One of the biggest modern criticisms of Batman is that he's an entitled rich white guy in fetish gear who beats up poor people in alleys. What if he used his greatest super power — money — to access criminals on a whole other scale?
The billionaire class of Gotham may not wear ridiculous costumes or try to poison the city's water supply, but the evil they perpetrate — "chemical dumping, drug-running, and human trafficking" — is as bad if not worse, because they have heretofore escaped even the revolving doors of Arkham Asylum or Blackgate Prison. On top of breaking so many laws, they're also awful people — buying a modeling agency to have beautiful women on call and control their immigration status, setting up a party drug to corner the market on the lost and desperate, all while laughing over drinks at the Fluttering Swan Country Club outside of Gotham.
After a lot of iced teas and listening to their smarm and horror, Bruce Wayne's pugilistic alter ego is moving in on them and bringing them something they never saw before: pain.
Then — of course — things have to escalate when an old business associate of Batman moves into a new line of business with a wonderful bit of wordplay (you should see that for yourself) and that turns the whole thing into an absurdist farce and then into a fascinating bit of comeuppance.
If you don't know by now, Mark Russell is a genius and this sly, sneaky script only helps cement that case, damning even the best intentions of the billionaire class. Ryan Benjamin, Richard Friend, Alex Sinclair and Troy Peteri make this zippy number of pages count with wonderful leaden pauses and clever twists of visual storytelling that help the reader stay engaged with this complex, smart story. There's a lot to like here, and this would be worth it even at three times the price. For a buck as a digital comic, this book is practically a steal. RATING: BUY.
Batman: Gotham Nights #4
Batman goes after the biggest criminals in Gotham City: Bruce Wayne's billionaire peers. But when these blue-blooded businessmen turn to the Joker for help, they find themselves in over their heads. It's up to Bruce Wayne to step in and save them … even though he may be just as guilty as the rest.