Welcome back to yet another review, this issue had a good story with a creepy tone. As always we begin with the cover, Batman falls through the cape of the spectre. This reminds me of a scene from the opening credits of “The World is not Enough”. Artwork is great but the face of the Spectre is a bit confusing. Since the Spectre is not supposed to have a green face, could it be an imprint on the cape?
We start 3 years in the past. As we learn that Blackfire was human and a Televangelists. Blackfire looks like an old man but looks in shape also is drawn decently. Out of the few times I have seen these shows, I have never seen anyone minister on a stage this run down. In the present at Arkham Asylum, Blackfire continues to preach as his army comes towards Batwing and James Corrigan. We also see the Joker’s daughter come out with a severed head in her hand. This came out of nowhere. We don’t know whose head it is. While it looks like Batwing’s head, I know it can’t be. The Joker’s daughter is drawn awkwardly because she has bandages wrapped around her head.
We cut to Batwing’s roommate breaking up and trying to leave a message on Batwing’s cell phone. Batwing’s roommate is drawn well. Back at Arkham Asylum James Corrigan is trying to calm Batwing down so that he can make a plan. I have to agree with Batwing, it would be very hard to stay calm when a horde of monsters are coming for you. Both Batwing and James Corrigan are drawn well.
In Tokyo Red Robin and Harper Row confront Sergai Alexandrov about the nanobots in Gotham. While Red Robin is talking, Harper Row decides take a selfie with Sergai’s monkey who tries to kill her. Why on earth would anyone do this? This is the stupidest idea I have ever seen in a comic. Sure, take a selfie with a villain’s henchman. All three characters in the scene are drawn decently. Harper Row’s camera gives the cyborg monkey a shock as Alexandrov claims his nanobots were stolen a year ago. I’m so glad Red Robin thinks this guy is a liar. This cyborg monkey is drawn well.
We go back to the time when Blackfire was human and doing his Sunday service. As he talks about saving Gotham as the crowd yells “amen”. This is giving me a bit of a Jim Jones vibe. After the service Blackfire talks to his assistant about a special guest in the basement. His assistant is a drawn very basically. These scenes with Blackfire makes it look very much like he’s running a cult. We learn that the special guest is a tied-up Batman bleeding everywhere. Batman is drawn really well. This looks like it’s going to be the origins of Blackfire in this issue.
Back in the present day, we cut to Wayne Manor as Julia questions Alfred as to why he’s a butler. Alfred explains that his father and grandfather were butlers to the Wayne family. This doesn’t make much sense to me although I have no idea how this career works. Both Julia and Alfred are drawn really well. Julia tries to tell Alfred that’s he’s a war hero and a butler is too low of a job for him. I don’t think its Julia place to determine if her father is doing the right career. At Arkham, James Corrigan and Batwing continue to fight as Blackfire taunts them. We get a good drawing of Blackfire as he is joined with Maxie from last issue.
We return to the past as Blackfire shows his disciples the chained-up Batman. This scene is a bit boring because we’ve seen it in many forms. This people in the background are drawn great. Batman kicks Blackfire into the crowd as he breaks free from his bonds. The take-down is drawn well and the reaction from the crowd is perfect. Batman shows the crowd that Blackfire is a fraud and the crowd starts beating Blackfire up. The way Batman convinces the crowd that Blackfire is a fraud is well done but I don’t know if he would let the crowd beat up Blackfire.
In the present, Batwing and James Corrigan get shoved into a pool of water as both the Joker’s daughter and Blackfire taunt them. The water is drawn amazingly and kind of creepy. Blackfire commands his monsters to go and take the city as light comes out from behind him. If it was any other villain the light coming out of him would be too much. James Corrigan tries to become the Spectre with no success as the army of monsters start to head to the city. This scene makes all hope disappear for a while.
We end this chapter with Blackfire telling James Corrigan that he failed, as a monster drags James Corrigan under the water. The last words we hear comes out of Blackfire “Can you say amen” which makes this scene creepier. This issue was fun to read and I look forward to future issues.