Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artists: Howard Porter & Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
It’s time for the third chapter of Shadow War in just two weeks! Last week’s chapters featured both highs and lows for the event, with Deathstroke Inc #8 being disappointing while Robin #13 brought readers tons of dumb fun. Batman #123 fits in the middle of those two, as questions begin to be answered and the main parties get closer to discovering who killed Ra’s al Ghul.
Like Batman #122, this latest chapter, written by Joshua Williamson, is a bit wordy. It doesn’t matter if it’s Batman and Robin interrogating some guy, Batman Inc deliberating, or Deathstroke and company fighting for survival. Everyone talks a whole in this issue, and while it’s great for giving the readers answers, it does severely slow down the pacing. Fortunately, this dialogue led to a few great moments, especially between Batman and Robin. I’m a sucker for any time that Bruce tries to connect with Damian, and while the two ultimately get nowhere, it’s still nice to see an attempt. The rift between the two is a tiring status quo and is holding back the growth for both characters.
Even with all of the dialogue, Batman #123 is still full of action. The action is entertaining, and Williamson does an excellent job of embracing the ridiculous, especially during a fight between the League and Deathstroke’s camp. Howard Porter‘s style still favors action with the bold lines and kinetic panel transitions. Every action scene is exciting, especially during a Batman and Robin sequence that is fantastically colored by Tomeu Morey and Lettered by Clayton Cowles. During another scene, bullet shell casing fly across panels with giant sound effects, once again adding movement to the art in creative ways. The entire creative team finds moments to shine throughout the issue, but they excel during those couple pages It all comes together to elevate the script and create truly thrilling fights.
While the pacing isn’t perfect, this is a fine addition to Shadow War. It’s worth sticking around for the dynamic art alone, though there are a few genuinely sweet moments throughout as well.
Thanks to some stellar art, Batman #123 is a solid addition to Shadow War.