The Batman's Grave #5
The Batman is summoned to Arkham Asylum, where he is presented with parts of a deadly puzzle he couldn't see assembling all around him. And he may not make it out alive.
Up until this point, The Batman’s Grave has felt mostly like a series of disconnected capers, held together by very tenuous fibers. Finally, as it is for our Caped Crusader, the mystery is beginning to form in the shape of a new gang– The Scorn Army. The narrative structure of this mystery is somewhat unlike many of Ellis’ past works, where the stories seemed to jump into high gear from the opening pages. Instead, The Batman’s Grave is developing slowly and intricately, with each piece introduced serving a very specific narrative purpose.
This issue does continue the trend in visual narrative provided by superstar artist and storyteller Bryan Hitch. The minimalist writing deployed by Ellis provides Hitch wide open spaces to tell stories, although Hitch’s role seems to still be dominantly in telling the action portions of the story. I hope/look forward to the opportunity for him to tell some quieter moments visually as the story enters the final half of the series.
The introduction of a few visual clues warrant a rereading of past issues. The obvious one being the tattooed symbol for the Scorn Army members but more subtly, there seems to be a recurring visual cue of head trauma that points to something medical happening throughout the Army yet to be revealed.
The Batman's Grave #5(Ellis, Hitch, Nowlan, Sinclair, Starkings) sees the mystery building around Batman start to coalesce.
The Batman’s Grave #5: Scars
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 8.5/10
Art - 9.5/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 9.5/10
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