Review: Batman Arkham Knight #9


Warning: There are some spoilers in this review, so read at your own risk if you have yet to read this issue.

I hope all the Bat-fans here at Caped Crusades had a wonderful New Comics Day yesterday!  I am reviewing the latest issue of what has been one of my favorite titles, Batman Arkham Knight.  The series is written by Peter J. Tomasi, and it has provided me great refuge as I have boycotted the eponymous Batman series until Bruce Wayne returns to the cape and cowl.

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The issue begins with Batman and Deadshot battling against Metamorpho at Stagg Industries.  Vicki Vale is seen reporting from a helicopter, which I believe marks her first appearance in this series after appearing in many of the Arkham videogames that the series is based on.  Batman gets absorbed by Metamorpho, but in an awesome fashion, uses a double-sided grappling gun to pull himself out as Deadshot and Commissioner Gordon (who just arrived at the scene) shoot at Metamorpho.

Shortly after, Commissioner Gordon has Deadshot arrested at the GCPD, and we get a hilarious couple pages of Amanda Waller bursting into the GCPD and having a huge argument with Commissioner Gordon.  She then proceeds to let Deadshot out of jail, so he could continue his Suicide Squad work of hunting down The Penguin’s new baddie group.

While Waller is letting Deadshot out of jail, there is an awesome scene happening on the roof of the GCPD where Dick Grayson (in the Batman costume) “rescues” Bruce Wayne to bring him to Commissioner Gordon.  Alfred then has to go pick up Bruce from the GCPD, and Dick tells him to “tell Bruce he’s put on a few pounds”, probably my favorite line from this issue.

This whole series has been kind of confusing with it’s multiple story lines and switching back and forth from focusing on Batman to focusing on the Arkham Knight.  The Arkham Knight has been stealing Nightwing’s cycles and uses their internal memory for his new tank.  It is more reminiscent of the tank from The Dark Knight Returns than that from the Christopher Nolan trilogy, and it’s pretty neat to see the Arkham Knight drive it around the streets as we make another shift, this time to Calendar Man.

When portrayed well, Calendar Man is one of the very most frightening villains in Batman’s rogues gallery.  There are some really creepy panels of him talking to himself as he looks at victims he has killed.  However, and don’t take my criticism of this problem as dislike for Tomasi (I really do think he’s a good writer), but we then make another transition into a date with Barbara Gordon and Tim Drake.  I must say, it really does feel like Barbara has had relationships with every guy in the Bat-family.  There are some cute moments between her and Tim in this part.

The Batman and Calendar Man storylines meet as Batman hunts him down.  They meet in the Solomon Wayne Courthouse, where Solomon Grundy (working for Calendar Man) entraps Batman, leaving us at an awesome cliffhanger!

I’d give this issue five Batarangs out of five.  My only concern is the aforementioned too-much-jumping-around, but part of what made it a great read is the number of different villains that are featured.  The two most memorable scenes are the one where Dick dresses as Batman and the one with Calendar Man and Solomon Grundy at the end.  Batman Arkham Knight #10 comes out on November 4, so make sure to check it out to see how Batman gets out of this situation.

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