Batman #101 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Guillem March, Artist; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: After the sheer chaos of Joker War, it’s time for a break—at least for one issue, because Ghost-Maker is lurking right around the corner to be the next breakout villain of Tynion’s run. But this issue is much more about the long-term fallout of Joker War—and how it’s going to change Batman’s operation. The framing sequence for the issue has Batman meeting with Catwoman on the rooftops and discussing where they’re going next, both literally and in terms of their relationship. Selina is the most wanted criminal in Gotham after defrauding her fellow rogues, and Bruce is broke—thanks to Selina, actually, who downloaded his financial assets into Lucius Fox’s account. And while Joker is defeated, the effects of his attack are still lingering—particularly in Lucius Fox, who is still severely affected by Punchline’s toxins and seems to have a tenser relationship with Bruce than he did before Joker War.
As we know from solicits, Lucius has brought in Grifter—aka Cole Cash from Wildstorm—to be his bodyguard, and a two-page spread of Batman vs. Grifter is one of the best scenes of the issue thanks to Guillem March, one of DC’s most improved artists of the last few years. Bruce is forced to make a critical decision—battle to maintain control of his company from investors who blame him for Joker’s takeover, or hand it off to a more credible face in Lucius and lose control of the funds he used to operate the Batman network. Combine that with Officer Nanako’s anti-vigilante run for Mayor, and the fact that countless Joker soldiers simply went back to their lives and remain potential threats, Gotham is a much more dangerous place for Batman than normally. This actually seems to give Bruce the push he needs to make some critical changes in his operation and his life, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this run develops. Bring on Ghost-Maker!
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.