Batman #93 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Guillem March, Javier Fernandez, Artists; David Baron, Tomeu Morey, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: As we rocket towards Joker War, James Tynion IV’s run continues to build momentum and it becomes clear just how many hands Joker has everywhere in Gotham. The prelude of this issue has Batman facing off with the Designer, as the masked master villain finally reveals the full extent of his master plan for Gotham. He planned to cut off the heads of Gotham’s elites, leaving Penguin in charge, while Riddler’s traps essentially neutralized the GCPD. Catwoman would gain control of the city’s riches, while Joker would kill Batman and Robin. The problem was, Joker didn’t actually want to kill them, he wanted the game to continue, and that caused the whole thing to fall apart. Designer is a compelling villain, but the reveal of what’s under the mask is a mind-bender. It seems like despite the hype for this villain, this has really always been about Joker and his plan for the upcoming war in some ways.
I thought the segments involving Catwoman were even more compelling than the Bat-segments, as she works with the mysterious Underbroker to get the money she needs to protect Batman. There’s a great reveal here about how Bruce has been able to conceal his Batman spending for so many years, since he’s essentially been embezzling from his own company. But she may be a bit too trusting of this mysterious masked banker. Harley, meanwhile, continues her fight with Punchline in a brutal and bloody fight that has time for both honest discussions on the Joker’s influence on both of them, and brutal throat-slitting action. Ever since Tynion was able to get more into Punchline’s character, he’s done a great job with setting her up as something truly terrifying. The ending seems to plunge us full-on into Joker War, and if this was the setup, that’s likely to be a full-fledged event of chaos and terror.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.