War Games
Act Two: Tides

Authors: Various
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP 10.99
ISBN 1 84576 070 0
Available 22 July 2005

Batman is stunned to learn that the wave of terror and death threatening his beloved Gotham City originated closer to home than he ever imagined, and that someone he once trusted is responsible for the carnage. Now the streets are safe for no one. One master criminal emerges from the shadows, taking full advantage of the chaos, and he begins to consolidate the underworld under his grip. Batman, aided by Nightwing, Batgirl, Tarantula, Orpheus, Onyx and a frustrated Oracle, gains fresh support when Tim Drake returns to the Robin uniform although he knows there will be consequences for his actions...

War Games - Act Two: Tides continues on from where Outbreak left off. Now we know who was responsible for starting the war in Gotham in the first place, can it be stopped?

I must be getting old, but there was a series of really nasty torture sequences that really had me wincing - something that a graphic novel has never managed to make me do be for. Okay, I was far from getting pen and paper and writing a letter of complaint to Titan (in fact, quite the opposite), but I was certainly shocked to see that I could be moved to revulsion by a mere comic. See, I told you I was getting old.

This collection rumbles on at a pretty steady pace, not a great deal happens and it was a shame that a lot of the characters were really under used (Cat Woman and Batgirl, for example). In truth, this could have been about half the length it was and still have gotten its message across - there was a feeling that the writers were trying to stretch everything out to the max.

In all other respects, this is a thoroughly enjoyable graphic novel, not quite as good as the first collection, but still worth picking up.

Nick Smithson

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