Batman vs. Bigby: A Wolf in Gotham #4 – Bill Willingham, Writer; Brian Level, Penciller; Jay Leisten, Inker; Lee Loughridge, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: As we head to the final act of this Batman/Fables crossover, we’re finally at the point where the heroes who have spent most of the series fighting each other team up. Sure, this usually happens a lot faster, but few heroes are as stubborn as Batman or Bigby Wolf. Even in this issue, it takes Bigby trying to crush Batman in his suit of armor and Batman blowing Bigby up—with a small flock of Robins watching—for them to sit down and talk. Once Batman discovers that the mystery detective and the giant wolf are one and the same, they actually start to compare notes and Batman discovers that there are even weirder things in this world than he knew. There is maybe a little too much exposition about the nature of the Fables-verse, but we do get a better perspective of exactly where in this timeline we are and what might be happening back in Fabletown. It also seems to disprove my theory that this IS Fabletown.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions here, namely this bizarre Robin school which comes out of nowhere, and what version of Batman this exactly is. The art is great and the character work is strong, but while it’s good to see Bookworm as the center of a major villain plot, his plan is still sort of hard to follow. He wants to destroy specific books, targets rare book sellers, and may be chasing something that comes from the Fables-verse. But we’re entering the last act, and he’s spent the entire series lurking in the background. It’s interesting to see a crossover between these properties at last and it has the only writer who would work, but it feels more like an odd experiment with interesting results than it does like a true storyline that serves either character. I’m wondering what awaits for the main Fables series revival with Mark Buckingham, so we can see where Willingham’s mind is right now.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.