The epic war between the Joker and Riddler continues, Batman and Commissioner Gordon are trying their best stop all of the havoc. Civilians are getting in the crossfire, dying in dozens, and the tensions only rise. The FBI is now involved and it only gets bloodier. As the hero of Gotham is being driven to the edge, will we see Batman kill to solve the war? We might be finding that answer soon.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

Writer Tom King once again maintains the focus on psychological aspect instead of the violence, and this makes for emotional and tense scenes. For example, it’s mentioned frequently how much the “War” is affecting Gotham City, with dozens dying everyday. But we rarely see this visually, King has chosen to focus on specific characters instead. Which, in my opinion, has worked for the most part. It’s something that I still have a slight problem with but I’ve gotten used to it by now. With that being said, let’s get into this latest issue.

Commissioner Gordon Is Desperate Stop This WAR

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Gordon knows that the way they are going about things, the war won’t be ending peacefully anytime soon. He goes out to meet each side, and they both tell him how to end the battle between them; By bringing them Batman. Now we focus on the Bat, and he has to deal with Gordon not turning him in to either side. Deadshot and Deathstroke are sent to assassinate the masked vigilante, but the two villains end up finding each other first. This leads to en epic battle, that lasts a total of five days. Batman tries his best to stop them, but he doesn’t come soon enough. (Side note: we also get this glorious panel below)

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On each day, because of the fight between the two, a lot of civilians were getting caught in the crossfire.  Dozens in fact, and this has been driving Batman nuts. On the fifth day, he finally catches up to them, and it’s safe to say he wasn’t happy.

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He beats the cr@p out of them, knowing fully this war has gone too far. Afterwards, he screams in frustration and anger. The art is by the way once again fantastic, and you can almost feel the pain that he’s going through. He’s beat them up so bad that Deadshot nearly died in the hospital, and it seems like it was a “miracle” that he lived. We know that something happens to Batman that makes still haunts him to this day, and it seems like we are almost there.

He’s being driven towards the edge, doing all he can stop the havoc being spread across Gotham. I have a theory that this whole story, builds up to a moment that changed the hero forever; he breaks his one rule. That’s right, I think Batman ends up killing someone or being the cause of someone’s death, but I don’t know who. I believe it has to be something that stops the war and saves lives but, it makes Bruce question everything he’s done. That’s just me though, and it may not be the case but it’s fun to speculate.

The ending is a bit abrupt, leaving the reader slightly confused. I was hoping something bring me back but it relies a lot on the rest of the issue. This was an overall strong issue, with King and Janin seemingly having a near perfect writing and art blend. I am really enjoying how King has focused on the psychological part of war. This introduces a lot of concepts that will hit hard with some people, and we get to see the emotional part of characters we otherwise wouldn’t have seen. I hope King can stick the landing the story arc as a whole and really make this a series to remember for years.

Rating: 9/10

– Marcos Melendez

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