It’d be easier just to kill them all.Alfred Pennyworth
Written by: Warren Ellis
Pencils by: Bryan Hitch
Inks by: Kevin Nowlan
Colours by: Alex Sinclair
Letters by: Richard Starkings
Cover by: Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover by: Jeehyung Lee
Release Date: October 9, 2019
Hot off the finishing his run of The Wild Storm, Warren Ellis kicks off into a new maxi-series featuring everyone’s favourite caped crusader. Joined by Bryan Hitch, Kevin Nowlan, and Alex Sinclair for artwork – we start the series with a classic detective case with an enticing Ellis Twist.
We open to Alfred Pennyworth, tending to the Wayne family grave plot, mulling over memories. Elsewhere in Gotham, we see Batman taking down two skinhead criminals attempting to kill GCPD Officer John Nguyen, who is out with his family. Bat’s thwarts their attempt and continues home, only to be alerted to multiple 911 calls coming from a nearby location. Bat arrives at the apartment complex; he finds neighbours of a unit with a wretched smell, have called with concern for the resident inside. He inspects the apartment and finds newspaper clippings of The Batman adorned on the wall, the unit clean as a whistle, and the corpse of the resident dressed in a full suit lying on their bed. Bat’s scanned the room for later and get’s GCPD to finish up. Bat’s gets back to the cave and chats with Alfred about the morality of his work. Alfred goes so far as to suggest Bruce buy Gotham and kill all the criminals. Bruce writes him off and continues his investigation of the corpse he found earlier. After a series of deductions concerning the crime scene, he is shaken and alerted to something he missed. Rushing back to the scene of the crime, throwing the bed aside and checking under the floorboards, we see another person waiting there for Bats.
A wonderous craftsman Ellis nails Batman’s M.O. and starts us off on familiar footing. Alfred is tending to the past, and Batman is protecting Gotham, investigating a death, and using the tools he has available at his disposal to solve it. However, he gives it a little twist to this story that makes it uniquely his own. This series will be one I anxiously await the release of each issue.
Hitch has always been a heavy hitter, and Nowlan and Sinclair compliment his work. We have a beautiful page spread of Batman overlooking Gotham, excellent profiles of characters and intense action panels where Batman’s beatdowns felt in our bones. A dynamite artwork team.
Thought it might start as a cookie-cutter storyline, The Batman’s Grave quickly twists and turns into a demon of its own – we have no control, we’re just along for the wild ride that awaits.