Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: War Games: ACT III PART 2 – The Road To Hell
Writer: Dylon Horrocks
Pencilled by: Brad Walker
Inked by: Troy Nixey
Lettered by: Pat Brosseau
Colored by: Javier Rodriguez
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
I like long running stories. Not just arcs, but many arcs put into what war enthusiasts and D&D players alike would refer to as ‘Campaigns’. War Games tried to be a campaign by taking a long story and tying together in three Acts. The problem is there aren’t three different stories to tell here, and the story that is here (which could be quite good) is being overshadowed by the fact that they have to tie in every single Batman book.
It’s hard to even break this down into my usual 3 sections of STORY/ART/OVERALL because what it gives you is what I can only call ‘a recap issue’. It moves everything along much like sitting down and watching the first fifteen minutes of an episode of ’24’. Nothing new is established, and nothing amazing is given. When you found out it was Batman through Spoiler who caused this whole thing – that was cool. When you find the Black Mask still alive, and unleashing Gotham’s worst on the city – that was cool.
All this issue does is, characteristically speaking, let’s everyone get up to par. Batman learns about Black Mask. Nightwing gets shot in the leg. Catwoman can’t find Spoiler. Batman unites everyone under the banner of ‘FOR JUSTICE AND SOMETHING ER ANOTHER’. I could easily have accepted this as a six issue mini-series or even a two month crossover, but we’re working near the end of our second month of it – and still no resolution. It’s frustrating not to mention that the dialogue is kind of stilted.
Even the cover is stale! Batman is beaten to hell. Hurrah. He’s been beaten to hell since the second or third part of this 3,000 part story. It’s well portrayed, but let’s move on. Give us a big shot of all the Gotham Supervillains… even though we only see Hand and Killer Croc.
Walker and Nixey draw an excellent Gotham, I will say. The sky is an undesirable cover as dawn starts to rise. Every character looks pensive and stressed. At another time, during another story that hasn’t gone on since the 1930’s.. I would praise this art, but it can’t save this. Only THE END can.
…umm.. save yourself some money, buy the trades. If the trades are too expensive, save your money.. buy a good comic book. I can’t believe I’m giving something this rating.. I almost feel guilty. I’ll up it a little for the art I guess.