Reviewer: Paul Sebert
Story Title: Lights Out
Written by: Greg Rucka
Penciled by: Michael Lark
Inked by: Stefano Gaudiano
Colored by: Clem Robins
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Like a frat boy the morning after a 10-cent-draft night, The Batman Franchise is slowly staggering back to the normal world, weakened with a pounding headache. And like that Frat boy’s honor student roommate that somehow got talked into going going along with this drinking binge, Gotham Central staggers as well. It’s not that this is a bad issue, but well it just tries so earnestly hard to convince us that Ã¢â‚¬ËœWar Games’ was really a big deal that you kind of feel sorry the talent involved.
So what exactly did War Games accomplish? For those of you who didn’t have the patience here’s what happened in a nutshell.
- DC callously squandered a potentially commercially viable character by killing off Steph Brown AKA Spoiler, that girl who was Robin for about a month. It’s sort of DC’s way of waving it’s middle finger at any fan who was actually intrigued by the possibilities of their “Girl Wonder” stunt earlier this year.
- The Birds of Prey Watchtower went kablooey. The BoP girls are now flying away from the Gotham Franchise with a time displaced Blackhawk. You know the WWII era flying aces. Oh Gail Simone, why must you inflict flashbacks of Zero Hour upon us?
- Black Mask is now the unquestioned ruler of the Gotham Underworld and the MOST EVIL BATMAN VILLIAN EVER! Really. Uh”¦ yeah he was cool in “relentless” but really, Black Mask”¦
- The Gotham City police force have ended their longstanding affiliation with Batman, and the Dark Knight is now an outlaw. Oh and Spider-Man is a menace.
Really, I have no idea how people can get all testy over Sins Past, Identity Crisis, and Avengers Disassembled when there’s still stuff like this on the market.
Quick”¦ guess which one of these startling changes to the Batman franchise does this book focus on c’mon guess?
Yes, this issue focuses on the various GCPD’s reactions to Commissioner Akins “firing” Batman and to be fair with the vast number of police officers that were gunned down during the event, you almost can’t blame the cops for wanting to be rid of the Dark Knight.
The hardworking crew of the book we’ve come to know and love are now split right down the middle over the decision. With some like Detectives Allen and Burke have chosen to side with the commissioner, while Montoya remains adamant in her support of the Dark Knight. We’re also treated to a rather dramatic sequence in which the Bat Signal is taken down, and things ultimately boil down to a confrontation between Akins and Batman with the new commissioner vowing to destroy the Caped Crusader.
Greg Rucka and Michael Lark do an A-list job as ever, but alas reading this issue feels like watching an honors student try to cover up for the mistakes of his bumbling frat boy roommate.