Batman: Gotham Knights #63 Review

Title : Human Nature (Part 3)
Writer : A.J. Lieberman
Penciller : Al Barrionuevo
Inker : Bit
Letterer : Phil Balsman
Colorist : Brad Anderson
Editor : Matt Idelson
Publisher : DC Comics

I’ve gotta start off by saying that Gotham Knights has been losing me at an exponential rate of knots in the last half-dozen issues or so.

I started picking up this monthly with issue #50, primarily for the follow-up story-line featuring Hush. I certainly found that enjoyable and interesting, with the characterisations of the Riddler, Joker and Batman providing new takes on these well-worn characters. There was also a fantastic one-shot story featuring Mr Freeze, that would certainly be in my top 10 issues of the last year or so.

But this story-arc has really been drifting.

We continue to follow Poison Ivy as she struggles with the consequences of her powers and abilities. Many people have various conversations and thoughts on Ivy’s motivations and desires, with no real conclusions being drawn.

And then, most eyebrow-raising of all, Ivy and Hush have a bizarre conversation, that seems to be written as if dripping with romantic tension! (it isn’t).

The one moment in recent times that absolutely grabbed me by the shoulders was several issues ago, when Alfred appeared to find the real Tommy Elliott tied up and held prisoner. I was slavering with anticipation to see how that shocking development played out.

And….nothing.

In fact, this issue has Hush specifically describing himself as ‘Tommy Elliott’, which may, or may, not have a meaning deeper than the conversation in which he was involved at that point.

This plot is doing nothing for me really, and I’ve never found Ivy as an interesting romantic foil for anyone, finding her a pale shadow next to Catwoman or Talia. The final page ‘cliffhanger’ was nothing shocking, and I just hope that something happens in the conclusion to stir my interest.

The art is barely serviceable, with nothing deserving particular praise. Hush is drawn very oddly, with bandages only partially concealing his face. In fact, Hush almost appears like a thick-lipped African American in several panels. Batman / Bruce Wayne is oddly drawn, in the comparatively few panels in which he appears.

In short, an unsatisfying read, with little that is memorable.

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