By Gregg Hurwitz, Alberto Ponticelli & John Kalisz
Last month in Batman the Dark Knight, we got a silent issue, which happens from time to time in books. I remember G.I. Joe did one when I was younger, but how would this translate to an epic character like Batman?
Batman is held captive by the Penguin’s goons. He uses his brain and discovers a way to free himself and he disposes of the thugs-for-hire quickly. He discovers what the Penguin is trying to do, punches are thrown, kids are freed and the Penguin is once again defeated, but for how long?
This is the second silent issue in a row and it is the end of a two part arc. Hurwitz has done a pretty good job in this series with some of Batman’s less popular villains, so it’s a bit disappointing that when he gets an A-Lister that there is no dialogue. While the story is nicely told and, for the most part, easy to make out what is happening, having two silent issues in a row gets a little old. You can’t really talk about whether the Penguin acted in character because there aren’t words, so you kind of have to imagine what is being said and maybe that is the point of the issue, but at the end of the day, we want to read comics.
Alberto Ponticelli does a wonderful job on art and it is all up to him to tell the story through his images. It’s dark and moody, like the story, and closely resembles Alex Maleev’s work, who was on the title last arc. There are several great panels in this issue, such as Batman’s shadow covering the Penguin as he shakes in his boots. Ponticelli also gives us some images of a tender side to the bat as he rescues a small girl from the Penguin. His art is really excellent in this issue and with good direction from Hurwitz, he shines.
This was a decent issue, but the fact that there were two consecutive issues without dialogue could be hard to get over. While Hurwitz and Ponticelli did a good job telling the story through the pictures, not being able to read will frustrate some fans. The series is winding down, here’s hoping Hurwitz takes it out with a bang.