition, we get scenes like we did with Two-Face that directly mirror events of the past. Honestly, this was incredibly well done. I will give this book flack for doing it the way it did. But it’s hard to ignore how much fun this book was. This issue was so cool, that I found myself not really caring about the blatant issues that this book has. I’m sure I will be proven wrong in the future but I hope that isn’t the case. I’m really looking forward to more of this and hopefully, we really knock this storyline out of the park.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman makes a big turnaround in this issue as we leave most of the convoluted, hanging plot points behind and instead just focus on what is happening in Gotham. Seeing familiar faces in new positions was really cool to see and while this issue suffers from the mistakes of this book’s past, the things that we get are so much fun and so interesting that I found myself not caring about the problems this book still has.

8.0/10

3 comments:

B. NastY said...

The dialogue still drives me crazy. I cannot wait until King is off this title.

Jim Werner said...

i am with you 100%

Atom from Longbox Junk said...

The glowing reviews of this aimless fever dream mess have allowed Tom King to cultivate an arrogance so magnificent that it rides his shoulder like a grinning monkey wearing a tiny cape and crown. Reading recent issues of Batman make me wonder if he's winning a bet with Frank Miller where he has to put out the worst comic possible and STILL have reviewers praise him for it. Well done, sir! Well done, I say! Now please, God. . .let it end.