Every tine I think it can't get any better. It absolutely does. I know that we've been lacking in reviews and content lately and that's part due to Thanksgiving pass and Christmas coming. So, you can imagine how hectic that all can be while trying to run a site and upload weekly content, Fact is I'm no Jack Napier. I can't do it all, however, I'll tell you what. This book damn well makes me want to be him. From his perfectly executed plan, genius level intellect, and cunning disposition. This is the man to beat, and quite frankly I don't think the Bats has got it in him. However, the wild-card of this deck might just be what Batman needs to win.
Once again we have some of the best art in a comic book this week. The art style as it relates to the story is just magnificent and it works. I can only imagine that t it's one of the perks of writing and drawing your own issues. Things just mesh together. This story sees Jack's plan to use the mind controlled villains from issue 2 come to fruition all while continuing to build his case against Batman and turning Gotham against the Caped Crusader. We learn that in this world, Billionaire Bruce Wayne isn't the one footing the bill for the Damage that Batman causes. It's the hard working citizens of Gotham's tax dollars that do. And with the new tax cuts for the rich that just passed senate...this issue couldn't have come at a better time. The narrative that Murphy uses for Jack to reveal his discovery of what Gotham's only disaster is, is genius level good. Like I said in my review of issue 2. What little political points being made in this series is subtle, but powerful as all hell. Speaking of powerful, let's talk about these colors. I don't know how Hollingsworth is doing it but he makes dark vibrant. He makes gritty, clean, And makes detail, more detailed. Murphy and Hollingsworth is a team I hope to see again when this is all over because, damn! Yes please.
This issue does have ONE stand out flaw to me however, and it's the conversation that Dick & Barbara has after certain events transpire. Barbara says to Dick that the only thing keeping Bruce moral is gone and it's up to them to keep Bruce in line. However, this immediately struck me as odd since from issue one Batman has seemed pretty over the top. Hell, in that same first issue I'm pretty sure he almost let some construction workers die if not flat out almost killed him. So I mean I don't think this event has pushed him over the edge as Murphy is trying to state on these two pages.
The art! It's really fucking nuts! Like I'm a fan of art without text in comics, because if done right it says it all. Just pick up ANY issue of the Mister Miracle series and you'll see what I mean. The benefit here is that Murphy knows what he's trying to say and do. So he doesn't have it think. He just has to draw, and draw he does! Let's take this page below:
No word bubbles, no text, just emotion. And it gets the message across clear as day! It's truly a masterpiece. You can also see in the above image and in the pages to come in the issue that Hollingsworth attention to detail. The dark looks vibrant. The colors glow and don't look muddy. How a book can look this good is beyond me and its freaking nuts.
All and all, you need to get this issue! There is no reason not to. The other Harley Quinn makes a huge change in her life. Gordon starts to questions himself. And Batman is losing every thing. This is everything the Joker wanted, given to him by Jack. This is both a visual and literary masterpiece by any comparison and I suspect it's only going to get better!