Publisher: DC Comics
Writer(s): James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela
Artwork: Carmen Carnero, Ulises Arredla (colours)
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Release Date: 23rd August 2017
Tim Drake’s death really pushed Spoiler over the edge. Not only did she leave the Bat family, she is now actively working against Batman’s group, although somehow, she seems to be doing exactly what he wants anyway. Anarky looks set to try and take advantage of this momentary break, but is he really someone she can or should trust?
Tynion and Sebela take Stephanie on a trip here which is likely going to cause friction with Bruce and his group later on. Her inner struggle about teaming up with someone else is on full display in both her monologue and her actions here. But in spite of all these intriguing plot threads, the thing that really fascinates me here is Clayface and his struggle to retain the remaining fragments of humanity he has left. It is another case of a super villain trying to re-invent himself as a hero, but it is clear that the struggle he’s facing here is not of his own doing.
Carmen Carnero brings the pencils this month and the work itself is fantastic. Facial expressions are so important in a series like this which features a strong narrative hook, and even someone as monstrous to look at as Basil generates sympathy naturally. There are a few action sequences towards the beginning of the book which flow incredibly well, giving us the feeling that they are practically moving.
Ulises Arredla utilises a somewhat muted colour palette here, giving us a darker, grimier Gotham with a feeling of hopelessness hanging over it. This really helps feed into Anarky’s story as he attempts to convince Stephanie of his great master plan and the joy it will bring. Is Anarky truly the light to banish the darkness?
Thanks to a smartly written intro this latest issue is easy to pick up regardless of your knowledge of the current Batman continuity. Everything is explained over the course of the issue and we even get a nice flashback to remind us of just why this chain of events is even occurring. The creative team really do have an understanding of the city of Gotham and its inhabitants, whether they be heroes or villains, and it’ll be interesting to see just how events play out now that we know a certain key character is on the cusp of returning.
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The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
Dave Tweets from @ShinKagato