Connect with us
Batman: City of Madness #2
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Batman: City of Madness’ #2 is absorbing and well written

Batman must defeat the Batman Below, but how?

Batman: City of Madness #1 was one of the best first issues of the year. The three-issue DC Black Label series gets its second chapter this week, further revealing the Gotham of Below and what Batman must do to save his city. It’s a second issue that gets a lot of key pieces in place for what will be a must-read finale.

Christan Ward does a lot of smart things to keep your interest up, delving into different key rogues while laying the groundwork for an epic finale. This issue could have easily been all table setting, but instead, we get his take on the Ventriloquist, more on Two-Face, and even Clayface. I won’t spoil some of the reveals, but let’s just say Two-Face is on a journey of his own. The idea of a third personality is explained in a way that connects him directly to Batman’s fight against a cosmic horror Gotham that resides underneath Gotham’s streets.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

The biggest surprise is the Ventriloquist, who ends up having a deep connection to Batman’s journey. You won’t see it coming, but it’s deeply impactful when he drops the connection. It helps justify why Batman goes it alone while humanizing Ventriloquist. Really, all the villains end up getting great writing, humanizing them and making you relate to their perspectives. It’s so good I thought to myself more than once, “Can this be canon? I want this to be canon.”

Speaking of humanizing, Ward continues to write Alfred in a compelling way. He’s still worried sick as he was in the last issue, but now that extends to Batman’s lifestyle while bringing others in, like Nightwing. You get the sense Alfred is practically in an unhealthy relationship due to the vigilante work the Bat family is up to.

Batman: City of Madness #2

Batman is not going to take his bs.
Credit: DC Comics

This series is pricier at $6.99, but it also feels like a steal thanks to how much Ward fits into the book. Extra-sized at 43 pages, I kept turning the page expecting to find the cliffhanger, but it kept going. There is a lot of creativity via layouts, but also artistry. The ghostly form of Court of Owls members hovering in front of a cityscape may make you linger longer than usual, and how he draws the Batman Below keeps your attention. There’s just so much to take in I can easily see people reading this more than once.

Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou are also exceptional. The scene with Flamingo adds a nice flair to his word balloons, and the Batman Below doesn’t even have them in a sickly greenish-yellow font. The lettering suits a story like this that’s filled with a lot of characters, but also new ones with twisted backgrounds.

There are a couple of minor things that don’t quite work. Flamingo seems sort of stuffed in, just because, for instance. The way Nightwing enters the issue is comical as he’s stiff as a board flying through a window. It’s a bit nitpicking, to be honest, since there’s so much good on the page.

Batman: City of Madness #2 continues to be an exciting adventure with great writing and eye-popping art. This is an engaging read with a lot of “wow” factors and characters to empathize with every step of the way.

Batman: City of Madness #2
‘Batman: City of Madness’ #2 is absorbing and well written
Batman: City of Madness #2
Batman: City of Madness #2 continues to be an exciting adventure with great writing and eye-popping art. This is an engaging read with a lot of "wow" factors and characters to empathize with every step of the way.
Reader Rating2 Votes
8.5
Fantastic writing of every character
Hits at home the near-trauma Alfred is under
Villains are masterfully written
Is never boring even though its doing a lot to set up the finale
Minor things like Flamingo being in the book at all, or how Nightwing enters the story
9.5
Great
Buy Now

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today
Comments

In Case You Missed It

Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #1's cover Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #1's cover

‘Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age’ #1 veers away from Gotham

Comic Books

X-Men Monday #255 - The Jordan D. White X-It Interview X-Men Monday #255 - The Jordan D. White X-It Interview

X-Men Monday #255 – The Jordan D. White X-It Interview

Comic Books

EXCLUSIVE: 'Epitaphs from the Abyss' #3 and 'Cruel Universe' #2 scares up impressive creatives EXCLUSIVE: 'Epitaphs from the Abyss' #3 and 'Cruel Universe' #2 scares up impressive creatives

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Epitaphs from the Abyss’ #3 and ‘Cruel Universe’ #2 scares up impressive creatives

Comic Books

X-Men Monday Call for Questions: Jed MacKay & Ryan Stegman for 'X-Men' #1 X-Men Monday Call for Questions: Jed MacKay & Ryan Stegman for 'X-Men' #1

X-Men Monday Call for Questions: Jed MacKay & Ryan Stegman for ‘X-Men’ #1

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup