Batman #92 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Guillem March, Artist; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: It’s been a long time since we got an issue of Batman because DC wanted to wait until as many people as possible could easily read their #1 book. The title hasn’t missed a step, though, as we plunge right back into James Tynion IV’s high-octane thriller. Having taken down Penguin, Batman has to turn his focus to a completely insane Riddler, who has unleashed his latest deathtrap—turning all of Gotham into a living crossword puzzle. As Batman solves the puzzles, city blocks unlock and bombs are disarmed. The best part of this story is that Batman is completely unbothered by this, dragging Deathstroke along as he easily solves clues and frustrates Riddler. By the time he gets to the end and captures the villain, the exhausted Riddler is almost relieved. It’s an interesting look at how Riddler’s mind works—he’s the smartest of all of Batman’s villains, but his compulsion to challenge Batman is his biggest weakness and leads to his defeat more often than not.
I think the B-plot may be even more interesting, though, as Selina and Harley continue their team-up, fight off some zombie cops, and battle their way to the office of the Underbroker. One of the people in Designer’s organization, Underbroker is essentially a supervillain banker and they need to cut a deal. There’s just one problem—Joker’s agents got their first, in the form of Punchline. Punchline appears in three comics this week by Tynion, and she’s finally taking form as a creepy, compelling villain in her own right. I absolutely love Harley’s patronizing dismissal of Joker’s new girlfriend right out of the gate—she basically just goes “Oh, this is going to end badly and we can go out for drinks after it does” before trying to smash Punchline with a mallet. But there are some real stakes here, and a great cliffhanger that shows how Batman’s carefully constructed world is crashing down in a hurry. Man, it is good to be back.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.