The conspiracy that will rock Batman's world continues to unfold as the Dark Knight travels to Arkham Asylum to get answers from the Penguin! What dark secret does he share with The Joker, the Riddler, and...Catwoman? Plus, the plague of assassins descending upon Gotham City in its weakest moments continues! Will this be the moment when Deathstroke finally takes down Batman?!
The mystery of The Designer gets deeper in this latest installment of James Tynion IV’s young run. Tynion plays to his strengths throughout the issue, introducing interesting technologies (the pocket Batmobile) and setting up a mystery with just enough ties to the past that it actually feels solvable for the reader even if it isn’t solvable quite yet. In recent years, the Batman detective story-trope has fallen out of favor but with Batman perhaps we’ll see it return en force.
Guillem March, for me, is a polarizing artist. There are moments where his talent is undeniable but there is also a penchant for the grotesque that isn’t a clear fit to drop into just any book. As this story has progressed, the grotesque elements of his art seem to be finding their footing somewhat, although I still can’t quite wrap my head around this particular Riddler design. Still, the transitions from grotesque to sleek smooth look of March’s female characters is nowhere near as smooth as I would like to see it.
Fans on social media seem to be dominantly pleased with the new creative team and I find myself generally much happier to read Batman than before but there still seems to be something transitory about this particular arc. The promise of a Wayne-devoloped New Gotham from the first issue seems to have been dominantly abandoned in the ensuing issues in favor of action and cryptic mystery leaving very little room for development. Of course, it is still early in the run and Tynion’s body of work would suggest that space will be made in time, so for now, I’m along for the ride.
Batman #88(Tynion IV, March, Morey, Cowles) continues to develop the mystery of the new (old?) foe, The Developer.
Batman #88: “You’re the detective. You tell me.”
Writing - 8.5/10
Storyline - 8/10
Art - 7.5/10
Color - 8/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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