Comic Book Review: Batman and the Signal #3
Gotham during the day truly is a different kind of world of its own. It’s hard to believe that it really took the emergence of the Signal to get this kind of experience. There’s only so long you can go before someone stepped up to protect Gotham out in the light and in public. Some of the best world-building we have gotten in this mad city since the threats have finally evolved beyond the normal creatures of habit that stalk the night.
Speaking of a mad city, that was exactly where we left off in Batman and the Signal #2. It didn’t take too much time at all for crap to hit the fan. The Bat-Family jumping into action to help the Signal against the mysterious Gnomon and his minions was worth the wait for the scale of the situation in general. I would say that this outbreak of metas in Gotham in more ways than one beats out the disaster that was the second Speed Force storm hitting Central City a while back.
The good thing about this mystery to Signal being a key, is that there’s no clear way of knowing exactly why. We are pretty much in the dark as much as him or anyone else involved. The tension stirred over this does fit for Duke since there is something about this craziness that could be cleared up to him and is not. This was the best time to have that devil on his shoulder forcing him to question what is genuine. Gnomon never wasted the opportunity to get inside of Duke’s head which is unfortunate one of the more effective ways in controlling him. Everything about the vagueness to his intentions and motivations went a long way when everything about this madness centers around a purpose that Signal has and can’t understand. That would nag at anyone who isn’t prepared to be the center of attention to this extent. Now the big question since the introduction of Gnomon has been why everything about his tech and look compliment Signal’s. Someone like that doesn’t come out of nowhere without a true connection.
With that said, I was a little broken that so much was unresolved for Duke. He found purpose in this finale, but there was no huge takeaway from this story. When it comes to heroes like Signal, chances like this don’t come often for an ongoing, let alone a miniseries. When that chance arises, there should be some progress or evolution for the character. Especially when you reveal such a startling possibility about who Duke is and what was set in stone for him at birth.
My main problem with the series that only hit me now was the fact that this is called Batman and the Signal. Only so much time could pass before Batman had a stronger presence. However, that didn’t mean that Batman being a big part of this didn’t hurt the story if your investment was in Signal. This was his tie to be able to stand on his own two feet without too much reliance on anyone else, mainly Batman. I felt more comfortable with the part that Detective Aisi had to play since this was a different kind of partnership that was developing. Gordon had his own process in accepting help from Batman, but Aisi is someone who has been through the ringer to know when outside help is to be appreciated.
The artwork for this mini was what I found the most appealing and consistently. There was only a few issues I ever had with the art, and after that problem was cleared up, I enjoyed how engaging this story could be visually. Particularly when it came to exploring Duke’s powers. Every scene where Duke was showing off what he is able to see was creative. The way they capture what is seen from his perspective was pretty cool for the use of colors that would represent light seen through a lens and the reflection of it. Heroes who have this kind of power can be hit or miss depending on the artist, but I dare say they nailed the execution. Taking that excitement a step further was what we were able to experience when two people with the same power clash. It wouldn’t be too action-packed of an encounter, but the effect more than makes up for it. That aside, credit where it is due that there could be so many objects being drawn in a single panel without sacrificing quality. What we got was a lot of different people with some wild powers and mutations.
Batman and the Signal #3 was a good conclusion to the introduction of the hero Gotham needs during the day. Some developments did leave me wishing for a bit more from the Signal, and you never know when the next time will be that you see a hero like Signal. He may appear in another Bat-Family book, but there was so much left unanswered that you would have hoped to have addressed to some extent by the end.