Wednesday, January 1, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman - The Dark Knight #26

So there's a family in lets say Mexico, a grandmother, mother, and two daughters, one infant. The mother to the two girls works in a sweatshop to provide for the family, but she's unable to afford medicine she needs for her infant, and the child eventually passes.
After the funeral, the mother gets receives an opportunity from someone to sneak over the border and work in Gotham for hopes of a better life… but yeah, that doesn't happen, as the truck is hijacked by human traffickers, who separate the mother from her daughter and the grandmother.

The mother seems to be put into a prostitution ring, while the grand mother and (at this point) sick daughter are forced to work hard labor. The grandmother, realizing her granddaughter is sick, tries to make an escape to get help, but accidentally alerts the guards to her presence, and dies during the escape… but it doesn't go unnoticed, and the leader of the whole operation knows who's going to find it… That would be Penguin, and sure enough, Batman is on his tail after he finds the grandmother's body and a picture of their family.

Batman eventually finds the sweatshop facility and rescues the little girl, getting her to a hospital, then returns to break shit all over everyone. Batman begins to lead all the workers out of the factory, but is met with a lot of thugs outside, all with net guns and what not, eventually capturing Batman, and putting him a cage, delivered to the Penguin.


The Good:

Like that Batman and Robin issue, this was a pretty much silent issue, aside from some "gugs" and "hacks," so visually, Alberto Ponticelli's art portrayed the script's story particularly well. 

The Bad:

This book recently has just been sort of repeating elements that have been seen in other books recently. I mean, Clayface was in Batman and Detective Comics prior to that last arc, and the final arc here will feature Man-Bat, who has gone through all sorts of changes in Detective. That doesn't mean anything to this issue in particular, but I'm just illustrating the point, because the whole silent thing was already done by Batman and Robin this year (well, considering this issue did technically come out in 2013). The thing about the Batman and Robin story was the fact that it was deeply personal to Batman, so the silence was used to a great effect, meanwhile this story is just more straightforward, and doesn't really have as much as an impact. Again, it's a fine story, but it's just diminished by the fact that something similar, and better had been released only a few months ago.

The Bottom Line: 

This issue set out to do something very specifically, and it accomplished that. The art has no problems portraying a story with no dialogue, there's no denying that. The only thing that really takes away from it is the fact that a similar, more personal story has been told with Batman, using the same schtick, and that one did it better. It's unfortunate, because while this is generally a good issue, it just perpetuates this title following in the wake of the other Bat titles.


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