Review – Batman #87: Enter the Designer

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Batman #87
Batman #87 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman #87 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Guillem March, Artist; Tomeu Morey, Colorist


Ray – 9/10

Ray: James Tynion IV has wasted no time setting the tone for his Bat-run, and that tone is electric, fast-paced action that treats Gotham as a chaotic and bloody playground. Last issue introduced a mysterious new villain, The Designer, who most of Gotham’s rogues (including Catwoman) are somehow in debt to. It also loosed a team of assassins led by Deathstroke to the city, introduced us to Batman’s new team (including Lucius Fox as his mission control, and a mercurial Commissioner Bullock as his man in the GCPD) and a host of new Bat-gadgets.

Batman #87 doesn’t take the pedal off the brakes for a second as it shows us where some of the iconic Bat-villains have been. Riddler is slowly going insane thanks to a bizarre attempt to hack his own brain – he hasn’t slept in three months – while Penguin is tearing apart his own inner circle in an attempt to protect himself from the Designer’s revenge. Guillem March is a great choice for artist on this issue, because his take on the two villains is genuinely hideous in the best way. [Corrina’s note: March is a fine artist and indeed does good work on the villains but the proportions of his Catwoman are so off–her butt appears bigger than her head in one panel–that it’s incredibly distracting to the story. C’mon, man!]

Penguin’s rage. Via DC Comics.

The issue also introduces Batman’s attempt to resolve one of the biggest problems in Gotham – the revolving door of Arkham Asylum. Batman’s built his own high-security cells in the GCPD headquarters for the worst of the worst – which makes it a little ridiculous that the system is gamed in the very first issue, but such is Gotham.

With Deathstroke safely locked up for most of the issue, it’s Cheshire who takes the lead villain role, and Tynion keeps coming up with new and inventive Bat-gear to elevate Batman’s game. The action never stops, but despite that Tynion works in great dialogue in almost every scene, particularly between Batman and Lucius and the iconic BatCat team. If I have one complaint, it’s that I’d love to see more Bat-family because Tynion did them so well, but it’s hard to find any flaws in this run. It’s a clear attempt to win back the crowd with a run that seems to take some of its DNA from Snyder and Dini but quickly becomes its own thrilling flavor. Let’s hope Tynion gets to keep building this run for a long time.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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