By: Matthew Rapier

On the hunt for a captured Commissioner, Batman finds himself in fisticuffs with several ‘cut & paste’ faced Joker individuals who are no doubt the work of his newly introduced nemesis, the Dollmaker. What would normally be an easy win for Batman has become a struggle as he and the Jokers are being controlled by strings attached to their bodies.

Gordon reveals to Olivia that he knew the Dollmaker wanted Batman lured there to put him in the current situation, but had to take a chance. One of Dollmaker’s assistants tells him that someone else has offered double the price for Batman, but with him alive instead of dead. Dollmaker agrees to the deal as long as his body is returned within one  hour of the death.

Batman struggles to escape from the restraints and realizes they are a Wayne Corp design, which means Dollmaker has a connection inside his company. He is able to easily free himself and deduces that the new buyer is the Penguin. Bentley is instructed to take care of Olivia and Gordon while everyone else makes their escape. Gordon keeps Bentley away at gun point until Olivia stabs him in the back with a knife. Olivia then tells Gordon she isn’t afraid of anything before breaking into tears. 

As Batman reaches Dollmaker’s car to apprehend him, the vehicle explodes sending him through the air. After collecting himself, Batman realizes it’s another trick and that the bodies in the car were just plastic mannequins. Back at GCPD, Harvey Bullock stares at the skin of Jokers face they have been holding which will soon be removed from the police station.

Greg Capullo has been getting a lot of love for his work over in the regular ‘Batman’ title and rightfully so. All of the bat family books have really strong art in each of them, but I personally enjoy Tony Daniel’s the best. It’s impressive to me that he is handling the art so well while writing for the same book. From issue one I assumed the art would decline steadily as the story progressed, but he has been as constant as any other artist out there. While Peter J. Tomasi and Scott Snyder are penning the stories that I like more, Tony Daniel can pat himself on the back for putting in such a great effort to create his story.

Overall Grade: 8/10

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