'Batman' #5 Has The Dark Knight In A Battle He Can't Win


It has all been building to this: one dramatic showdown between Batman and the unhinged superhero Gotham. Do Tom King and David Finch deliver?

Spoilers for Batman #5 below!

Unfortunately, not really. Most issues prior to this point have their share of problems, but overall, managed to keep the story moving forward in a compelling direction. This issue starts strong as Alfred takes center stage to distract Gotham from destroying all of Gotham City. King's witty and sarcastic portrayal of Alfred has been a highlight for these first five issues, and his Alfred doesn't disappoint here as the butler dresses up like Batman in an effort to stall Gotham.

The real Batman does eventually arrive, but unfortunately, he doesn't have much of a plan in terms of solving the situation. He crashes the Batplane (Batjet?) into Gotham and then calls the Justice League for backup.

Apparently, however, Gotham is too strong even for them. It's here that readers at long last get a better explanation of Gotham and Gotham Girl's powers. We won't spoil all the details, but needless to say, Gotham, at least in how he's described in the comic, is nearly unstoppable.

Of course, that hasn't stopped Batman in the past. However, here, Gotham's caped crusader doesn't quite feel like the world's greatest detective. His plans are painfully simple. Crash vehicles into Gotham. Call the Justice League. When none of that works, he basically just hopes that Gotham will only kill him and not the rest of the city. There's no real battle of wits or elaborate strategy. Batman just tries to direct all of Gotham's anger to himself.

Batman's new sidekick Duke Thomas has also had painfully little to do throughout this storyline, and that doesn't change, either. He's mostly relegated to sitting in the Batcave crunching numbers or talking to Gotham Girl. It works well enough, but it would be great to see the character actually go into the field at some point.

Needless to say, Gotham is eventually brought down. The city is saved. However, it's hard to shake the feeling that the details on the events of issue #5, but for now, file this storyline in the underwhelming box.

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