Synopsis: The GTO struggles to forgive Batman for his behavior on the tails of tragedy, but a promising path forward comes into focus when he uncovers a monumental clue about the mystery of Gotham’s ancestral curse. It may prove too little too late, as Azrael breaks free of Ruth’s mandate and unleashes a radical new reign of terror over the city and its competing super-criminals.
Review: This series just gets better and better.
This issue kicks off with news coverage of the funeral of Jim Gordon. At the police station, Barbara Gordon is now in charge and as Batman pulls up on his Batcycle Bullock ridicules him for having not attended the funeral, Batman apologizes saying that he was not sure if he’d be welcome given the role that he played in the death of Gordon. As they go into the station Batman reveals a lead to do with Azrael and what the Joker was trying to achieve by unleashing the fanatic on Batman. It turns out that Joker has learned the truth about how the Wayne family fortune began. It’s a secret that dates back to the 1700s. To that end, Batman sends Harlene Qhinzel to see Joker in the hopes that she can reach past the crown prince of crime facade and talk to Jack Napier. The man she fell in love with. If successful she could get some vital information as to the whereabouts of Azrael.
It’s absolutely amazing that Sean Murthy is doing both the writing, pencils, and ink work on this book because the quality both does not let up in the issue. There are lots of dramatic panels of art to get through in this issue. So dramatic that I wish someone would develop a comics reading app for virtual reality headsets so I could get a much closer look and walk around it. There’s a gorgeous panel of Bruce Wayne diving underwater to find the original settlement of Gotham, which his ancestor had flooded. I like that image so much that I’ve included it above.
The art is helped immensely by some fabulous colorwork by Matt Hollingsworth.
A fantastic issue, which sees Batman doe some real detective work. I love the fact that this is all wrapped up around something that his ancestors did years ago. It adds proper emotional weight and high stakes if Batman or Bruce do not handle things the right way. I’m also quite enjoying the character of Azrael and his penchant for religious quotes. Not to mention his flaming sword.