Harley Quinn and Jim Gordon are missing. Several severed heads fill the streets as Joker-like creatures scour the streets of Gotham preying upon the innocent. Batman and the Joker are mortal enemies, but they now have a common enemy that challenges both of them to work together.

Can the caped crusader and the clown prince of crime set aside their differences long enough to survive the army of creatures, and save their friends before it’s too late?

Marc Silvestri is a fantastic illustrator and has illustrated and written many books under his company, Top Cow. This time he returns to the world of Gotham to create an out-of-continuity tale that teams the Caped Crusader with the Clown Prince of Crime! What’s fascinating about this book is the way Silvestri writes the cast of characters, whether it’s Batman, Alfred, Harvey Bullock, The Joker, and others, he’s able to perfectly distill who these characters are within just a few pages. Usually in American comics, whenever an illustrator is writing a mainstream superhero book, it can be hit or miss, and thankfully, given Silvestri’s sensibilities, he manages to preserve what readers and audiences have come to know with the cast of characters despite it being an out of continuity tale, which gives freedom to explore things that the mainstream titles wouldn’t afford to do. Silvestri introduces an interesting mystery and antagonist that garners a lot of questions, while also making the villain mysterious and interesting by giving very little away. It’s a fast-paced issue that feels balanced where it needs to, and kinetic when needed.

Silvestri is on top of his game and it’s no surprise that any of the image founders would say that of them all, they hold Silvestri as the best out of all of them with reverence and respect. Silvestri never seems to phone in any of the pages that he’s illustrated, and could’ve easily done so given the nature of being a high-profile illustrator. But the effort and love for making such a book is shown all over the pages. Whether it’s the layouts, the crosshatching, the character rendering, the action, the entire book is beautiful to look at. There’s such a gothic beauty to the book that gives character to Gotham and the world that Batman and the Joker inhabit. And paired with Arif Prianto as the color artist on this book, along with Troy Peteri’s solid lettering, the art team succeeds in crafting a wonderfully textured book that is worth buying for new comic book day.

By Anthony Andujar Jr.

Anthony Andujar Jr. is an NYC cartoonist and lover of comics and music. So much so that it led him to writing comic book reviews in between it all.