Before I even start the review, shout out to the title of the issue – “Snake in Eagle’s Shadow” – which is one of my favorite Jackie Chan films.
Oh yeah, if you want me to watch a film, tell me Jackie Chan is in it, otherwise all films are garbage.
I almost have no idea how I am going to tell you why I loved this issue so much, but am going to try my damndest.
First of all, Tynion’s storytelling for this little arc is steeped in old school kung-fu films, taking in story elements that are very familiar with wuxia epics and legendary heroes. The interaction between Ra’s Al-Ghul and Batman is pitch perfect, showing off why Ra’s is such a dangerous fellow and has been a constant thorn in Batman’s side.
Batman, on the other hand, is on the back-foot during this exchange…but only mentally, physically his fight with Ubu and Ghul was kind of great (Marcio Takara’s art really sells it too…but will talk about the art in a bit).
The Colonel Kane end of the story is compelling enough that I kind of want them to have their own series now…maybe they can be the new Blackhawks? That would be cool…
Oh, speaking of one of the things that I loved about this issue was the fact that Tynion tells us how Ra’s was able to manipulate Batman all this time (it is a good one, a nice reference to pre-New 52 times…and something that had considerably pissed off Batman back then, so he definitely is even madder now).
Then we have Marcio Takar’s art, which, I am going to say right now, is not for everyone. His loose lines and strange ink style is a bit of a acquired taste (kind of like Travel Foreman, an artist who has a similar style). But Takara’s art is really energetic and dynamic, really pumping the adrenaline of the issue and helping to sell the urgency of Batman.
I know there are flaws, but I still loved this issue so much, going to give it a heavily biased four and a half Thwips!