“The Bat-Man of Gotham: Part 4” continues with some interesting story developments. With the help of “Catwoman,” Batman is going deep underground to confront this universe’s main villain, who also isn’t who he appears to be. This guy lays out his plans in typical villain fashion and unleashes his own army to attack Batman. There are a few surprises here, with some characters being familiar faces we comic fans know. And I’ll hand it to writer Chip Zdarsky, he ends us with a surprising outcome.
This arc has been very interesting to me, putting a bit of a spin on the classic Batman origin story. It is Batman’s beginning, except it’s an established Batman in an unfamiliar setting. I appreciate how Zdarsky is making this Dark Knight earn his knowledge and victories rather than approaching every situation as “been there, done that”. Bruce’s internal dialogue even says it, “No, this isn’t your Selina”. It’s keeping every confrontation fresh and full of surprises, keeping our attention through the issue.
Art from Mike Hawthorne continues to fit the story admirably. His art gives me Kubert vibes, and that’s a compliment. The action is big and fun, yet close and impactful. The fights feel more visceral, giving some great “oomph” behind each hit. In an issue full of fighting, we’re able to navigate each step with ease and that’s a compliment to the artist.
Overall, BATMAN #134 is entertaining. The story is escalating, the stakes are rising, and I’m having fun following along.
Hopefully, Zdarsky and company will give our hero a helping hand next month. – Ryan Lower