The Batman's Grave #2
A man was murdered, and the Batman is in his head-and he knows how it happened. All he has to do now is survive his own deduction. Don’t miss the second chapter of this new thriller from writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch!
This superstar reunion continues as Ellis and Hitch continue down the rabbit hole that is Batman’s inner workings. While the first issue invested a large amount of time in carefully crafted detective work, this issue is more invested in window dressing for the larger conspiracy to come. And if there’s one thing Ellis truly excells at, it is crafting a larger narrative out of smaller, seemingly unconnected vignettes. Issue #2 sees the first issue’s killer apprehended only to reveal another mysterious murder for Bruce to investigate.
Hitch is given much more space in this sophomore issue as a visual storyteller, as the first dozen pages are almost exclusively told via Hitch’s artwork. Throughout this extended fight sequence, Hitch quietly shines through his mastery of perspective and figure work, showing the althleticism of Batman without falling into the common trap of unrealistic body movement and contortions many other genre artists struggle with. Each movement, thus, flows into the next naturally, constructing an elaborate narrative despite the overall lack of text.
Many complaints have been levied about the voice given to Alfred by Ellis and not entirely without merit. This Alfred is not necessarily the Alfred readers have become accustomed to. Smarmy and hungover, here is a character interpretation that seems bent to the service of Ellis’ vision, not entirely familiar but not so unfamiliar as to warrant a different character entirely. How this develops will be something to watch, particularly given that there is a clear direction present to make this story more about Alfred than Bruce by the end of the series.
The Batman's Grave #2 (Ellis, Hitch, Sinclair, Starkings) carefully navigates the balance between image and text as a complex conspiracy seems to be slowly forming.
The Batman’s Grave #2: “That Would Never Mean He Deserved to Be Murdered”
Writing - 9.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/10
Art - 10/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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