The final issue with Batman and company versus the Architect. How will the end of this miniseries affect the future of Batman in next month's relaunch?
This is the series that Gotham City and Batman fans deserved. Over the decades of Batman stories, we've never had full details over the history of the city. Elements have been added now and then whenever the story called for it but there was never any firm concrete history put in place.
The other great thing is what I've mentioned throughout the series, seeing Dick as Batman along with Tim, Damian and Cassandra deal with this threat. They have proven that Bruce is not needed to get the job done. That isn't saying he's not important but this shows that the city is safe in the hands of others. Of course, how great has it been to see Cassandra along with them? You know what I want to see? I want a Damian and Cassandra miniseries. Kyle and Scott need to be all over that. There is a comment Tim makes to Cassandra that felt like a statement towards the use and lack of Cassandra in recent stories. Either it's extremely clever or I'm just reading too much into it. I'm leaning towards clever.
Trevor McCarthy's art is great to see. There has been times over the series where it felt a little off but seeing the different places the characters have to go really changed the pace of the story and were done nicely. There is also a scene where one character has to dive into the water and actually removes his/her cape. You can't go swimming with a cape. It would totally weigh you down or wrap you up. I loved seeing this in the comic.
Does this issue mark the end of the current Bat-universe? Considering Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins were involved and will be writing Batman and Nightwing, you would expect some closure or clues to what's next, right? I'll just say there is a scene between Dick and Bruce. Look it all over carefully.
The Architect...I'm not sure how I feel about him. I loved the idea of a new villain and the connections to the history of Gotham. I should praise him for bringing all the characters together, including Hush's part in earlier issues. It's been said that the Bat-universe will pretty much continue in "The New 52," and I really do hope so. The history of Gotham has been great and this new villain may have been a central part in the miniseries but it's not what pulled me in issue after issue.
There is a lot under the surface of this comic. When I first read it, I was happy and excited. I liked it but was a little more than just okay with the overall story of the Architect. Reading it again and really dissecting scenes and dialogue is where I started rethinking everything. Originally I debated between a score of a 4 and a 5 (since we no longer give half stars in our reviews). Because this is pretty much the final issue of Batman before the September relaunch and because of those crucial scenes, my score got bumped up.
This issue, like the rest in the series, serves to show the relationship and growth between all the characters without Batman standing around brooding or directing everyone. Everyone involved had to step up to solve their part of the mission. Sure we've seen everyone on solo missions before but this showed their individual skills along with their ability to work together. Subtle hints tease us for things that could have been and still might be. I might not have been as blown away by the battle as I should have been or maybe I was just distracted but the great dialogue. This is truly an important Batman issue that does help bridge the gap between the current standing and what we can expect in September.