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Author: John Bierly
August 22, 2009

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BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #3
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Bruce Wayne is dead…long live Bruce Wayne! Gotham's favorite son has miraculously returned, promising to lead his city into a new golden age. But while Wayne devotes his limitless fortune to rebuilding Gotham City, he fights violent opposition from Batman, Robin and a host of DC Universe heroes!"


In the previous issue of STREETS OF GOTHAM, Dr. Thomas "Hush" Elliot -- whose evil machinations became the stuff of legend in DETECTIVE's recent "Heart of Hush" storyline (Read BOF's review HERE) escaped to unleash some financial havoc on the Wayne family fortune. But not in the way you might expect. Part of Tommy's big plan involved giving himself Bruce Wayne's face via the best plastic surgery evil can buy, and now he's trying to give away all of Bruce's money under the guise of being a humanitarian. And as Tommy tells our new Batman and Robin -- Dick Grayson and Tommy's chess partner, Damian Wayne -- during an early, action-packed shakedown, he's going to do so in ways that give a middle finger to the Wayne legacy while still duping the innocent citizens of Gotham into thinking he's all kinds of swell.

But Dick and Damian have other ideas.

Well, sort of. Damian wants to eat Tommy's liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, but Dick has a better plan in mind -- a plan that's 100% Dick Grayson and all the more awesome for it. I won't spoil the specifics, but it involves turning Tommy's plan back against himself while still maintaining emotional and financial gains for Gotham City. Expect some exciting guest stars to give Dick some backup.

Meanwhile, The Penguin brings knife-nut Victor Zsasz to Black Mask for a meeting that can't possibly turn out well for the good (and maybe not even the bad) citizens of Gotham. Though I'm not quite sure where writer Paul Din is going with this, I do have a feeling he's planning to reinvigorate Mr. Zsasz here just as he previously did with Hush and Firefly. (Dustin Nguyen continues to be my favorite comic s artist, but I think Victor could have used lots more hatch-mark scars on his bald noggin.)

This issue isn't anything like I expected it to be. I thought Hush's spending of Bruce Wayne's fortune would go on a bit longer, and I wanted to see some more scenes of Hush trying to mentor Damian away from Dick. But I'm also pleased that Dini showed just how effectively Dick is able to turn any situation to his favor -- with results that benefit the entire city. Well played. Again, my only disappointment is the seeming end to the intriguing possibilities of Damian seeing in Tommy what his own father might have been with fewer rules.

The Manhunter backup builds on last issue's grisly cliffhanger and creates the best possible monster-movie forest chase it can in just the few pages it has to work with. I really like the Kate Spencer character and continue to enjoy the adventures and investigations of Gotham City's gorgeous new District Attorney.

Even though it carries a $3.99 price tag, and even though I'm already a million miles past sick and tired of waiting for Bruce Wayne's return, STREETS OF GOTHAM continues to be worth every penny. - John Bierly

Indiana native John Bierly started writing for publications when he was 17 and never stopped.
His favorite things in life are family and friends, concerts, burgers, Mountain Dew, and of course...
...THE BATMAN!
You can read his blog at JOHNBIERLY.COM.

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