Written by Kevin Smith ; Art by Walt J. Flanagan and Sandra Hope; Cover by Adam Kubert
The first question anyone will ask once they see Kevin Smith’s name attached is whether or not the story will ever finish. Supposedly all 3 issues are done and will be released on time. With that out of the way, this is a very enjoyable Joker story. The Joker is in Arkham and Deadshot has been hired to kill him, so he breaks in to accomplish this for a father who’s son has died from a new designer drug "Chuckles". Before Deadshot can kill him, Onomatopoeia arrives and breaks the Joker out of Arkham and hands him a briefcase full of money. It turns out Maxie Zeus is behind the new drug and there is the inevitable confrontation between he and the Joker resulting in a lot of carnage. I was impressed by the pacing of the story and realize that it has to pay off quickly since it is only a 3 issue mini series. The other really impressive aspect of the book is the art by Walt Flanagan. When I saw his name attached, I had only heard of him from Smith’s films. His artwork is surprisingly solid. I am looking forward to the next issue and have high hopes for the series. It earns 4 out of 5 Bat-Villains.
Written by Paul Dini; Art by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs; Cover by Dustin Nguyen
This is the final part of the "Heart of Hush" storyline which is a tangent to the current ongoing Batman RIP storyline. So far Hush has struck at Robin, Nightwing, and has literally stolen Catwoman’s heart with the help of Mr. Freeze. The story opens with what appears to be Bruce Wayne asking Alfred for help into the cave. Alfred turns on the man and it is revealed Hush has had plastic surgery to look like Batman. Batman arrives and of course there is a fight through the cave incorporating several elements of the trophies. Nightwing and Robin arrive to lend a hand, and Hush attempts to escape only to blow up in the mini Bat helicopter. Catwoman’s heart is restored by Dr. Mid-Nite and she decides to take her own form of revenge against Hush, which is removing the only thing he loves in life: money, with a little help from her friends. Overall nice pacing to the story and we get a little more insight into what brought about Hush’s obsession with destroying Bruce Wayne. The artwork has a slightly muddy feel in some parts and it is clear which parts of the book are drawn by Nguyen and which are drawn by Fridoldfs. Not a bad wrap up to an interesting story. Overall it earns 3 out of 5 Batmen.