Batman: City of Madness #2 Review: We’re Simply Mad About This Book

Batman: City of Madness #2 review header

In Batman: City of Madness #2 from DC Comics, written and drawn by Christian Ward, Batman teams up with… The Court of Owls?

We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!

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Batman: City of Madness #2 Review:

There’s an evil city of madness underneath Gotham City, and the Court of Owls wants Batman to go into it for them. Add in a bunch of villains being driven insane, and you have a wilder, weirder Gotham than usual.

“God this is so good,” said host Alex Zalben. “Christian Ward’s art is so experimental, particularly in terms of the way that he is structuring this stuff. I love the horizontal Two-Face, I love the Cthulhu-Batman, I love the City of Madness under the city.”

Furthermore, Zalben praised Ward for his work with the Court of Owls. “I’ve never been enthused with any Court of Owls storyline since the initial one because it always feels like it diffuses their power a little bit,” Zalben said. “This is the first time I’ve read a Court of Owls [story] where it feels right like they’re used in the right way. I love this book.”

Pete Lepage agreed, calling the book “unbelievably cool.” He also was surprised by the Court of Owls storyline, and that once again the group of villains blew Batman’s mind by revealing something huge he didn’t know about Gotham — in this case, there’s a city underneath the city. “This is really insane,” LePage said, complimentarily.

Zalben added on to that, noting that’s why the Court of Owls story is working here… Since the initial Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo story, the group has become less about turning Batman’s world upside down, and more Illuminati-style secret society. “That’s also the power of what you can do with a Black Label book,” Zalben said, “You could just be like, ‘Oops, we’re throwing everything out.’ Because it doesn’t matter, it’s out of continuity.”

Batman: City of Madness #2 Official Synopsis:

The Court of Owls summons Batman, demanding he venture deep beneath the city to fight what has been unleashed from its depths: a wave of madness infecting Gotham’s villains, driven by the monstrous creature they’re calling “the Batman Below.” But the Court has not-entirely-noble reasons for wanting this chaos stopped… Is Batman their weapon, or their bait?

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