Writers: Steve Orlando, Scott Snyder
Artists: Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia
We are re-introduced to the dark allures of Gotham. The art renders the readers to search for the mysteries hidden throughout. And what is the first crime in this series? A murder in Gotham. Rebirth introduces a spectacular team-up series with the Caped Crusader.
The Shadow, first introduced in 1930, played a huge role in the development of Batman. The Shadow is a vigilante and carries mysterious obligations just as Bruce Wayne does. In Pre-Crisis Universe, Earth 1, Bruce Wayne had met The Shadow when he was a boy. He witnessed a bank robbery that was immediately thwarted by The Shadow. As Bruce Wayne became Batman, they both gained each other’s respect through several interactions. The heroes are masters of stealth and skilled detective work, a team-up will not only be epic and powerful, but they will also bring attention to flaws. They will build-up each other.
Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando are master storytellers. They mix an aura of somber and horror. We are immediately connected to the non-familiar character of the story, the murder victim. The writers do this by giving him interaction with the well-known Arkham Asylum prisoners. The victim treats the prisoners with respect and care, a natural good guy, and so I felt for his death.
What hit me hard is the art. Batman is brought back to being a detective crime series, versus defeating a foe. The art brings us urgency and mystery as the pages blast us with shock. There will be somber hues such as purple, blue, and gray, but at the perfect time, bam! We’ll be blasted with bright yellow and red for a shock. I’ve seen Ivan Plascencia use this technique with his other Batman works, and I love it. It brings the detective back to being the detective. I find it more human as well. The colour complements both the reader’s and Bruce Wayne’s emotions. With his face always behind the mask, it’s hard to see anything past the Bat’s stoic features, but the artists do a fantastic job with instilling nerves, perfect for The Shadow and Batman. Riley Rossmo does striking work with angles to force us into the narrative. One scene that stands out is how the body is studied by the officer. It reminds me of a CSI study, giving the readers a sense of being omnipresent and power. We oversee what the highest ranking characters have access to.
I’m always excited to see a partnership with the Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne is such a unique and brilliant character that a character will always evolve around him, and he will always evolve with the partnership as well. The Shadow’s form of vigilante is dangerous, while Batman is aware of his surroundings. He tries his best to keep everyone out of harm’s way, The Shadow does not and this will cause dilemma and tension. I am interested in their chemistry. In the past, they have established respect, I know this will happen but I’m also looking forward to an awkward friendship as well. Overall, absolutely mandatory for your comic collection and a must-read!
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment