Batman: Arkham City #4
We start things off with Batman arriving at Arkham City and jumping right into the line of fire, as Warden Sharp's guards were waiting for him. Once Batman gets away from the guards he hears the man that's really behind Warden Sharp and Arkham City, the man they've yet to reveal as Hugo Strange. It turns out he's cracked the frequency Bats uses in his cowl to talk to Oracle and Alfred and is taunting Batman through it. Strange has also got his task-force trained in to know Batman's fighting style, and their suits even absorb the impact of his explosive gel. When Batman is taking on the task-force, he's saved by a huge armored tank, bring driven by none-other than Catwoman. Once with Catwoman, Batman shuts off his comm link, so Strange can't hear him and Selina talking. Bats asks Catwoman why she's there, and the obvious answer is she's there to steal things. She also mentions running into and helping Poison Ivy, so she'll owe her one. Interesting, I guess that confirms Ivy for the Arkham City game. She mentions how she helped Ivy escape and she's staked out at the Central Gardens, before Batman warns her that even with allies like Ivy, Arkham City is dangerous, before he leaves Selina in her ride. We then see the Joker meeting with a Doctor he's keeping hostage to see if he's healing from the Titan serum, but his vitals are still destabilizing. We then see that Joker asked the Doctor to isolate the toxin from his blood sample, and the doctor hands it over to Joker, I wonder what THAT will lead to. After getting what he needs, The Doctor is led to his death by The Joker, oh you! Meanwhile, Batman attacks a group of guards that are waiting to ambush him, he then takes one and hangs him off the edge of the building, demanding to know who is the main man in charge. The guard tells him the man's name is Hugo Strange, as we cut to Hugo to see him in a room surrounded by monitors of Batman, looking pleased with himself as he promises to become immortal by taking everything Batman has and is, as this issue comes to a close. This was a great issue. We got to see a bit of Joker's plan, Catwoman popped up, we got a hint that Ivy will be in the Arkham City game, and now we definitively know (in the comic) that Strange is the man behind Arkham City. I'll give this issue an 8.5/10 rating.
Batman: Be careful Selina, this isn't a game.
Catwoman: You're telling me. Security has gotten tighter than my catsuit.
Batman Beyond #8
Just so you guys know, it was reported at the DCU Blog that the Batman Beyond series will start again in 2012, but this is the final issue of 2011. So we start this off with Batman fighting a mysterious villain named Inque. Imagine the Venom Symbiote beating up people, and there you go. After getting the best of Batman, Inque shoves herself down some poor guys throat and escapes using his body, until she makes him spit her out. Yeah, it sounds worse than it was. While Batman tries to pursue Inque, we find out a bit about her past. It turns out she was from a poor city and when she was a kid her country had a civil war which destroyed her city. And once her family went poor, they had to turn to the Black Market to sell their possessions, and once they ran out of possessions, the Black Market took Inque, as her parents were left behind to die. Once they made it to America, Inque escaped, and when she got sick she discovered she was pregnant, so she had a will to go on. Once she was offered a chance in an experimental procedure, she accepted, as she had food and shelter, but once they were concerned she would die from the tests, they returned her to the streets. She finally had her child while living in a charity ward and months after, she started to transform into the Inque she is now, so she gave her child to an Orphanage and waited to die, but she didn't. She then decided to use her powers as a service to make cash, and send the cash anonymously to her daughter to make sure she's well taken care of. She eventually revealed herself to her teenage daughter, thinking she'd understand, but she didn't. I actually stopped reading here, I just couldn't get into this issue. I tried but there was nothing endearing about this story that made me want to read about it, especially since it's the last issue of the year for Batman Beyond, it should've at least featured more Terry, some stuff with Dick Grayson or something. I gotta give this a N/A.
Batman: Gates of Gotham #4
Things get started with Red Robin and Robin fighting The Architect. Batman contacts Red Robin and says the Architect;s next target is Kane bridge, and Red Robin mentions he and Damian are fighting him now, so Dick says he and Cass will be right over. The Architect is holding his own against the Robins, but Damian dropkicks him through a load bearing beam which causes the building to come down on top of them. From there we jump to a flashback, and see one of the Gates mourning the death of his brother. He doesn't believe his death was an accident and uses the same suit the Architect now uses to move the rubble underwater to find proof that his brother's murder was premeditated. We then see Alan Wayne telling Nicholas Gates he's sorry about his brother, but Nicholas says he thinks his brother was murdered and asks for Alan's help. Alan tells him he won't because secrets are power and that's something he'd never understand. Yep, Alan Wayne was a bit of a dick. Back in present times, Batman and Black Bat arrive to help Robin and Red Robin but the Architect has already escaped. Red Robin then tells the gang that the Architect plans to blow up the Kane Bridge, which will result in half the city being drowned. While looking for the plans for the bridge, Black Bat comes across Nicholas Gates' diary, and we see another flashback, this time of Gates in the Architect suit attacking Cameron Kane. Robert Kane overhears and shoots Gates in the back, and when Gates grabs Robert by the neck, his suit depressurizes which causes him to lose mobility, but the suit stays choking Robert Kane, who dies soon after. He's soon arrested, but the final lines in his diary say that he doesn't regret what he did, he only regrets he couldn't do more. The issue ends soon after with Batman going to stop the Architect at Kane Bridge, once and for all. This was a fine issue, nothing amazing but far from bad. The only big reveal I could see is that Nicholas is still alive but I doubt that, but I guess we'll see soon enough. I'd give this issue a 7/10 rating.
The Architect: I am the Architect, Gotham's forgotten son, but soon they will remember. (Seems like something Gates would say to me...)
And that's it for me, on a quick edition of Ratings and Rantings. Next week should be interesting as I'll have more books, many of which are the final issues of their runs before the DCnU starts. But that's it for me, feel free to comment and vote on this weeks newest poll, as well as checking out the results of last weeks. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood blogger-man, Jason Todd, signing off.
Last week's poll asked "Which Marvel Hero would you like to see get Spider-Man's powers in Spider-Island?"
Last place with 9.1% - Captain America, Super Soldiers don't need Spider Powers I guess...
Second Place with 18.2% - Tie between the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool and the Gamma Giant, the Hulk
Winner with 54.5% - Wolverine, the best there is at spinning webs, bub.
Next Week on Ratings and Rantings
Batgirl #24 (Sad to see it go), Detective Comics #881, Red Robin #26, Teen Titans #99, War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #2, Morning Glories #11, Amazing Spider-Man #667, and Deadpool #41! Eight comics next week!