Welcome back to yet another review, this issue has great plot development but uses scenes we see over and over again. As always we begin with the cover, we see a prisoner standing behind bars with the name GORDON on his jumpsuit. We can’t see his face but we know its Jim Gordon. Since the character is covered in black shadows, I can’t determine if it’s good artwork or not.
The story opens at Blackgate as James Gordon Junior tells Jim Gordon how bad the prison has become. Blackgate looks like it was planned out well. As they continue to talk, James Gordon Junior tells his father that Gotham corrupted both of them. Jim Gordon tries to vocally defend himself but is unable to clearly counter argue his son. Jim Gordon is drawn well, you can see that he is breaking down mentally through his physical appearance. James Gordon Junior is also drawn well and I feel like he was based on Hannibal Lector a bit.
We cut to the GCPD where James Bard is playing Interim Commissioner Forbes. James Bard is a good manipulator. I like this side of him, it makes this character interesting. James Bard is drawn well but the other two characters in this scene are not drawn as well. We cut again as Vicki Vale talks to her boss trying to get him to drop a story. This is a classic scene where one reporter vocally demands stuff from his or her boss. We see this everywhere and I am bored with the scene. Vicki Vale is drawn well. She could be drawn a lot better but it works for this chapter. As Vicki Vale walks out of the boss’s office, Joey Day tells her that someone is posting about Cluemaster. This is an interesting plot development, it could make room for a Vicki Vale and Stephanie Brown team-up. There is nothing special about the way Joey Day is drawn.
At the public library, Stephanie Brown is doing research on her Dad while her friend is calling her. Stephanie Brown is drawn very well. In two of the panels, we see what is obviously the Facebook chat system. I don’t know if DC had to ask them for permission or not. As Stephanie Brown talks to her friend, her friend tells her that an orange box showed up. Stephanie Brown tells her friend not to open the box. This is another classic scene that I am getting bored with. The box explodes of course. Stephanie Brown’s friend is drawn well for only being in four panels. Back at the prison, James Gordon Junior is telling his father that he wants to break his father out. Jim Gordon tells his son that he’s not going to do it because it is against everything he stands for. This is good character building for Jim Gordon but if he takes his son’s offer I’m going to be mad.
We turn the page to see Batman gliding through the city as James Bard gets his Swat Team ready. Batman is drawn very well but I do not understand why he is in this scene. The buildings in the background are drawn very well. The GCPD breaks into multiple gang hideouts and arrest many people. The gangsters in these scenes look very well drawn. Batman sneaks up on James Bard and congratulates him. I’m really enjoying this Batman and James Bard team-up, it was really well written.
At the GCPD, Interim Commissioner Forbes tries to bitch out James Bard but Vicki Vale says something to Interim Commissioner Forbes to shut him up. I love seeing Interim Commissioner Forbes being backed into a corner. Interim Commissioner Forbes is drawn decently. We cut to Red Robin’s base as Harper Row breaks in. Harper Row is drawn really well and I like that she quoted a line from the Adam West Batman show. Red Robin comes into the base and works on his computer oblivious to Harper Row’s location. Red Robin is drawn decently but I don’t know what I would do to make it better.
Back at Blackgate, James Gordon Junior tells his father that he has a day to decide if he wants to break out. This scene adds nothing to the current story since the last scene with them already talking about this. At the police department Carmine Falcone is telling Interim Commissioner Forbes that he better not screw up again as James Bard and Vicki Vale execute their plan. Carmine Falcone is drawn really well. We end with Stephanie Brown arriving at her friend’s burning house and her father watching her from a security camera happy that his plan is going well. Cluemaster is drawn very well and detailed. This issue was great for the plot line but it has some predictable moments.