It’s odd seeing Batman working with his own Suicide Squad instead of the Bat Family, but considering what happened to Tim Drake, it makes sense. Bruce isn’t willing to sacrifice his own people to capture Psycho-Pirate and fight Bane—and he requires darker individuals who’ll break laws and cross lines. The question is, can they be trusted? We review Batman #11.
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]oving away from the bizarre tone of issue #10, Batman #11 is a more straightforward rescue mission plot, where every member of the team is assigned a task. Catwoman and Ventriloquist search for Psycho-Pirate, while Bronze Tiger delivers Punch and Jewelee to Bane as sacrificial offerings. Batman’s role is unclear in all of this as he waits in the ceiling vent to provide further instructions to his team.
As expected, things don’t go according to plan and there’s a big double-cross that jeopardises the mission. However, I’m calling it as a definite red herring that was part of Batman’s plan all along. Remember Tom King’s run on Grayson where nothing was as it seemed and everyone crossed one another? Yeah, that.
Batman #11 is an improvement over the previous issue. Is it as good as the incredible issue #9? Not quite, but the story moves at a faster pace and there’s a certain familiarity to it—it’s safer and feels like a Batman story. This isn’t saying writers shouldn’t experiment and try different angles, but to diverge too far from the Caped Crusader’s tone and appeal will result in head-scratching issues, such as Batman #10.
On the negative side, Punch and Jewelee just aren’t working. Both characters feel like cheap cons, stealing many of the Joker and Harley’s traits from Batman: The Animated Series. It’s understandable why Joker and Harley weren’t utilised in this arc, but these two wild cards are knockoffs that add zero value. Hopefully, they’re sacrificed and killed off quick.
‘I Am Suicide’ has been topsy-turvy so far, but it ain’t over until the fat lady sings. Mikel Janin hasn’t faltered once from his side, serving up a smorgasbord of eye candy, so now it’s up to King to produce the goods consistently. Judging by the conclusion of ‘I Am Gotham’, I’m putting my faith in him to do so.