Here we are again…I guess. Part 4 of “Gotham War,” and this hasn’t been a good arc. I’d rather not rehash the stuff that I’ve said in my previous review, but I might have to at times because the same issues keep coming up. All things considered, this is a bad story and I don’t think you should spend any time or money on it. There’s nothing to be gained here, except a massive headache. So let’s get this over with and have a look.

The main thing to keep in mind about this comic, is that the premise doesn’t make any sense, resulting in conflict between characters that’s just forced and boring. For example, the drama between Bruce and Jason basically comes down to Bruce kidnapping Jason, doing something to Jason’s brain to make him terrified whenever he thinks about Red Hood-ing again, and then telling Jason that he’s doing it because he loves him. Batman’s just completely unhinged, and there’s nothing remotely interesting or fun about watching him senselessly beating on the people he’s supposed to love. Of course this stuff probably isn’t intended to be “fun” in the first place, but without a strong foundation, it’s really nothing more than a bunch of melodrama and some fight scenes that nobody asked for.

Sure, you could bring up the fact that Zur-En-Arrh is basically mind-controlling Bruce, but there’s just nothing creative about this. We’ve seen mind-control plots so many times before, and I don’t feel like this is bringing anything new to the table. While Zdarsky does put a new spin on Zur-En-Arrh, as compared to how Morrison wrote the character, the concept of “The Hero’s Mind Is Being Controlled By A Demonic Force” is one of the oldest stories in the book. It’s also a very poor excuse for allowing Bruce to behave like a total jerk and punch the crap out of his friends. It just isn’t entertaining in the least.

In fact, this book is an absolute chore to get through. It goes on and on, presenting the one hollow sequence after the other. For example, Dick and Damian start fighting because Dick wants to stop Batman’s madness, whereas Damian blindly follows his father everywhere. What happened to Damian’s stubbornness? Why can’t he see that Bruce is being a complete psycho? If anything, he should be on Dick’s side, trying to find a way to save his father from himself! But instead we get another boring fight scene, that gets almost immediately interrupted by Tim swooping in and scooping up Damian and disappearing. What has this scene added to the narrative? Well, nothing interesting. It’s just a way to fill a couple pages.

That’s nothing compared to the fight scene with Batman and Nightwing, though. Batman falls out of a window, crashes onto the street, takes a punch from Nightwing, and then proceeds to rip a door from a car to smack Nightwing with it. What am I even looking at here? Oh, wait. That’s right. This is a Batman who can literally jump from the moon and land onto earth without so much as a scratch. He can get his hand cut off without it having any consequences for him at all, because he simply replaces it with a robot hand and then shrugs it off like it’s nothing. Sure, let’s have him rip off car doors, too. Why not? Actually, now that we’re at it, why not allow him to fly? Or shoot lasers out of his nostrils or something? It’s all just so silly…

Look, I could continue to critique and nitpick and tear this comic apart, but I just haven’t the energy for it. At least Jiminez turns in artwork that’s on a high, professional standard. The fight scenes are kinetic, well-paced and well-rendered, even though the content of the scenes makes no sense. Tomeu Morey’s colors are solid as well; they create a moody atmosphere and aid greatly in rendering a grim-looking Gotham City. I just wish that these fantastic artists were given a better story to draw, because as it stands, it’s a waste of talent.

Recommended if…

You’re a fan of Jiminez and Morey’s artwork.
I honestly can’t think of anything else. This is a bad comic.

Overall: I’ve said what I had to say. The premise doesn’t work and as a result the entire story falls apart. This month, we get a bunch of pointless fight scenes, albeit rendered beautifully by a stellar art team. But DC needs to up their game, because this just ain’t it. Like I said in the intro, I strongly recommend that you keep your money and spend your time doing something else instead.

Score: 2/10

Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.

 Here we are again…I guess. Part 4 of “Gotham War,” and this hasn’t been a good arc. I’d rather not rehash the stuff that…  Read More