Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: Act 3 – Part 8: No Going Back
Written by: Bill Willingham
Penciled by: Kitsun
Inked by: Aaron Sowd, Rodney Ramos, and Adam DeKraker
Lettered by: Ken Lopez
Editor: Bob Schreck
Publisher: DC Comics
Gotham City – place where the villains are horrendous. A place where it is well defined who you can trust. There are a team of masked vigilantes who have held this town in their grip for many years. Some feared him. Some didn’t believe in him. Some despised him because of the way he handled himself. He… is the Batman.
For the last few months we have watched Gotham City change from a place where the masked heroes took down the badguys – to a place where the badguys have been set-up. A plan that was never supposed to see the light of day has been put into action and there is nothing that the crusaders of justice can do, but try and fix what ultimately their leader allowed to happen.
…and things will never be the same…
…until next year’s crossover…
…when things will never be the same again… again…
This is the last issue of War Games – the 3 year arc that has covered every Batman title ever and has caused people who thought decompressed writing was a good idea to think again. The main problem with War Games as a whole is that the entire concept and plot could have been told in a month, but given the idea that all of the Batbooks were involved, each story took roughly 3 minutes of storytime and turned it into a 24 page piece of pulp.
Now the problems didn’t end there, Oh no! We are at the last issue of the arc, so telling you everything that has gone on in the last 5 years of War Games would be kind of silly – but someone dies, a building blows up, and the bad guy doesn’t really get what he deserves. Along the way, Nightwing doesn’t show any obvious feelings towards his ex-girlfriend. Robin doesn’t get to SEE his ex-girlfriend when, maybe he should have. Oracle’s house doesn’t seem to be very robber proof, and she seemingly has never considered the idea to keep copies of all her files in secret places.
I tried to make that vague, but I’m sure you can assume some of it, or maybe even all of it.
Whatever the case is – yes, this book changes the Bat-pantheon to a degree, and yes, the concept of Batman having come up with all these endgame scenerios is cool… the dialogue is horrible, and there are so many inconsistancies with character growth it does make me happy that, after 15 long and arduous years – it’s finally over.
Kitsune does some great penciling work. He’s on ball with a big action story, and I have to say that I look forward to seeing his dynamic layouts in books that I give a crap about. There is one panel in particular that looks a bit over the top – but I can’t fault a guy for one panel.
The man is right for an action book, and this book had near nonstop butt kicking, so go Kitsune for being the right guy at the right time.
I remember my Grandfather telling me about the day that War Games started. He told me that he yearned for the day that it would be over and all of the folks in Gotham City could live together as one. Well, Grandpapa – here’s to you. I’m sorry that 2,000 years later, the war didn’t end with so much as a bang, but a whimper.
(And an assist to Danielle for explaining to me the inner workings of the relationships between Nightwing and Oracle as well as Robin and Spoiler.)