War Games
Act Three: Endgame

Author: Various
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP 10.99
ISBN 1 84576 122 7
Available 25 November 2005

Black Mask has made Batman's training scenario a chilling reality. The various crime families are leaderless... the soldiers running for their lives while trying to grab a piece of the underworld pie for themselves. Batman and his allies have failed to contain the chaos threatening Gotham City's citizenry. The media have exploited the situation so people think that Batman is acting against their best interests. Worse, he has lost the trust and support of Police Commissioner Akins, just when he needs it the most. Before the day is over, a friend and ally will be dead, familial ties will be broken, and the balance of power in the city will be forever altered...

Endgame sees the three-part War Games collection draw to an explosive conclusion. While it's not essential, you really should get a hold of Outbreak and Tides before you plough through this volume.

To be honest though, all you really need to know is that Gotham City is under siege - that all of the city's underworld are about to join together after losing their respective leaders. This was a plan originally dreamed up by Batman as the perfect training scenario. However, it was never really supposed to be realised.

You could argue that there isn't really much of a story when you strip down all three acts. Hell, they could easily have squeezed this into one collection. Thank god that never happened. The slow build is what makes the final pages in this collection all the more moving. I take back, now, my earlier moan about Act II appearing rather slow moving.

It's also interesting to note that the constant stream of writers and artists still manage to convey one voice. It never appears that so many individuals worked on different segments.

This is the perfect conclusion to a fantastic story arc. All Bat fans should add this to their collection.

Nick Smithson

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