REVIEW: ‘The Batman’s Grave,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Batman's Grave #3

The Batman’s Grave #3 (of 12)  is published by DC Comics, written by Warren Ellis, with pencils by Bryan Hitch, inks by Kevin Nowlan, colors by Alex Sinclair, and letters by Richard Starkings. Previously, after coming face-to-face with Eduardo Flamingo in Vincent Stannik’s apartment, Batman was able to deduce more about this strange murder mystery including finding a potential lead regarding Bobby Turton, a corrupt assistant DA. However, as Batman delves further and further into the investigation, Alfred becomes more concerned he might end up with a similar fate to the very victim he’s trying to find justice for.

The Batman’s Grave #3 picks up immediately after the previous issues as Batman continues to look into the case, particularly Turton’s death, while in the Batcave with Alfred. After determining Turton’s death was more than likely not a suicide, Batman searches the now-deceased assistant DA’s apartment while waiting for the Batcomputer to decode the rest of Turton’s financial and lab records. However, while in the stately manner, Batman encounters a strange intruder determines to stop the Dark Knight from collecting any further evidence.

The Batman’s Grave #3 features another set of intense fight scenes that last for multiple pages. These pages don’t reinvent the wheel as the panel designs don’t fully allow the scenes to be as dynamic as they could. But overall, Hitch’s art is strongest when he showcases action sequences.

Outside of the fight between Batman and the mysterious intruder, the majority of the book, like the previous issue, is focused on Batman and Alfred as they tear through the casework. Alfred’s concern for Bruce continues to grow, leading him to neglect his own health in order to keep an eye on him. The dialogue between the two from Ellis isn’t bad though much like Hitch’s art, is at times a bit awkward. It also lacks the humor and sarcasm I personally enjoy seeing from the beloved butler/pseudo-father figure.

Another strange addition to the comic is the new messaging being hinted at about smart products, like Amazon’s Alexa, in the home. While in Turton’s home, Bruce steals a Lexicorp’s version of Alexa. After explaining how easy it is to hack, how many microphones and cameras it has, Alfred proceeds to be disgusted people would have such devices in their homes. The idea Alfred doesn’t know this type of product exists seems strange to me, especially considering Bruce admits Lex’s model sold better than Wayne Enterprises’ version, but also because I find it hard to believe that no one in the Batfamily is using a DC Universe approved Alexa. As someone who owns a smart device, I have to admit I am a tad biased and while I absolutely believe a sci-fi story can be created here, Alfred’s immediate victim-blaming is off-putting.

Outside of Alfred’s hatred of smart home devices, The Batman’s Grave #3 also has some potentially concerning implications in regards to psychiatric drugs and seeking mental health treatment. I say potentially because a lot is left to be seen in coming issues. While this wouldn’t be the first Batman comic to treat mental health issues poorly, it still is disheartening to see in 2019. That being said, it is very possible the narrative will better explain the plot point, that I am avoiding for spoiler reasons, in future issues.

Overall, The Batman’s Grave #3 feels like a generic Batman story that is not able to match the hype it created in its first issue. As the story goes on, it is unclear where the elements and themes first teased are. We haven’t seen anything more about Bruce’s morality or even Vincent Stannik’s murder and Bruce’s connection to that tragic death. If you are a huge Batman fan this might be a must for you but there are much better Batman detective stories including Black Mirror, Gotham by Gaslight and even The Long Halloween.

The Batman’s Grave #3 is available now in comic book stores everywhere and online.

The Batman's Grave #3
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TL;DR

Overall, The Batman’s Grave #3 feels like a generic Batman story that is not able to match the hype it created in its first issue.