REVIEW: ‘The Batman’s Grave,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Batman’s Grave #2

The Batman’s Grave #2 (of 12), published by DC Comics, is written by Warren Ellis, with pencils by Bryan Hitch, inks by Kevin Nowlan, colors by Alex Sinclair, and letters by Richard Starkings. The issue picks up exactly where the previous left off as Batman comes face-to-face with Eduardo Flamingo in Vincent Stannik’s apartment. Flamingo’s appearance is just the tip of the iceberg as the investigation leads Batman to Bobby Turton, a corrupt assistant DA who, after blackmailing his way out of criminal charges, was able to open his own private practice and become incredibly wealthy, relatively speaking at least when compared to Bruce Wayne. As Batman delves further and further into the investigation, Alfred becomes more concerned at how much he continues to push himself.

The opening fight scene with Eduardo Flamingo, despite spanning multiple pages, is incredibly fast-paced. Before being able to apprehend him, Flamingo puts up a hell of a fight, even against the Dark Knight. Following that opening, the action of the book dies down considerably, with the main focus being Bruce’s unwillingness to take a break and just how much that terrifies Alfred.

Most Batman comics show Alfred as an unwavering figure in Bruce’s life. Alfred’s strength is part of what has not only kept Batman alive but kept him hungry for justice in his crusade. However, in The Batman’s Grave #2,  Alfred is falling apart as much as Bruce. He drinks, so much that he wakes up hungover, and begs Bruce to even take a night off to drink with him instead of once again going out to fight the scum of the city.

Compared to the previous issue, this one does not hint at Bruce’s life-ending nor do we see the thoughts and visions of Vincent Stannik within Bruce’s head. While Alfred is still upset, he feels a bit out of character. Instead of further exploring Bruce’s mortality in relation to the murder mystery, The Batman’s Grave #2 seems to forget a lot of themes it initially set up in the debut issue of the series.

That being said, this is a 12 issue series, so only time will tell just how many threads get tied up by the end. While Ellis is showing an Alfred I haven’t seen before, or at least haven’t seen for a while, I can’t say I enjoy the take on the character. Alfred’s reliance on alcohol and his inability to be upfront with Bruce is a far cry from the blunt but caring British butler. Additionally, Hitch struggles with close-ups of Bruce and Alfred, though he excels at showing the creepy and unsettling nature of Eduardo Flamingo.

The Batman’s Grave #2 is not a bad comic but compared to its previous issue, it falls short. That being said, I look forward to the remainder of the series and seeing how much of both Bruce and Alfred’s psyche Ellis is able to explore.

The Batman’s Grave #2 is available now in comic book stores everywhere and online.

The Batman’s Grave #2
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TL;DR

The Batman’s Grave #2 is not a bad comic but compared to its previous issue, it falls short. That being said, I look forward to the remainder of the series and seeing how much of both Bruce and Alfred’s psyche Ellis is able to explore.