By Scott Snyder, Gerry Duggan, Matteo Scalera, Lee Loughridge
This issue is just what the doctor ordered. After a long and exhausting trip through Zero Year, issue 34 offers a one-and-done murder mystery that Batman particularly thrives in. The poor and unfortunate are once again being targeted by a mass murderer. It’s unfortunate that nobody cares; well, except for Batman. If you’re a bad guy, the last person you want hunting you down is The Bat.
The serial killer on the prowl remains nameless throughout the story, which makes his motives all the more interesting. He feels that he can get away with murder (literally) since Batman and the GCPD have their hands full with supervillains and powerful mobsters – not to mention, a particular police commissioner that is currently behind bars.
Despite its darkness, this story is actually quite heartwarming. Even though Batman has plenty of things on his plate, he hasn’t stopped caring for the poor and helpless. When the crime is finally solved, Batman chooses to remain at the scene to witness the carnage with his own eyes. He never wants to forget the men and women dead on his watch. With a little help from Snyder, Duggan wrote this whole script. Not bad for a guy that made Deadpool hilarious again.
We’ve been spoiled by Greg Capullo. The guy is just too awesome. Actually, he’s so great that we can understand if he wants to take an issue or two off. Filling in is Matteo Scalera, whose artwork perfectly fits the mood of the story. It’s scratchy and rough, much like the people depicted. Colorist Lee Loughridge makes things that much better by giving us the feel of a dark Image Comics story. It’s no Capullo, but it’s still pretty to look at and we’ll take it.
Credit needs to be given to Duggan, Scalera, and Loughridge. In a world of mediocre filler issues, these guys managed to create something worth reading. It was nice to take a breather and be reminded why Batman fights the good fight.