The League of Shadows is good at two things: 1. Hiding in shadows. 2. Slitting your throat. Last issue, the League took the fight to Batman and his compatriots right in the streets, which isn’t customary to the League, but it certainly created chaos. This issue aims to finish that fight–is it good?
Detective Comics #962 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“League Of Shadows” part three! Batman’s team faces the League of Shadows, which believes in only one thing: complete and utter destruction! The League’s plan for the city is revealed…but can even that secret compare to the bombshell that is the identity of Cassandra Cain’s mother?
Why does this book matter?
The identity of Cassandra’s mother is to be revealed, Batman faces an entire army, and his somewhat new team may not be ready for what’s to come. James Tynion IV has certainly raised the stakes pretty damn high!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
You know, walking around in public with that cloak is not very “League of Shadows” like.
Artists Christian Duce, Fernando Blanco, John Rauch, Allen Passalaqua and Alex Sinclair share art duties on this issue which is usually a bad sign, much like movies with too many screenwriters. Fortunately, the art meshes quite well between the five artists and comes together nicely. Blanco’s art is the most starkly different from the others, but his is used in a flashback which suits the visual change.
Speaking of Blanco, his opening pages are great and quickly convey the calm and chaotic mayhem Cassandra’s mother can bring to an army very quickly. This visually sets up the full on war going on in Gotham when the scene transitions which certainly makes their chances seem slim at best. The art here is detailed, with a thinner line, and the rest of the book visually suits the more dialogue heavy moments.
Damn! She bad.
Storywise, Tynion IV sets up Cassandra’s mother well in the opening pages and has her directly confront her daughter later. She’s like Ra’s Al Ghul, only apparently more vicious, and it’ll be interesting to see how she develops. Hell, she can put Batman in an arm lock like nothing so she’s formidable indeed. It’s easy to say Tynion IV has set this villain up in a way that’ll make you want more.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Once again, it’s hard to believe cops are ready to kill Batman and his bat-friends when being set up has had to have happened twenty times already.
Much of the rest of the issue is recapping what we already knew–Batman is wanted for killing the mayor–or setting up the stakes of Cassandra’s mom being in town as very bad for heroes. Later, Batwoman’s speaks to her father for two whole pages and these pages don’t translate much. After the exciting opening and action packed middle the book seems to be treading water to reach its finale and save more for the next issue.
Is It Good?
Exciting and action packed, Tynion IV and the artists on this book capture the wartime nature of the story and set up the stakes quite well. Fans of Cassandra will be on the edge of their seat as her mother truly is a formidable foe indeed.
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