uncas007's Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights #1 review

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"I hate Gotham."

Part 2 of a loosely-connected story, Deadly Knights has little to do with Batman directly. The story is mainly about Punisher tracking down Marvel Universe's Jigsaw in DC's Gotham City. The first story (Batman/Punisher: Lake of Fire) occurred during Jean-Paul Valley's reign as Batman/Azrael, which accounts for Punisher's confusing about Batman's different (to him) costume and fighting style. He correctly realizes it's a different person, but he doesn't get much farther than that, in part since Punisher is not interested in Batman in any way. Nothing much surprising goes on here, but it does have some nice moments: Robin and Microchip's digital game of cat-and-mouse is a nice touch, though nothing much comes of it since the story is resolved (to an extent) without their assistance. At the conclusion of the story, Punisher gets the drop on Joker, and we are treated to an intense panel of Joker's shocked realization he is finally confronting a hero who will kill him without any qualms. It's a new experience for him. Batman almost ends up the villain of this conflict, as he maintains his form of justice to the end, even against the Punisher. Though the cover makes it seem like the issue is about the two of them battling it out in an epic battle, that is inaccurate. The real point of this story is the conflict behind the idea of the Punisher and the idea of the Batman: is violence the best way to take care of violence? In a way, both of these heroes say "yes," but Batman is not willing to go the ultimate step of extirpating the villains, and clearly Punisher is. The point of the issue is to ask the question, not provide an answer, though Punisher's pervasive "I hate Gotham" is as close as we get. The ideas don't mix, neither do the universes. That is part of the lackluster of the issue, since it wants to be about this idea but spends too much time on the story before getting to the clash of main ideas, without giving enough time for the clash. It's still a fine issue, though, since not too many issues get the opportunity to present this important ideological clash. Die-hard crossover fans will like it, but most other general fans will think "oh, okay. That was nice."

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