The plot is really starting to thicken in the story arc of Batman under his issues within DC Rebirth. Issue #4 deals with the aftermath of the end of Issue #3, with several soldiers dead, apparently at the hands of Hugo Strange and Psycho Pirate who have turned the tables on Hank Clover AKA Gotham and made him a very dangerous and unpredictable weapon with his powers.
Meanwhile his sister Claire AKA Gotham Girl is in The Batcave with Duke Thomas, emotionally and physically shaken from the same ordeal that turned her brother rogue, making it all the more vital that Batman find him as soon as possible.
This book is kind of a sharp 180 from the way the first three issues seemed to be headed and just when we were getting to a point where maybe we could start to trust Gotham and Gotham Girl, especially after what Issue #3 revealed about their origins, now they are, or at least Hank is becoming a major liability and a danger to the city that must be handled at all costs.
From the beginning of this series, Batman has been the greatness that we have come to know and love from him in almost any book, starting with his incredible efforts in Issue #1 to save a crashing plane and continuing all the way into this book when he effectively intimidates Amanda Waller of ARGUS while asking questions about Strange and Psycho Pirate. While we still need to know and determine the extent of Hugo Strange's grand plan for Hank and the city of Gotham, Batman Rebirth has been enjoyable just from a storytelling standpoint, refusing to rely on huge splash pages and big demonstrative actions to carry the day. Tom King is telling a great story here and he has hit some really strong beats that play well to the plot and to certain characters involved within it.
In many ways this book symbolizes the DC Rebirth effort in the first place, signaling a time when a character like Batman returns to his roots as fas as story and creation. This story arc at its core is very human and emotionally engaging, asking tough questions of the reader from the beginning and dealing with subjects such as self-sacrifice, morality, responsibility and emotional bankruptcy. That all seems a bit deep, but that's how good this series has been so far and I only expect it to continue.
If it weren't for James Tynion IV's great work with Detective Comics right now, this would be my favorite Batman series. Then of course, we do have Scott Snyder's All-Star Batman coming. the bottom line is that right now it's a great time to be a Batman fan with the comics.
5 out of 5 - DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH: Batman #4
This series runs twice a month, next issue due on August 17.