Injured and drowning, Batman man barely escapes death only to have Alfred reveal to him some of the darkest secrets of his past. Will this information be enough for Batman to defeat Black Mask, the Penguin, and Hush?
The transition from Dark Knight to Caped Crusader is in full swing in this pulpy issue about Alfred’s past and some revelations that continue to linger on. The full extent of Nemesis will only be introduced next issue. Part of me hopes that it’s related to the old Nemesis character who had a great run in the Brave and the Bold and starred in the Suicide Squad. At one point, I thought that the Black Hawks would again be involved.
It is difficult to piece anything together as Scott Snyder only provides brief moments and clues. He doesn’t fully explain the duplicity of the trio of villain and make them appear as if they had always been in control of things. The story is confusing because it is one where the all-knowing dark knight of Frank Miller and Grant Morrison is replaced with a caped crusader who like a swashbuckling pirate, reacts to one situation to another, never fully recovering or finding his grounding.
Snyder is not writing a brooding Batman who cannot fail. This one fails a lot and makes many errors as he fights. The same level of errors can be seen in the second story by Rafael Albuquerque and Rafael Scavone. Their Batman while presented as a shadow creature is not one to strike fear in the hearts of men. He simply is described as a vigilante from Gotham City. This story which is also a multi-part adventure is easier to grasp and lacks the complex narrative storytelling that Snyder’s script has.
Both sets of artists bring Batman back to his crusader roots via pulpy artistry. This is a savory representation of Batman that differs from the Dark Knight ghoul.