Written by: Gerry Duggan and Scott Snyder
Art by: Matteo Scalera and Lee Loughridge
After a long time, we return to present day Batman in Batman #34. Zero Year was great but I missed the experienced of Batman and his present day adventures. This issue does just that, and more. Instead of another encounter with a member of the rogue’s gallery, Batman faces off against a serial killer. But this killer wears no mask or costume. Yup, he’s just a normal serial killer, if there is such a thing!
This is a great one-shot between heavy, major arcs. With the upcoming Endgame storyline, this one-shot seems pointless as it doesn’t appear to have any implications; it’s nevertheless a great story that goes back to the roots of Batman.
Duggan and Snyder create a story that’s pretty dark, even for Batman. The killer’s anonymity reminds people of these types of murderers – the ones that don’t monologue and wear costumes. He targets Leslie Thompkin’s patients and although I have been calling this issue a one-shot, I believe that this issue can have implications in Endgame. According to my theory, this is definitely not the last that we hear of the killer.
Batman on the other hand seems a little weird at times; he’s approachable. I’m not saying we need a brooding Dark Knight every month, but this Batman just screamed another writer at me. The new artist, Matteo Scalera’s art puts us in a very Sin City mood as Batman races to stop this serial killer. This issue is frightening because the tone is so mundane. The art is great at keeping things ominous and I really felt the heaviness of the shadows worked with Scalera at the helm.
The issue is succinct. Snyder’s stories tend to meander and go all over the place, but this issue was so self contained. It would definitely be a purchase for people who want their perfect collections. Furthermore, people who couldn’t get a chance to jump into Zero Year could easily pick up this great one-shot for a read. I liked the issue as a whole and would recommend that you get it.
Note: The issue may have some minor spoilers for Batman Eternal