Night is falling fast in Gotham City, and The Signal is about to find the key to his past.  But which is more dangerous?  Your Major Spoilers review of Batman And The Signal #3 awaits!

Batman And The Signal #3 CoverBATMAN AND THE SIGNAL #3

Writer: Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick
Artist: Cully Hamner
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 25, 2018

Previously in Batman And The Signal: “As the sun sets, chaos erupts and the Bat-Family jumps into action to help the Signal (a.k.a. Duke Thomas) against the mysterious Gnomon and his minions.  While his allies keep the battle going on the streets, Duke must go above and beyond to track down the malicious man who has single-handedly caused the dangerous boom in meta-activity in the Narrows.  Little does he know, Gnomon holds the key to his past and the future of heroes in Gotham City!”

CRACKING THE CODES OF DAYTIME

As this issue opens, The Signal remembers something that his mother used to say: “There’s no mystery in the morning.”  As night falls on the Gotham Narrows, things are getting desperate, with the streets full of metahumans, all chanting his name.  Batman’s information tells him that the villain behind the bit is at one end of the city, while Duke’s senses tell him the opposite, so they split up while the rest of Team Bat fights in between.  Batman runs afoul of a booby trap, while The Signal meets Gnomon in combat, with a little help from Detective Aisi, only to have the villain claim to be his real father.  Duke is shaken by this possibility, but still figures out the weakness in the villain’s methuman-making machinery.  When Aisi turns the tide with a well-placed bullet (“I just aimed for the big circle on his face”), Duke prepares to sacrifice himself, shutting down the machine and falling from the top of the Solar Arc…

IS THIS THE END FOR THE SIGNAL?

It seems like death is inevitable for The Signal, joining…  Well, actually, nobody, as I think all of Batman’s sidekicks are alive currently.  But, suffice to say that the ending works for me and for this story, and Cully Hamner’s art makes even the parts that don’t quite land work.  The Signal’s costume is just plain perfect, making up for the strange design of our villain and making even the scenes of his falling to his doom look just amazing.  (Okay, fine, Batman saves him.  But still, he is willing to sacrifice himself, and that’s what really matters.)  The ending also features the assembled Bat-family and Duke interacting and making it clear that he has a place at the metaphorical table.

BOTTOM LINE: AN ENJOYABLE ISSUE

All in all, this issue is pretty good, reminding me a little bit of the end of ‘Batman Begins’ but not really suffering for it.  I’m a bit puzzled about it being a three-issue limited series, but I presume that The Signal will now be part of the regular Bat-cast in the other books. Either way, Batman And The Signal #3 has some of the most excellent art in recent memory, a solid plot and gives us a lot of story hooks to keep Duke/Signal in the mix, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  They’ve given us the best new member of the cast since Cassandra Cain, now let’s see if they can keep from messing it up…

[taq_review]

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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