Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Cameron Stewart
Batman versus Zombie Batman. What else do you need?
Here ends the Blackest Knight story arc. Previously, Dick decides that the world needs the one true Batman (sorry Terry McGinnis fans), so he takes the supposed Batcorpse to jolly old England where there’s a magical multi-use Lazarus Pit. Confirming what everyone has known since the end of Final Crisis, the corpse isn’t really Bruce Wayne, so it resurrects as a twisted, crazed version that makes its way to Gotham. Dealing with it becomes the focus of this issue.
This issue sets out to accomplish two points, and it does that well. One, it shows Damian is still a tough little badass brat even when crippled. Two, and more importantly, it provides more set up for the return of Bruce Wayne. This may prove to be a key turning point in the title towards the eventual return of Bruce later this year, and it feels like a natural conclusion for the characters to reach at the end of this book.
Morrison does well in including little moments of superhero campiness for humor, from Dick’s excitement for a team up with Batwoman to Batwoman wondering what connection there could be between Zombie Batman and Bruce Wayne. Not as much as Dick had hoped.
There are a couple of dialog issues though. I’m not a big fan of heavy phonetic dialog, which is everything Zombie Batman says. Given the jumbled mind of the character, it makes sense that his words would be as well. What doesn’t make sense is that his words would be spelled differently while sounding the same. When something becomes hard to read, it becomes a distraction from the story.
My other dialog issue is a seemingly forced delivery of Dick referring to Tim by full name. These guys are essentially brothers. Both he and the readers know there is a familiar enough relationship to stick to first names. After all, when’s the last time you referred to your brother by first and last name.
Generally decent art, but not really anything more. Stewart does a softer, rounder and slightly less detailed version of Frank Quitely’s Batman and Robin, and for the most part, it works. Damian looks a bit chubby, but that could understandably just be swelling.
Nice attention is paid to Zombie Batman’s continued decay. He just keeps getting worse from a natural decay and the constant abuse he gets in fights.
The panel placements get oddly crooked at points, probably to represent hectic movement and combat, but it can be distracting in contrast with the more standard grid-like layout. It does lead to a neat and interesting layout for the Batman and Batwoman team-up fight.
All in all, a decent issue with relatively few problems. Plus a Zombie Batman, which I doubt anyone’s zombie apocalypse survival plans are prepared for.
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10