Script, Art, and Cover Sean Murphy
Colors Matt Hollingsworth
Letters AndWorld Design
Laffy Arkham, a vampire from Gotham children’s folklore, is shown to be vanquished by Lord Wayne. Upon his death, Laffy cursed the land that would be taken from him by his killer. In the present day, Joker is allowed to escape the asylum named after Laffy by its warden. After legislation in Gotham by his sane side known as Jack Napier, Batman is back to being not only a pariah to the public, but for some, he’s public enemy #1. This leaves Bruce in a tough crossroads. Having him contemplate whether or not to continue on as Batman, or reveal himself to the public. Meanwhile, Jean-Paul Valley is told he doesn’t have much longer to live, cancer from his time in the military left him terminal and inoperable. This sends him into a spiral. In which Joker approaches him and convinces him to go after the bat as his holy mantle, Azrael.
Bruce is approached by a mysterious figure, here to warn him of the mistake it would be to reveal his identity. With how much of a staple Wayne Ent. is to Gotham, this would cause an economic collapse in the city and very well undo Bruce’s life’s work. In the book, Bruce found he learns more of his history in Gotham and his connection to the Order of St. Dumas from so long ago. His time to research won’t last very long though, as JP has plans to reignite the order and start a crusade against Bruce, the last remaining Wayne.
I loved this second iteration for this. It took the opportunity to explain some of the background information and worldbuilding. Stories are always better with worldbuilding. Murphy both drawing and writing the book creates a great union between plot and art. The two being so intrinsically linked that they almost move as you read. Making this book a speedy yet fulfilling read.