I know it’s only five books in, but this has got to be the best series of the past year. It’s not flashy, but the art is great, and the story is excellent. Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth are telling an amazing Batman story. With this issue we’re past the half way point, and it looks like we’re going to be in for a hell of a finish!
The cover features Neo-Joker in prominence on the upper two-thirds, with Batman swinging into action opposite her, with Joker, Harley Quinn, and the people of the now elected Joker’s ward behind them. There are brighter colours used on this cover than some of the previous issues, but it still fits in with the series and looks great.
If you’ve read any of the reviews of the previous issues in this series you know I love the art of this book. It’s drawn in a grittier style, but fits extremely well with the darker tone of the story. It looks great, and provides an excellent visual feel for the story unfolding on the pages. Another well drawn book in a well drawn series.
We open with Jack and Harley training, as Jack feels he’s beaten Batman in every way but one: A fist fight. Even in this we can see that the insane persona of the Joker is buried, as Jack refuses to hit back citing that he doesn’t want to hurt her, something the Joker would never concern himself with. We also see an interesting scene between Harley and Batman, and Harley is portrayed as probably the wisest character in the city, urging Jack and Batman to work together. Neither of course is willing.
We also get to see the bat family starting to fall apart at the seams. Batgirl and Nightwing have thrown in with the GTO, and are working with the GCPD to apprehend super-villains, and have been trying to get Bruce to back down before he goes too far. Unfortunately, Bruce has no desire to listen, and in a very fun to read car chase with the GTO about to apprehend Neo-Joker, Batman’s arrival and interference allows her to escape. This is the last straw for the city; Batman is named a super-villain.
From the last few pages of the book it looks like this series is going to ramp up the tension for the finish, and with three issues to go, it looks like there are definitely going to be some fireworks! If you haven’t read any of this series, I strongly recommend it. It’s brilliant.