DC Comics 2016
Written by James Tynion IV
Penciled by Eddie Barrows
Inked by Eber Ferreira
Coloured by Adriano Lucas
Lettered by Marilyn Patrizio
Wow what a way to open up an issue! Thomas and Martha Wayne’s funeral with this absolutely gorgeous haunting visage of the church. Then hearing Jacob talk about Bruce’s father and the pain at his losing his sister. This is the stuff that makes this so good and why it’s once again worthy of being the title the company is named after. Though it does make me wonder why Jacob didn’t take Bruce in and raise him after that alongside his own daughters and how Alfred was able to do it instead when technically Bruce had family around.
The characterization here is so astonishingly good. Between Kate and Bruce, then Tim and Stephanie the conversations just really help to flesh them out more. Not only those but Tim is pretty much a different character here as he’s this teenage genius and I don’t mean just a genius but at that scary level that would seem to be reaching Brainiac 5’s level of genius. His restructuring of the Belfry is beyond impressive and why he wants to hit Ivy University at sixteen.
So Jacob’s not done yet, the man doesn’t know when to quit or when he’s beat, as a drone squad is heading towards Gotham and the damage will be astronomical. So it’s up to the team to stop it and what ensues only re-enforces what i’ve been thinking and saying about this series since its Rebirth.
The structuring of the story, the pacing of it and everything that the characters do is darn near perfectly done. Including the interiors which Eddy has gotten down to something of a science. The man’s eye for storytelling and how he uses the panels in the page layouts to control the flow is impressive. The amount of work we see in each panel on each page just is awe inspiring and what is needed to express the grand scale and scope of the story itself. The emotion he and his team, Eber and Adriano, bring to this through the finishing (inking/colouring) adds so much more to what we see than you thought was possible.
There are clues as well as to what’s still to come. This mysterious League of Shadows, not to be confused with the League of Assassins, that has Jacob convinced is operating in Gotham City may or may not be real but they are the catalyst for what’s happening. If they do indeed exist and they are operating in Gotham then that’s the next big story arc or at least one down the road that will have to be exposed. After all it wouldn’t be like Kate or Bruce to let this one go until knowing the full truth if they exist.
I’ll be interested in seeing if they reach out to train any others and if Tim will indeed being going to Ivy U. in the fall. If so they will need that computer expert to fill his shoes and right now there isn’t anyone quite as brilliant as he to do it.
Before any of that can happen however we still have to conclude this arc. That last page says it all and next issue is going to be a doozy!
There is no doubt in my mind this is one of DC top books right now hands down.