Selina and Harley team up and compare notes as Bruce continues to seek answers about the Designer's plans. Finding The Riddler missing from his lair, Bruce gets his first look at this mysterious new foe as Selina prepares to tell him all she knows. Meanwhile, The Joker's new gambit begins to come into focus as readers get their first glimpses of his co-conspirator, Punchline.
Four issues into “Their Dark Designs” and this run is really hitting its stride. Tynion clearly has shown that he has a strong grasp of voice for Bruce but as more characters are swept up in the wave of these dualing schemes against the Caped Crusader (Joker and The Designer), Tynion’s versatility begins to come forth. The narrative itself has taken time to really develop beyond a simple archetype of a story but with this issue, readers begin to get a sense of the scope of damage Tynion intends to wreak on Gotham.
Bringing in Carlo Pagulayan to assist on art was a strong move with issue. Fresh off a stunning run on Priest’s Deathstroke series, Carlo brings a cleaner counterbalance to Guillem March’s art when it comes to male figures. March is subsequently given room to shine in sequences such as the Catwoman/Harley Quinn team-up (see below) but now we have an equally sleek looking Batman to round out the book. While often having multiple pencillers going back and forth can be jarring, these two work together in concert extremely well, causing me to hope that this will be the new normal for the series.
Batman #89 (Tynion IV, Pagulayan, March, Miki, Morey, Cowles) sees the arc trajectory start to round into form as the series is given an artistic booster shot.
Batman #89: Just Wait Til You Get to the Punchline!
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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