"And we came. Not with a question of how to help you. But with an answer..." Ever wondered what would happen if Bane broke Alfred's back instead of Bruce's? Yeah, me neither. However, this one shot answers just that and it shows Batman as he truly is. A child with abandonment issues. Too soon? All jokes aside, this one shot is almost better bounds better than The Red Death and that one off was damn stunning. So lets jump right in shall we!
Let's point out the obvious. You can tell from the header image alone that this book is gorgeous. I mean something about this art style that just really does it for me. The lines, the inks, the colors. It's just magnificent. It also just works for the story being told here. Batman, losing his surrogate father, going dark. It just works. Which brings me to the writing! Ever wondered what it would be like if Alfred's memory was uploaded to a computer, but became a virus hell bent of protecting Bruce Wayne? Yeah, me neither...however, writer Frank Tieri answers this question in Epic fashion.
This book has a clearer decent into darkness for Bruce. Also seeing Alfred go rogue was equally as awesome. Cyborg's personality is really allowed to shine in the issue and it does a good job showcasing the relationship he has with his dad in a short amount of time. This has some great story as a backbone and some intrigue as well. Seeing the Nightmares all come together to face off against cyborg was a sight to see. Not to mention how well drawn it was. The panels for that fight leading to the Nightmare Tower...it's definitely breath taking.
I don't have much to rag on with this issue honestly. Except the fact that it was too short. Honestly its fucking well written. There was a point where I did get a little confused. Flashbacks were done in a more sepia filter tone and at one point I couldn't tell what was flashback and what was present until I re-read the pages. However, that's just me looking for something to bitch about.
Cyborg! Twice!! Like seriously. The gore in this issue makes the Murder Machine worthy of his name. Seeing Cyborg first battle Cyborg Batman and then the whole squad was fun. That first surprise blow from Doomsday Batman really had me outta my seat. You also get some great narration from The Batman Who Laughs. That quote I started this review with is from his outro and every time he's written it's so damn great.
This one without question is a must pull for anyone following the series or other. The shadows and colors do nothing more than to compliment Ricardo Federici's artistic direction. His art complementing Tieri's story telling. This book complementing the series...it's practically perfect in every way...and I don't even like Batman!