Latest 'Batman': A teaser for the future
What can I say about "Batman" Issue 28?
Taking a break from the ongoing "Dark City" Zero Year story arc, this issue takes a break to give us a story that is set in the not too distant future of Gotham. It's but a taste of a future storyline coming soon but it still has a few reasons worth giving it a read.
Harper Row returns to the "Batman" series as she and the caped crusader team up for an attempt to infiltrate Gotham's underworld and find its leader. The pair soon find that person is none other than Selina Kyle aka Catwoman.
It's a lot of fun to see Row back in action and a bit surprising to see her wield some fairly heavy (albeit nonlethal) artillery, something the thugs she attacks take notice of.
The banter between Batman and Catwoman is appealing at first. By the time of this issue, Catwoman has managed to take control of Gotham's criminal underworld. It was refreshing and nice to see her portrayed as a villainous once more after years of DC writers trying to bring the classic character over to the side of justice. Unfortunately, at the end of her conversation with Batman, she ends up helping the Dark Knight anyway as if it was nothing.
The issue ends on an excellent note for longtime fans of Batman comics. A fan favorite character who hasn't been seen since DC comics rebooted the entire continuity of their universe makes a return on the final page of the issue, in all likelihood as a set up to a much larger role down the line. I won't spoil anything here but chances are if you're a fan you can already guess who this person might be.
Writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV manage to set up a great tease with the issue and the fighting banter between Bats and Row is indeed fun, but when all is said and done, I can't help but feel that the issue is lacking in substance. Some new faces and situations require significant exposition but I still feel that by the end of the issue, I've just read a promo comic for future story arcs down the line. Artist Dustin Ngyuen's less detail oriented style compliments the issue well and Harper Row's new look is interesting to say the least.
Additionally, the Batman series has recently had a bit too much flip-flopping in respect to the timeline department. This issue takes place in the near future while the still unfinished Zero Year storyline that will make a return next month takes place several years before the current DC comics continuity. Confusing? I know. It becomes more difficult as a reader to get invested in a title that keeps mixing up timelines rather than one that for the most part sticks to one era and keeps up with it. It's a minor annoyance but one that exists nonetheless.
All in all, Issue 28 isn't a necessarily bad issue of the comic, but its not up to snuff with some recent issues. Then again, it does serve as a teaser for bigger things to come and it accomplishes that part rather nicely.
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