Batman continues to hunt the creature attacking Gotham’s underworld criminals, but to no avail so far. More sadistic action from Garth Ennis and Liam Sharp.
As this is an unmistakably Garth Ennis take on Batman, we get a Dark Knight who uses his intelligence for not just solving crimes, but to also get the most out of his prey. In the opening pages of this second issue, for instance, Batman has informed the Gotham PD that the Penguin is in dire need of help, but has given them the wrong floor so he can have more time with him. Batman the sadist has always been a thing, it’s just never been allowed to be explored with such zeal as it can be under the DC Black Label banner. Even his language reflects his disdain for his foes, with Oswald Cobblepot – already in great pain – being slurred as a “useless little gargoyle.” And, his predilection for violence towards his rogues gallery doesn’t ever give up. He really has a very, very low opinion of them all. Especially Killer Moth. You’ll get that last one if you’ve picked up a copy, trust me.
But, back to the central mystery of who, or what, is hunting the criminals of Gotham City. Batman may have competition as Gotham’s number one apex predator. And like any great “monster movie” the big reveal is teased through the dialogue, but we still have yet to see this creature that makes Killer Croc look “Like somebody’s pet turtle.”
Liam Sharp’s art here is another tour de force utilising colour and digital painting to create a Gotham City that is rusty, dark and malevolent. A suitable backdrop for the very gothic and menacing story. It’s a story where there are only different shades of cruelty, and Batman isn’t innocent of this himself.
Batman: Reptilian #2 is out now from DC Comics/DC Black Label