By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, Tim Seeley, Guillem March & Tomeu Morey
As the cover suggests, Jiro “The Batman of Japan” is the guest appearance in this week’s issue. He aids Batman (…of America) as the Dark Knight continues trying to understand what Falcone is up to in Gotham.
John Layman is on scripting duty this week with Ray Fawkes and Tim Seeley as contributing writers. Layman doesn’t disrupt the momentum as this week’s story is full of scene after scene soaked in Batman goodness (just pretend that’s a phrase people say). He brings the pain as well as some subtle humor – “This is Master Hong. He brews tea.” He also brings along not one, but two fight scenes featuring Batman punching people in the gut (for justice purposes).
Jiro fighting alongside Batman makes for great visuals due to Guillem March’s artwork accompanied by Tomeu Morey’s colors. After a scene shows off Falcone’s “business side” we’re given a couple of great action panels the cover (by both artists) only hints at. This series each week does well to deliver the gritty Batman that doesn’t shy away from a sword fight (even if the sword is on fire). There is some great play with colors from Morey as Batman and Jiro stand atop a building overlooking green water with the city’s lights reflecting off it as the next page is drenched in a soft purple, both do well to complement each other (Joker’s fashion sense can’t be that crazy…can it?). We also get a quick look at Jiro’s own lair that features a certain, rather large, object that might seem familiar (no, not the giant penny, the other thing).
This week keeps up with a great story as Batman takes a trip around the world, makes some cool friends, and serves up what Jiro’s been dreaming of (google Jiro).