• DC: January 2011 - $3.99

Dick (Batman) Grayson is hot in pursuit of William Rhodes – a member of a villain inspired auction service, the Mirror House. But alas, during this pursuit, William panics and crashes his car into a ditch, seemingly perishing in the subsequent explosion. Prudently, some time later, Oracle shrouds William’s death so that Dick can use his identity to investigate the dubious organisation he is connected with more thoroughly. But before he does this, he equips himself with a state of the art mask, designed by Lucas Fox – and has word with Harvey Bullock, to see what the police’s angle to this whole ‘Mirror House’ affair. Harvey confirms Batman’s suspicion that this ‘underground auction house’ has been in existence for quite a long time, whilst Batman confirms to Harvey that this organisation is not just located in Gotham, but has a much grander reach. Next, Dick disguises himself as William Rhodes, and then successfully enters the location of the next auction, Gramercy Row. Once inside, he has to wear a gas masks and then walk into a large emporium, where the auctioneer, called Etienne, explains to the many people within, that this emporium is filled with a poisonous gas, and that all involved have to keeps their masks on – 1) to preserve their secrecy – and 2) for the fun of it. He then goes on to commence his auction, elaborating briefly on the crow bar that the Joker used to beat Robin with, before unveiling that William Rhodes is the Batman, offering him to the crowd as if he were a piece of meet. On top of that, his mask is unfiltered, and he is succumbing to the effects of the gas in the room. In the back up feature, Gordon Vs Gordon Vs Gordon – say no more.

Nice – the status quo on this book is really kicking it into gear. The art is moody, the plot is clear, and the overall execution is nourish in tone, and suspenseful in nature. For a start, Jock’s pencils really add depth to the feel of this book, elevating it into a mystery and not just a bold punch-em-up quest. Then theirs Snyder’s characterisations, making Dick more of an everyman type Batman, and not just a clone of his predecessor. If their was a slight drawback with all this, it’s that Jock’s art doesn’t capture Dick’s more acrobatic stance as an adventurer, making his poses seem somewhat angular in style and content. But apart from that, I can’t really criticise this creative teams effort’s on this title. If anything, this title seems to be growing from strength to strength, as the suspenseful nature that it places Dick in, is sometimes a wonder to behold. I find myself gripping the pages from one panel to the next, wondering how Dick is going to get himself out of the predicament that they have placed him in. So I say three cheers to Jock and Snyder, may their reign on the book be a long one.