(DC Comics, creative team: James Tynion the Fourth, Rafael Albequerque, Jorge Jiminez, Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles)
Batman is up against the wall as a relentless campaign of costumed criminals execute meticulous machinations years in the making. Learning that he's playing checkers against someone playing 3D chess is hard for the dark knight detective, stuck engaging in hand to hand combat with the mercenary Deathstroke. Tynion's script leaves a brick on the accelerator pedal most of this issue, despite doing a wonderful but ultimately irrelevant Joker scene. Unfortunately, again, it's not a journey that takes us anywhere new: not so long ago Batman took a splashy road trip with Two-Face that had a similar relentless gauntlet of miscreant mayhem thrown at him while he contemplated his shortcomings in voiceover. The vibe here is not too dissimilar — a veritable Mario Kart gauntlet of high speeds and items hurled at the racer, or perhaps an endless stream of bouncing barrels hurled by a sizable simian. There's nothing wrong here, per se, but the monotonous deluge of events doesn't leave much room for the creative tension of ebb and flow, and the Big Bad is as blank a slate as the mask on his face. The execution is solid, but the underlying ideas are nothing to write home about. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
written by JAMES TYNION IV
art and cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
To save Gotham City, Catwoman will have to commit the greatest heist in the city's history! But hot on her trail are the Penguin, the Riddler, a horde of assassins, and the master criminal called the Designer! And the most dangerous person standing in her way is the man she's trying to save: Batman. And what complications will his arise from his new sidekick, Harley Quinn?