SYNOPSIS: In this final issue, Scorn makes his final move to destroy justice in Gotham City! Injured and alone against an army of chaos, Batman has one chance to save the city: his ability to think like the victim. But the victim is always dead. The Batman can only win by using the approach of his own death.
We’re in the home stretch here, so the time for detecting and analytical thought is over. The Batman has to face his dark reflection, with the whole city as a witness. Ellis doesn’t waste any time letting Hitch cut loose.
The coloring of Alex Sinclair brilliantly displays the rain-soaked streets of Gotham — I love how he reflects the city lights here. His work on this series probably hasn’t been praised enough, but he was essential in bringing this story to life. His coloring of the final face-off in particular, as our combatants are surrounded by the GCPD, is exquisite.
It’s hard to talk about this and keep things spoiler-free. For starters, there’s a lot of fighting. It’s quick and brutal as hero and villain trade blows, taking away a chunk of each other’s defenses with each strike. They’ve done their best to dissect each other throughout this whole series and now it becomes physical, with each man pushed to their limits.
When things wrap up, I was disappointed that we don’t get an appearance from Alfred in this issue. I feel it would have brought some closure to several of the themes. Same with Gordon. While he does appear, it’s only for a handful of scenes and none of them have him speaking. I get the dramatic point Ellis is going for by closing the way he does, but I would’ve liked to have seen more from these characters, particularly how these versions aren’t as squeaky clean or virtuous as some may be used to. They very much live in the grey of the world, while The Batman aims for a higher ideal.
While I enjoyed the issue, finding the fight to be exciting and dramatic, the ending fell just short of greatness for me. If abrupt, ambiguous conclusions aren’t your bag, you may feel let down by how Ellis closes out his tale.
As for The Batman’s Grave and who fills it, well, you’ll have to read for yourself to determine the answer! – Javier E. Trujillo