Batman is back and trying to save Gotham from a malfunctioning plane that's moments away from crashing.
If that description of the issue sounds too short or brief, we can assure you it's not. This is one of the most interesting issues of Batman in years because the whole issue takes place over a matter of minutes. It moves at an accelerated pace and many times, when a book moves this quickly, it tends to unmemorable or dull. What makes this quick-paced issue work is that it's very intense, from start to finish. The action and tone fit the pace and vice versa. Instead of a day in the life of Batman, we get a moment. It's unique and brings a fresh spin to kick off the series.
The issue does a solid job at setting up the series, introducing the cast of characters, and playing well to both longtime and brand new readers. The book isn't steeped in Batman continuity. Where it really shines is displaying the dynamic between Duke and Batman. Duke is the new trainee under Batman, and during this issue, he comes off as more like Oracle than anyone else, which is pretty cool to see. It's a second set of eyes and ears for Batman. Alfred helps out as well, and while this is a solo book, we're seeing a behind the scenes team dynamic. This sets a great tone for the future of this book, and fans will be excited to see how Duke's training will go during the rest of the series. Writer Tom King really puts his mark on this opening offering.
Artist David Finch is joined by inker Matt Banning and colorist Jordie Bellaire. This is some of Bellaire's best coloring work to date. This doesn't feel like Bellaire colored it, as her work is darker, grittier, and more fitting with the tone and Finch's art. She's doing some new and wonderful things in this issue. Finch and Banning deliver some intense art that really helps intensify the story.
This issue may not be what people are expecting for a new series. The plot trickles in, but the issue is great for new readers and overall, provides a great kick-off to the new comic. We're getting this very intense moment in time and the book does a fine job at not only establishing Batman but also establishing Alfred and Duke as well.