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BATMAN: DARK VICTORY #4

Loeb, Sale
Reviewed by JYD

It seems to me that the perfect solution to making this series look even more dynamic than it already does is to release a TPB version solely in black and white. Tim Sale's exploration of shadow, contrast, and light vs. dark has evolved into something stunning. The best example of this so far is in DV #4 when Batman is chasing Soluman Grundy through the sewers. While disgusting (especially the color of the water), if you can eliminate the colors, you'd see what I mean. Even though the colors give it a very noirish 1940s feel to the series (which is one of the things they're going for), I feel like moving back a decade into the realm of pulp 1930s movies wouldnt' be an entirely bad idea. If nothing more it would allow us to see the virgin forms of Sale's artwork.

As to the story--things are getting bad for all of Year One's prime characters. You can't help but wonder if James Gordan, Harvey Dent, or even the B-man himself are up for some trouble. Future characters possible getting their necks strung (remember--I haven't read past 4 yet so don't ruin my thoughts) are, maybe, Merkel, Jefferson Skeevers. Those were all I could think of off the top of my head. I think that the pace to the series is starting to slow down. There was so much packed into #1... How could we expect anyone to keep up that frantic gait so far--not that the story is lacking mind you, it's just that (gasp) we had only a FEW scenes to worry about instead of the sub-plot a page way the series had been going. There are just so many things going on at once to worry about. How anyone can solve the mystery is beyond me.

My theories? Porter's love is Mario Falcone--I think there's a Harvard connection b/t the two. I'm not even going to venture a guess who Hang Man is--but don't you find it odd that all of the people that have been strung up are bad guys? Makes you wonder if Clancy (from #1) has something from his past that we haven't gotten. I think the key to figuring out who Hang Man is through Clancy--he's the odd man out so far. Maybe there's something from #1 we missed. I don't know what Catwoman's connection to the Roman is. Don't know who stole the Roman's body. Where's Harvey? Who's the inside man in Arkham? Sheesh--we don't know much of anything at all, do we? Not that that's a BAD thing now, is it?

The JYD's grade:
--"Dark Victory" #4--A-
--"Dark Victory" overall--A