Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Batman's Grave #3 Review

Writer: Warren Ellis
Art Team: Bryan Hitch, Kevin Nowlan, Alex Sinclair, Richard Starkings
DC Comics
Release Date: December 11, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99

The Life & Death of Turton

The story quality of Batman's Grave took a bit of a downward turn last issue after a pretty intriguing start. One of the bright spots after two issues has been the consistency of the art by Bryan Hitch which I've found detailed and enjoyable. With that said, I came into this issue expecting a more centered approach, maybe a larger focus for the series in general, finally giving it that hook it still sorely lacked. Do Warren Ellis and Hitch get things on track here to keep readers engaged? Let's discuss...

The issue begins where last issues strange cliffhanger left off, with Alfred and Bruce/Batman beginning to dig into Turton's case, via the facts provided from the file handed off by Gordon.  As the pairing look into what they can discover, 'jokes get thrown about mostly via drunk Alfred, all before Bruce heads off to get a first-hand look at Turton's purple palace. This Turton character looks to be more of the focus here this issue, with the Face Eater from last issue pushed aside for now, and it's all still a mystery for the most part how or why that is, or isn't, connected to Turton in the first place. I don't know maybe I'm too hard on this book, I want a monthly Batman book to enjoy, but nothing grabs me out of the gate here.

The next large segment of the story copies much of what occurred last issue. A fight happens almost as soon as Batman arrives inside the mansion, with a mystery character that looks a lot like Bane, and it continues to play out for many textless pages. It all looks good enough, although Batman gets owned again, at the hand of Bryan Hitch, but it offers the readers very little to work with in terms of the mystery at play here ... which admittedly, only three issues in, is beginning to drive me crazy.  There is one added element of evidence this issue we lacked last issue, as Batman picks up a Goggle Home/Amazon Alexa, in the form of something called a Lexicon, on his way out of the house after getting another butt-kicking from an unnamed villain, which allows him to dig out a few more tidbits for this murder Gordon has him researching.

The issue again mimics issue two in its conclusion, with Bruce arriving back at the Batcave, digging into the evidence he has at his disposal.   Nothing evidence wise immediately interesting jumps out as of yet, but Batman takes what he has, and is about to head off to see what he can pull from said new evidence next issue.  I still don't understand the underlying mystery at play, I don't find Turton interesting as someone to continue to focus on issue after issue unless there's a bigger reveal, and maybe its because I'm a huge dummy from Buffalo, but I just don't think the purpose or reason for this title existing is spelled out well at all here yet either, going on issue four of a series.

The art is again the most pleasing aspect of this title, while it does get muddled up in a few panels when the fight is occurring (I don't think Batman pulling the Flash grenades is clear at all), I still enjoy it as a means to tell this type of story.  I just really wish the storytelling was up to par with the art this book is currently receiving.

Overall, Batman's Grave continues to provide very little reason to check in on this title from a month to month basis.  Issue three mimics issue two in many respects, and if you enjoyed issue two that would be great, but I did not. There is no reason yet provided to be interested in the characters moving this story forward, and while it feels like Ellis is trying to set up a mystery here, I don't know what the question is to that mystery to attempt to solve it myself, making feel totally disconnected from the story at play here. Hey, at least Batman looks good doing it right?


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