Catwoman starts off the issue doing something that looks sloppy: she's grabbed a bag of diamonds from the Malfi Clan, a group that fences pretty much all the stolen goods that proliferate through Gotham. The Malfis respond with great displeasure, including a RPG. Then, along comes a Bat …
This script by Mark Russell very smartly shows how the Bat is able to overcome such intensely violent odds, using a kind of "captain's log" style of voiceover with captions, where he explains himself to an audience he does not see. It likewise presents something that seems simple on the surface but has layers in terms of characterization and plot development. That's very cleverly done and a real accomplishment in the craft.
The visual storytelling from Ryan Benjamin, Richard Friend, Alex Sinclair and Troy Peteri have a great time showing both the fun Catwoman has in her work and the kind of "Larry Trainor in Doom Patrol" kind of sighing Batman has in following her trail towards the very satisfying conclusion here. There are a number of fantastic quotables and a flashback that had shades of both Gotham and Charlie Sheen and Jennifer Grey in Ferris Bueller's Day Off with even more chemistry (and a nickname that really would be fun if it stuck to Selina) that gives so much depth to the character interactions here.
This book does a whole lot, very well, in a very small space with this done-in-one story, giving full narrative arcs to the antagonists and both leads while not skimping on action or tension (and yes, Peteri had a heavy load on a gunfight that happens in the dark). Batman: Gotham Nights #15 likewise remembers that, despite some rather dour subject matter, that comics can be fun and making that balance work is worth the price of admission on its own. RATING: BUY.
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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