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Gotham Underground #7

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2008
By: Marx Pyle

Frank Tieri
Jim Calafiore (p), Jack Purcell (i), Brian Reber (colors)
DC Comics
"Yeah. You won all right... so let me be the first to offer you a great big sunny 'congratulations.' Now here's your prize." Vigilante
It's all out war as Penguin's supervillian gang fights Tobias Whale's mask killers. To top it off, a bunch of Bat-family members join in the fight. Meanwhile, Nightwing awakens in a medical clinic to see Riddler rather than Leslie Thompkins as his savior. Riddler then heads off to the Iceberg Lounge to investigate when things turn... painful after he's discovered. Whale gets captured and decides to team-up with Penguin to take on Intergang. Penguin's gang seems to have won, but then Vigilante pays them a deadly visit. Lucky for them Batman is back, and he ain't happy to see Vigilante killing on his turf.

This miniseries is my favorite Bat title right now, which is odd since Batman doesn't appear (in costume) until the end of this issue, but that's okay with me. The true stars of this miniseries are the villains.

Tieri has brought back all of the underworld crime intrigue that I enjoyed in "War Games." With the gang war, the glimpse of Leslie Thompkins and the mysterious Spoiler, this could almost be considered a sequel to "War Games."

There is a large ensemble cast that Tieri has masterfully controlled giving each enough "air time," while still moving the plot forward. I have found the miniseries to be really entertaining and have enjoyed the (sort of) friendship between Penguin and Riddler, the mask hating Tobias Whale, seeing Batman and Nightwing undercover and Vigilante stopping by to give his "prize" to the gang winners.

This miniseries manages to link to the larger events of the DC universe without seeming like a flimsy excuse to sell more books, although there is perhaps a little camp factor in all the "replacement" villains that Penguin gathered together. But the fact that Spoiler is one of them makes up for it.

One odd thing, I know that the covers of this arc are supposed to link up to form one big cover, but the cover this time has no connection to the story in the issue. Not a big problem. I just found it odd.

Final Word: This is an excellent issue in an excellent miniseries. If you are a fan of any of the Batman villains, then skipping this issue would be a crime.



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