You know what they say, “Third time’s a charm.” The creative team of Doug Moench and Kelley Jones redeem themselves with issue three after a lackluster performance in issue two, to say the least. Issue three provides us with the answers to the questions that we were asking after the first two issues of this five-part miniseries.
We learn in issue three that this story arc is truly, a story of revenge. Doug Moench brings the characters back to their roots. Issue three also focuses the story more on Batman and his persistence to find the Nigel Glass. We get a clear definition behind both, Nigel Glass and Black Mask’s reasons behind developing an invisible serum. Both men are out to seek revenge on Bruce Wayne. Glass because he is still bitter about being fired from WayneTech, and Black Mask feels that Bruce Wayne stole his’ cosmetic company from him. However, a partnership is never agreed upon and Glass sets off to work alone and unseen. Wayne does a little detective work and learns of Glass’ removal from WayneTech and the reasons why. With this information, Batman is able to anticipate Glass’ next move. Batman is able to catch Glass attempting to kill the director from WayneTech who fired him. This leads to an altercation between the two, which results in Glass escaping. Issue three ends with Glass’s serum wearing off and going back to Black Mask to receive more of it.
I felt that the writing in this issue has been the strongest of the story arc. Moench does a nice job of connecting Glass to Bruce Wayne, and also giving the characters a much more logical approach to why they want to become invisible. However, I do think that Glass’ dialogue throughout the series has been poor, and I still do not see him being a real threat to Batman. I think this story is going to play out much more in Black Mask’s hands then Nigel Glass’. Harvey Bullock also returns in issue three with a good characterization from Moench. However, I still feel this story is ridiculous, poorly written, and not necessary. You do not feel any sympathy with Nigel Glass and he is B-level villain at best.
While I appreciate the uniqueness of Kelley Jones’ artwork, I found it to be quite distracting in issue three. The way that Jones’ draws Bruce Wayne really bothered me throughout the issue. He makes him appear as this giant brute, who reminds me more of Solomon Grundy rather then Bruce Wayne. I do think that Jones’ gothic style does work well with the story and some of his’ over the top character models fit well within the context. I will say that I prefer Jones’ Black Mask to Tony Daniel’s recent interpretation of the character in Batman #692. The art remains solid, and sadly, the high point of the issue.
While I feel that issue three has been the strongest incarnation in the series, the story still remains silly and uninteresting. Doug Moench is just not weaving a storyline that I care about, and the dialogue remains the low point of the series. Moench seems to be trying to write a 1940’s hard-boiled science fiction story that is just not meshing. I’m also starting to understand why Kelley Jones is not anyone’s favorite artist. Jones brings a different and daring approach to the character, but at times it seems to be a little too daring, and doesn’t work within the plot. The best way to describe issue three is; a mediocre book that performs strongly. Do not pick up Batman: The Unseen looking for a diamond in the rough, because you won’t find it.
Batman: The Unseen #3:
Reviewed by Zfactor