New 52 Batman #5 is when Batman finally reaches his destination, Crazy Town! Not sure exactly how many roofies the Talon slipped into his drink. But The Dark knight seems to be having a lot of trouble keeping it together. The court of owls did try to break the Bat physically by blowing him up. Since that didn’t work, it seems that they are now going to try and break him mentally.
The issue begins on the rooftop of the GCPD. Jim Gordon still awaits Batman arrival. He speaks to Harvey who seems very concerned about the globe of the Bat-Signal. He mentions that it’s been a week now and it will be dead soon. An obvious symbolic representation of Batman in his current situation. Jim Gordon, with whatever hope he has left, tells Harvey he needs it on. No, because he’s trying to call Batman. But because the Bat-Signal is what inspires him and everyone within the Bat-family to keep searching for Batman and to not give up hope.
We see the Batman trying very hard to stay in the dark, out of sight within the maze. He stumbles upon a fountain with a massive owl statue at the Centre. He cautiously drinks the water knowing that it could be laced with something. Harvey did mention a “week” so it’s possible that Batman is in the labyrinth for over a week now without food or water and is currently in a weakened mental and physical state.
Still in the Labyrinth!
He explores the labyrinth beaten up and with his suit in a mess. He stumbles upon a room with a camera and a whole lot of picture frames on the wall. And another room filled with red coffins with children’s photos on them and a room with a weird looking ship. He comes across an old couple who turn out to be his parents. He talks to them for a short while, all excited. They then turn into owls and attack him.
Batman moves on and comes back to the room with all the photo frames. He notices his picture on the wall. A picture that was just taken a few moments ago. While he’s freaking out and shouting at himself, the Talon creeps up behind him and runs his knife through the back of Batman! It is a truly frightening and shocking image. The first time we see Batman in this series being beaten. Is this the end of Batman?
Back at the GCPD, the globe of the Bat-Signal goes out just the way Harvey predicted. Out of no were a voice insists that they get a new one. The voice is from Damian Wayne (Robin). The light going out is symbolic of the Batman going down. Damian demanding a new bulb symbolizes hope towards finding Batman.
The Bat-Signal Will Stay On
A really great issue which showcases the art and writing talents of 2 men who initially found it difficult to work with each other. They both really gel in this issue and it seems that they found a style that they both enjoy. Some of the pages were printed sideways and upside down. In what seems like a misprint was actually intentional by DC. It was done this way to truly express the disorientation that was felt by batman.
It felt a lot like Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum comic in which the storyline was as sadistic as the art. A graphic interpretation of insanity. It was also very close to the Arkham Asylum game during the Scarecrow sequences. Batman issue 5 Face the Court Part 2 is another issue short of action, but the action is not missed at all. The Visuals and story structure are an absolute treat and will be remembered for that.
This issues standout image has to be the haunting image of the Talon getting the Jump on The Dark Knight and stabbing him from behind. The image is intended to be upside down in order to show the disorientation felt by Batman. This is due to him being stuck within the Labyrinth for about a week without food. All he had was water which might have been laced with something to cause Batman to be disorientated.