The storyline continues with Batman on a journey with Two-Face to a still undisclosed location. When reading this, I really got 3:10 To Yuma (the remake) vibes. In that movie, the hero was escorting prisoner who while not actively trying to escape, was constantly being an annoyance to the hero. This is immediate from the get go in this issue as Batman is ambushed by another group of villains while Two-Face just eggs him on from the side. It is interesting because there is a time jump in between this issue and the last. In the last, the duo were travelling in a semi truck, in this one they are on top of a train. It is a unique story perspective as it subtly coneys that Batman is not catching a break.
In this post Rebirth world, we also learn more about the dynamics of Gotham City. The Penguin, Black Mask and Great White Shark are effectively the new mob bosses of the city. This is notable because while these villains do have gimmicks about them, you wouldn’t necessarily see them locked up in Arkham Asylum where the more mentally disturbed go. But this trio decides to reach out to an infamous assassin that has effectively been used in secret by the U.S. government for some time. The book flat out tells you who it is but I was not overly familiar with the character as his gimmick was an outdated one. But the character makes his triumphant return in the final pages and it is interesting to see how they’ve updated him for modern times.
There is also a mysterious flash forward that keeps popping up. Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Bullock and the rest of the Gotham City Police Department are storming Wayne Manor. For what purpose is still up in the air. But they know to go for the clock in the study. Most people familiar with Batman know that behind this clock is an entrance to the Batcave. Have they figured out who Batman is? Something tells me that it is a bait and switch.
Scott Snyder continues to do good work with his continued run on Batman titles. Two-Face is a character I’ve never particularly cared for. But this issue attempts to explain how he operates and the more nuances to his character. The good man he was before, the monster he has become and everything in between. The art by John Romita Jr. is still very Romita Jr. So if you’re a fan of his, you’ll enjoy it. If not, then there i probably nothing hear for you. The only quibble I had is when he draws some of the more monstrous characters as they really were just big colorful creatures.
The backup continues with the training of Duke Thomas as the latest protege of Batman. It is interesting to see where this storyline goes as Batman is not short on proteges. But it looks like one of his first major missions will be against one of Batman’s nastier enemies. Overall, it is still a highly enjoyable book. Bombastic but still containing some of the more headier elements that Snyder is known for.