Tam Fox is missing, and Batwing is on the verge of going outright Damian on anyone and everyone who may hold the key to getting her back. Will he be too late, go too far or save the day? Lets see….
We left issue #28 with Tam Fox seemingly being abducted by Luke’s old buddy-turned foe Russell Tavarof, and when we pick up with issue #29 Luke has tied a large number of ruffians to the suspension wires of one of Gotham’s bridges. Batman and Alfred are scrambling to locate Tam while keeping Luke in check. A group of kids find Tam near death in the abandoned Elliot Beach Amusement Park, and it’s revealed that she’s been dosed with a new drug called (lamely) crystaldeath. She’s suffered severe brain damage as a result, and could be left in a vegetative state. Luke returns to the scene and discovers a secret access point to a sprawling underground civilization. The hapless residents are under the thumb of an unseen boss named Anubis, and his henchmen where the same Jackal-head masks of the Egyptian god of the same name. Fighting ensues, and the issue ends with Batwing tied below the water seemingly moments away from being eaten by a giant sea-beast.
This issue was a mixed bag: it’s a necessary plot transition, but did it require the entire issue? I’m certainly interested to see if these new bad guys will be tied into the 1975 appearance of the ‘Sons of Anubis’ issues of The Justice Society, but we’re not given much to hold on to here. Honestly, for me it was the artwork that carried this issue for me. The splash spread that introduces the underground society went up as my computer’s desktop wallpaper almost immediately, and Eduardo Pansica’s pencils were just as strong throughout. It was nice to get an appearance by Batman, Bruce Wayne and Alfred without having them take over the focus of the issue; that’s a deft way to keep the Bat Family connection without diminishing Batwing’s role in his own title.
Overall the plot moved forward, but there wasn’t a lot of new ground covered. In fact, it was almost the opposite of new ground, and you have to start wondering how many abandoned amusement parks and hither-to-unknown subterranean societies one city can support!
Reviewed by Benjamin Scott