It's a new day for Gotham City—and for Batman. With Bane vanquished and Alfred gone, Batman has to pick up the pieces and step up his game. But he’s not the only one with a new plan for Gotham: Deathstroke has returned, under a mysterious new contract that could change everything. Why are Super-Villains assembling in Gotham City?
After just over three years, the Tom King era of Batman comes to an end and the torch has been passed (at least temporarily) to James Tynion IV. Tynion is a Gotham City veteran, with highly lauded runs on Talon and Detective Comics under his belt and it shows here in this freshman issue. While King’s run was deeply personal, digging in the psyche of Bruce Wayne and his immediate family, it seems clear from the jump that Tynion plans on focusing quite a bit on Gotham as a character unto herself. Bruce has plans for his city and those are underway immediately.
Joined by another Batman veteran in Tony S. Daniel, there is a distinct “back to basics” feel with this issue. Daniel’s rich backgrounds and sleek details help to put the city we love to hate back at the forefront with her personal golem serving as a protector in a larger story. The tone created here almost feels out of place in the best way, a callback to a time when Batman was a legitimate leader in superhero comics rather than an extended experiment in… something else. For those fans that were burned out on this previous run, it is time to come home.
While this first issue is mostly a widescreen shot of what is in store for the Caped Crusader, Tynion’s track record would indicate that we can expect this story to move fast and furious moving forward. There is little here to knock the socks off of a non-fan of the character but there is plenty of comforting discomfort as Tynion and Daniel explore the wastes of what is left behind following “City of Bane”. Gone is Alfred and we see hints towards that particular psychological trauma. His absense, though still something I haven’t quite come to terms with, does create a space for Lucius Fox to shine in Alfred’s stead, which could make for an interesting dynamic as we (theoretically) inch ever closer to DC 5G (where Lucius’ son, Luke, has been rumored to take up the cape and cowl). And looming in the background, confined to epilogues for the time being, we get the promise of a grand scheme orchestrated by the greatest of Batman’s foes…
2020 brings with it new hopes in the wake of fresh traumas with Batman #86 (Tynion IV, Daniel, Miki). A fresh new story for a new decade.
Batman #86: It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day
Writing - 9/10
Storyline - 8/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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