Batman 25# can be summarised in one word: 'eh....' Or, if you're looking for a more in-depth analysis, 'disappointing' is also a pretty good one word fit, but you probably want something a little more detailed than that, don't you? Oh well, let's get on with it then. At the end of issue #24 we saw The Riddler taking over Gotham's power-grid and leaving the whole City in darkness, setting up a high-stakes confrontation between the Dark Knight and Enigma that had readers eager to see what the next issue would bring. In truth though, this month's Batman doesn't really bring anything at all. The double length comic consists entirely of rather dull conversations between miscellaneous members of the police or Bruce and his staff (such as Alfred and Lucius Fox), with the Riddler only mentioned in passing and as if his actions hadn't had the slightest affect. So instead of continuing the overarching plot, Snyder gives us a rather waffly story about a murderer who is knocking-off members of WayneTech staff. While we won't reveal the killer's identity, it is a character that has been in the comics before (and has actually been about since the Golden Age of Batman), and seeing the interesting/creepy visual reinvention of the villain does save the issue from being a complete bore. Along with that we see the redesigned Batmobile make a brief (and it is brief) appearance, though it seems to have been written in for the sake of it and adds nothing to the story. The design itself is... different, to say the least, and while it's impossible to say whether you'll like it or not, I personally can't gel with its Chitty Bang Bang similarities. Out of the 40 odd pages of constant conversation there are four that sparked our interest in which James Gordon talks to Bruce Wayne about the current murder investigation and their history together, both of which provide a great sense of character and spark an interest in why Bruce seems to hate his future friend so much. The rest of the comic seems to be largely filler, like Snyder realised his 12 issue plan only fills 11 comics, so desperately knocked this one out in a weekend as a bit of fluff. For $4.99 this really isn't worth buying, especially not with some of the other great titles out there at the moment. The Riddler plot we were promised is completely ignored, with the Blackout barely even mentioned in favour of focusing on these corporate murders, leaving readers feeling discombobulated and a little conned out of pocket. After the atrocity that was Arkham Origins we really needed a high standard of Dark Knight this month, yet we got neither the Batman we needed or deserved. Hopefully next month the usually fantastic writer will be back on form, but issue 25# is only worth buying if you're interested solely in the art, as the issue provides so little in terms of plot development it may as well not exist. Have you got a copy of issue 25 yet? What do you think of the Batmobile's redesign? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Oldfield is a journalist, reviewer, and amateur comic-book writer (meaning he's yet to be published). He's a man who'll criticise anything, even this biog, which he thinks is a bit crap.
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