Batman: No Man’s Land Volume 3 Review (New Edition) By Deffinition
Batman: No Man’s Land has been one of the most inconsistent arcs that I’ve ever read. For every phenomenal feature on The Dark Knight there was an equally terrible one waiting round the corner. Spanning over years (publication wise) it’s not hard to comprehend that the creative team would have certain lapses. However, the overall quality shown in Volume 2 massively put me off the run and approaching its sequel feels like a chore.
I’m hopeful that this can knock it out the park and recapture my love for The Caped Crusader but there is a lot here that could go wrong. Will No Man’s Land restore my faith or should this be where No Man…should dare…go….look…I’m exhausted and I am putting no effort into the puns at this point.
Anyway, with that out the way let’s dive into Batman: No Man’s Land: Volume 3.
The Long And Winding Road
Upon opening Volume 3 I thought ‘oh here we go.’ It’s no secret that this series is really WAYNEing on me (but the jokes certainly aren’t). However, the initial chapter really caught my attention. Centring around The Dark Knight rescuing ‘The King’, at its heart it’s a story of redemption. Previously a career criminal, The King has changed his ways and decided to help the people of Gotham. Snatched by the claws of Killer Croc, Batman must step into the villains lair and get back Gotham’s new saviour. It kicks off the work brilliantly and really piqued my interest.
Another enthralling introductory segment showcases the new Batgirl defending a gas station from thugs who seek to take the highly coveted fuel from its pumps. Taking place over the space of one night we get an almost ‘Assault of Precinct 13’ level of narrative and it really knocks it our of the park due to its elevated drama and action.
These brilliant openers set the stage perfectly for what’s to come. This is a book about survival on the surface but at its heart it’s a tale of humanity.
As with most of these compendiums we get a lot of subplots involving the side characters. In the past I found these rather banal and lacking in quality. However, here they are interwoven well enough into the main plot as to not be a detriment to the pacing.
We see characters like Tim Drake and Azarael really grow into their own and it really elevates their standing within the Dark Knight family.
The book seems to really hit its stride when Batman discovers a group of civilians that have been enslaved and forced to power generators so that the mob can retain electricity in their sector.
Teaming up with the mysterious Lynx, the chapter is an introspective look at what it takes to be a hero and definitely adds a thought provoking element to the proceedings. Batman iterates that being a hero often doesn’t make you feel good but it’s more taking satisfaction from knowing that you helped someone else which is a brilliant take that I’d never considered when reading the Batman Chronological Canon.
“I am going to run for President”
The Joker makes his entry in a big bad way. Teamed with Harley Quinn the Clown Prince Of Crime decides to run for President Of No Man’s Land. It’s laden with laughs and adds a comedic dynamic from the proceedings that was missing prior to it. Whilst short lived it provides a wealth of personality to the book and showcases the level of scenarios that the situation can offer up creatively.
Mirroring this Bane too vies for control of the city. Rising from the sewers he enacts a gang war between Penguin and Two Face that provides a distraction whilst he destroys the hall of records, Marking Gotham for death. Similar to the way Rome salted the roads of cities that it demolished so that nothing would grow, Bane wants to ensure that nothing survives No Man’s Land.
In contrast, Superman returns to the streets to offer a glimmer of hope. Much more positive than the outcome of last time’s encounter, Superman and Batman seem like they have a wealth of respect for one another, even if The Dark Knight is too stubborn to ask for help.
As a whole these chapters help to cement this book as a strong step in the right direction for the saga and I believe that most comic book fans will find enjoyment in at least one of the off shoot stories. Making for a great book.
Batman: No Man’s Land Volume 3 continues the consistency of the No Man’s Land Saga’s inconsistency. Overall getting things back on track this feels overall like a step in the right direction. There is very little to dislike here and the stories that are lacking in quality never stick around long enough to sour the overall experience.
I wish this book had been Volume 2 as I think it works perfectly as a direct sequel to Volume 1 and is a lot higher in quality than its predecessor. Ending on the perfect cliffhanger I can’t wait to pick up Volume 4 and see how this entire storyline ends.
Making me want more. No Man’s Land Volume 3 New Edition gets an…