SYNOPSIS: White Rabbit is a key witness in uncovering Gotham’s newest criminal mastermind, and Batman and Robin realize the only way to keep her safe is to break her out of Arkham Tower! But Damian still has homework to deal with!
Opening with a flashback of an impatient, know-it-all Damian, artist Simone Di Meo utilizes a color palette of red, white, and black. No, this isn’t a Harley Quinn short story, just a reminder that Damian doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does. If you aren’t a Damian fan, this will surely make you bristle.
Jumping forward to the current day, Williamson takes us back to Arkham, with Batman and Robin trying to liberate White Rabbit from the clutches of Shush. Batman feels certain there’s a connection to Tommy Elliot, but readers will have to wait longer for any revelations. Personally, I’m not sure if I care.
I mentioned it last time, but this Batman feels out of step with current depictions to me. Maybe it’s because Damian is Bruce’s biological son and he is trying to make some paternal connection. I certainly can’t see Batman taking direction like he does here from any other Robin. Damian has always been a defiant sort, but so is Bruce, so it’s unusual to see him flustered and acquiesce.
I think Di Meo is a very talented artist, with a unique perspective to his layouts. However, the coloring isn’t working for me. It’s so bright and garish that I occasionally have a hard time deciphering what exactly I’m looking at. It does come out better in print, so maybe I need to tinker with my screen the next time I read an issue. The pastel neons that permeate his interpretation of Gotham was intriguing the first time, but it’s wearing thin for me now.
Having said that, the two splash pages at the end are impressive, offering a twist that really shouldn’t be surprising given the clues that have been laid out. I’m intrigued, but not eager to get to the next installment.
This issue really didn’t move the needle for me. There felt like very little substance to the story and some of the perspectives with the art made it hard to make out what was going on. Shush has yet to distinguish herself for me and having bats go after Batman doesn’t fill me with suspense. I want to love a Bruce and Damian team book, but this isn’t it. – Javier E. Trujillo