Welcome back to yet another review, this issue has great character interaction but uses twice as much time than needed. As always we begin with the cover, Batman karate kicks the Architect as light shines from the background. The tagline is “Enter the Architect”. Not sure if this is a Bruce Lee reference or not. This is a well-drawn cover but a bit boring.
We open at Wayne Manor as Julia tries to get hold of Bruce Wayne via telephone. Julia is just trying to tell Bruce that her Dad, Alfred, is in the hospital. This scene is relatable to everyone as everyone has had a family member in a hospital at some point in their life. Emotion coming out of Julia is realistic. As Julia hangs up the phone, she starts to investigate the grandfather clock where she finds a secret passage. She already knew that this mansion has secret passages so the amount of surprise she is drawn in is a little too much.
We cut to a tower under construction as two business men are talking about the new Wayne building. As they talk, gun fire erupts killing one of the business men. While this is pointless dialogue it gives a good introduction to the shooter. We find out that the shooter is the Architect and his gang. The Architect looks like he is a cross between Ironman and Skeletor. As we see the workers in fear, we hear Batman talking about searching for new leads. Not sure if it would be the right time to put this dialogue here.
We cut to Batman riding around the city as he tries to get hold of Alfred. Why don’t look at your damn cell phone once in a while? I’m sure you carry a cell phone with you. Batman stops at one roof top to see through binoculars the Architect pulling a panel off a building. Batman, I think you’re going to be a little late the crime scene as one person is already dead. Back at Wayne Manor, Julia enters the bat cave to find all of Batman’s gadgets and the bat computer. Her reaction is very realistic seeing something as amazing as the bat cave.
We return to Batman as he hops in the batmobile and tries to contact Alfred but he get Julia instead. Why did Batman hop in the batmobile? He was only a few roof tops away. Julia tells Batman that Alfred is in the hospital. This is a great way for Batman to have the news delivered storyline wise, not realistically.
Julia tells Batman about the attack in the mansion last issue as she yells at him for bringing her father into a dangerous life. While Julia makes a good point, her Dad was a war hero so I’m sure he is used to danger. Batman said he can’t go to Alfred right now otherwise more people will die. This is very accurate to the Batman character. He is like Spock … “the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few”. We return to the Architect as he is modifying the tower. It is obvious that the Architect knows the business man in charge of the building construction. This is an extreme example of a disgruntled designer. He is going beyond ‘going postal’.
We cut again to the hostages and the Architect’s henchmen as Batman crashed through the window. The expression on one of the henchman’s face is one see often but it’s funny every time we see it. The business man pleads for everyone’s life as the Architect just ignores him. This shows the Architect as a typical psychopath, not caring what other people are saying as he does his work.
As Batman frees the hostages, the henchmen escape only to have the building start shaking. Batman asks for help over the com thinking it is Alfred but Julia answers “how the hell should I know”. This is a bit of humour in a terrifying situation which I like. It also is more of a set up for Julia to take her father’s place. Batman asks for help from Julia and kind of guides her in how to work the Bat computer. She picks up quickly which makes sense being a secret agent. While this scene is great, the art looks like it’s from a completely different artist.
The Architect goes to kill the construction manager as a Batarang hits the back of the Architects head. While I know that the Architect isn’t dead, it looks like the Architect’s helmet exploded. Batman saves the construction manager, sending him down a zip line as Batman stays to deal with the Architect. This is a typical rescue scene but its formula that works and I don’t see any reason to change it. Batman grabs the Architect and asks him “Who do you work for?” The Architect just talks in weird riddles which Batman understands. This question scene gives us answers we already know.
On the ground, the construction manager is confronted by a man in shadows who shoots and kills him. We can tell from the shadow it’s Hush. Batman watches in terror as he talks to himself begging that it is not Hush. This shows that Batman still has a bit of fear of Hush. We end with Hush standing over the dead body saying “shhhh”. This last panel makes Hush look as menacing as he should be. This issue had a lot of set up for the second act, maybe a little too much.