Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Batman '89 #5 Review

I'm Not A Monster. I'm Just Ahead Of The Curve!

Written by: Sam Hamm
Art by: Joe Quiñones
Colors by: Leonardo Ito
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Cover art by: Joe Quiñones
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: April 12, 2022
Batman '89 #5 executes Two Face's plan for Gotham with a heist that'll rock the GCPD to its core. Can Batman stop Two-Face when he's forced to make a potentially deadly choice?

Was It Good? 

Batman '89 #5 is possibly the most significant Batman-like issue in the series. Although, the Batman-Esque execution of the story feels less like a Burton Batman film and like another film altogether. More on that in a second.

We begin with Harvey Dent questioning a corrupt lawyer to learn the truth behind the Joker Gang we saw in the first issue. Harvey uses the information to propose the Joker Gang, which is a win-win that gets him an instant army. Unfortunately, the army is a cleverly executed distraction to assault the GCPD HQ while Harvey sneaks in to steal valuables from the evidence locker.

In setup and execution, Hamm shows how formidable Harvey dent, aka Two-Face, can be as a criminal operating on a large scale. The way the heist is pulled off her, with little campy fanfare or shenanigans, makes this issue feel like a good crime thriller, similar to Batman's challenges in the Nolan trilogy. In other words, this looks and reads more like Nolan's Batman than Burton's Batman.

The pacing is excellent. The way the heist is executed is tight and tension-filled. The only down point in terms of writing is the inclusion of Robin in full sidekick mode. Batman and Robin only just met in the last issue, so to go from wary introductions to full costumes, trained, and integrated into the tactical protocols with Alfred coordinating from the Batcave came off as much too quick and too easy.

The art by Quiñones and Ito is excellent in this issue. There are moments when Two-Face reels from his choices, and you can see the conflict driving him mad. The art team pushes the madness and emotion hard in this issue, and it comes across excellently.

Make sure to listen to our Weekly DC Comics Recap and Review Podcast to hear us talk more about this book.  Just look up "Weird Science DC Comics" anywhere you listen to podcasts, and make sure to rate, review, and subscribe!

Bits and Pieces:

Batman '89 #5 feels most like a proper Batman adventure with a grand crime, dramatic action, and the main criminal pushed past his limits of sanity. The art is excellent, and the writing is even better.


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