Writer/Artist: Sean Murphy
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Todd Klein
This is the penultimate issue to this marvelous miniseries, and it doesn’t disappoint. This issue picks up the pieces of a huge cliffhanger from the previous issue, and it makes good use of the cliffhanger. In the previous issue, (spoiler alert) Jack Napier is seen transforming into the Joker again. Turns out, Jack Napier has been trying to keep him tucked away, but he’s finding it harder and harder to do because the medication is losing its effectiveness. While this does play a major plot in most of the issue, it’s Batman’s humanity that makes this issue stick out.
For the majority of the series, Batman has had a “me against the world mentality” because everyone is convinced Joker is reformed, and Jack Napier is what Gotham needs. In this issue though, he’s had some time think because (spoiler alert) he was captured by Jack Napier in the previous issue and wasn’t trying to escape custody after his capture. After Batman and Jack Napier make a deal, Jack Napier drops a huge revelation on Batman, and it totally catches him off guard. Batman also has a heartfelt moment with Dick and Babs, and it was refreshing to see because it seemed like he was completely shutting them out of his life. This is a side of Batman that was seen to rarely in this series, so it was nice to see him show how he really felt about the important people in his life.
Sean Murphy’s art and Matt Hollingsworth’s colors continue to be a big draw for this book. One of the coolest things to see in this issue was the all of the batmobiles that made an appearance in this issue. The art was never going to be an issue in this series, and it continues to be amazing. It is Sean Murphy’s writing that has improved with each issue and this issue may be his best so far in the series. He is bringing everything together for this miniseries, and I’m sure he’ll be able to stick the landing with the last issue. If you haven’t been reading this series, please rectify that mistake immediately because I’m sure the last issue will definitely be worth it because this issue is definitely worth reading.