the_mighty_monarch's Batman, Incorporated #4 - Kill Box review

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CAGE MATCH OF THE CENTURY

It's interesting how this cover postulates the idea of a Dynamic Duo made up of two characters who are using temporary new identities to hide their TRUE true identity, since their foes are after their other persona; AND that it's two of the most brutal and vicious members of the Batman Family.

Chris Burnham's artwork is usually very excellent, and it still looks very awesome in this issue, but it's really inconsistent. Don't get me wrong, the excessive action scenes in this issue are all executed with extreme dynamism and unique life, but about half the issue looks like his usual stuff, while the other half is extremely rough and rushed. And it's not like the 'half' is an obvious even split, it comes and goes constantly. Sometimes it actually kind of works, but overall it's very distracting, because the usual stuff looks very professional, and the sketchy stuff looks a little amateur.

It's a shame because this issue is honestly just one big group battle; and a seriously awesome one. Batman Incorporated's Dead Heroes Club vs. Leviathan's League of Assassins. This battle is so chock full of fan favorite characters, a wide variety of assassins that a variety of readers will be pleased to spot. And getting to finally see the whole wide group in action, from The Hood to Freight Train, is a long awaited delight. Despite being such a mosh pit kind of crowded slugfest, the fight scenes have a seriously AMAZING sense of flow. Everyone is working so beautifully in tandem, that the battle is like a carefully orchestrated opera of violence.

There's a few characters who have been introduced in this volume of Batman Incorporated who's stories get compressed endings, with some off-putting confusion added in at the end for no real reason. Lumina Lux, especially, comes across an extremely pointless character with far too many mysteries that all end in sympathy, and Goatboy's intrigue as a character is nullified in the end here as he becomes just another brainwashed Leviathan devotee. And then there's Wingman. First of all, Burnham's artwork is at its worst during this reveal, I spent five minutes trying to figure out who he was supposed to be until I decided to look down and read the reveal that he's Jason Todd. He looks NOTHING like Jason Todd in that picture. The other problem with this reveal is that it's just too obvious. Back when we saw the fact that Wingman's identity needed to remain secret, the first thought that came to mind was the most obvious choice, and it turns out to be right. I don't feel like the mystery was well laid out, there was never an excessive doubt or misleading. He was who made the most sense for very obvious reasons.

In Conclusion: 4/5

This issue could've easily been a 5/5 if Burnham's artwork had been up to his usual par, but something was off, he just wasn't bringing his best consistently in this issue and it suffered for it. The weird directions of Lumina Lux and Goatboy aren't too bad since we barely knew them; and as obvious as Wingman's identity was, it still MADE a lot of SENSE; and the whole scene leading into the reveal was brilliant. But this issue COULD have been mind blowing, while it's just pretty damn great.

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