This is Ram V and Rafael Albuquerque’s second race number on ‘Tech, and they set up a very dark and macabre tale for the Dark Knight Detective, the possible return of one of the classic Bats thieves and the start of a few new ones, and I’m ready for that. Plus, we get a bonus story about Jim Gordon and his relationship with Gotham City by Si Spurrier and Dani that will have you begging for the next install – so let’s get started, shall we?
Ram V has become one of the most prolific and talented writers of recent years, and there’s a good reason. He gives us deep, impactful stories that inspire readers to look deeper than the surface and see a side of the character we might not have thought we’d realize. With the story here, it’s the sense of depth that is most felt. We get a side of Bruce that, though hinted at in the past, feels different here. There’s unease about what’s to come for Gotham, and it gives us a glimpse of the man who is often considered a god due to his place in the superhero community, as he stands side by side with literal gods, like Superman and Wonder Woman. It will be interesting to see where Bruce goes from here.
That’s another thing I’ve noticed over the last two issues. I refer to Batman as Bruce, not Batman. Could it be the humanizing effect that V has when it comes to writing these characters who have become larger than life due to the decades of stories told and the world that has been developed. Gotham has become a fictional Tartarus, oscillating between a shattered civilization filled with dark power and oblivion, where the mistreated populace sinks deeper into this living hell that spawns a darkness that taints every aspect of your soul. This journey that V takes Bruce and his audience will give us something that elevates how the seediness of Gotham and the dark places in Bruce’s soul are completely codependent on each other.
With V, Rafael Albuquerque is no stranger to dark and deadly places one can go, just look up his past work on american vampire Where animal man to see that he is the right artist for the job ahead. Albuquerque is also no stranger to Gotham, so bringing him on board was definitely the right call. His Batman is dark, but it’s his Gotham, and the way he lives and breathes, as he suffocates with the soot and grime that coats him, that impresses me here. Gotham is becoming as much of a cast member as he’s ever been.