Batman Giant #4 – Mark Russell, Steve Orlando, Writers; Ryan Benjamin, Penciller; Richard Friend, Inker; Tom Lyle, Artist; Alex Sinclair, Jeromy Cox, Colorists; Additional Stories by Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo, Greg Rucka/JH Williams, and Tim Seeley/Javier Fernandez
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: With Batman Giant #4, DC is resuming publication after a month off due to the pandemic, and they’re doing it with an unexpected distribution model of some of comics’ biggest retailers sidestepping Diamond.
But with many stores still shut down, they have a modest first-week lineup of two Black Label books and Batman Giant #4 – a giant-sized Batman anthology usually sold in Walmart and through comic book retailers. The Giants line has been a great buy, delivering 100 pages of story with between twenty and forty pages of originals in each issue. And as befitting the company’s flagship character, they’re putting their best foot forward with this issue.
The main story, written by Mark Russell and drawn by Ryan Benjamin, is a high-octane and twist-filled Bat-thriller as Batman is called into service to help Jim Gordon keep a notorious mob lawyer safe so he can testify against his former employers. But a mole on the police force complicates things, and soon Batman is pulled into an intense car chase against corrupt cops, an army of hired assassins, and Harley Quinn – who takes confidentiality VERY seriously, apparently.
It’s a more straightforward, less twisty story than Russell’s stories usually are, but it’s highly entertaining and delivers some excellent action.
The second original story is a short Nightwing tale by Steve Orlando and the late Tom Lyle, who passed away in November. I’m not sure how this was put together or if it was completed before Lyle passed, but it’s a fitting tribute to the legendary artist’s talent. Orlando shows off his talent for characterization in a story that forces Dick to rescue the estranged son of Boss Zucco, putting aside his pain and anger over the murder of his parents. It’s only about eight pages, but it gets Dick’s characterization better than most tales.
For those who haven’t read these iconic runs, there’s also a chapter of the Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo Batman run, the Greg Rucka/J.H. Williams Batwoman run, and Tim Seeley and Fernandez’s Nightwing Rebirth tale. It’s a strong greatest-hits package that works nicely as a way to introduce new fans to Batman’s world.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.