Written by Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Art by Becky Cloonan & Andy Clarke
This was a good issue on a few levels. First off, the return of Harper Row from issue #7 where she brings Batman to life with a set of jumper cables. This time she lends a misguided hand to the Dark Knight. She accidentally foils his plan, but makes up for it in the end. We also get a peek inside her home life as she helps her brother deal with the effects of being bullied in school for his sexuality.
Her character is great and I really latch onto those well intentioned characters, even if there plans do tend to go awry. Seeing her stand up for her brother and the origin of her haircut gives us some insight into her character’s motivations, namely that she is selfless, a good trait for a “hero”.
I also really dug Batman taking it to the bullies. Sure he’s in the midst of the Court of Owls problem, but hey, the little guy needs saving every now and then too. That does lead to my one gripe with this issue. I was really looking forward to the fallout from the Night of Owls arc, but instead I get rewound almost to the beginning. I was kind of hoping this story would transition us to a new story arc, though this could be taking us back to give us more background on Harper to be used in future issues.
The art here is pretty good though the inks in the first half of the book handled by Sandu Florea tend to be too thick and kind of give me a cartoon translated to a comic feel, but I can forgive that. For me though the overall highlight of this issue was a simple “hrm” uttered by Batman. Ever since I read Watchmen I came to appreciate the gravity of a subtle “hrm” from Rorschach. Though I’m disappointed this issue doesn’t reach forward, Batman is proving to be one of the best books DC’s New 52 has to offer.
4 out 5 nerds.