Batman #107 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Jorge Jimenez, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Artists; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: This is very much a breather issue, but that’s not a criticism at all. James Tynion’s Gotham feels alive in a way the city rarely does, and that allows him to make issues like this—where we’re mostly waiting for the chaos to break loose—as compelling as the big action set pieces. Scarecrow has placed a warning at the home of Mayor Nanako, sending the damaged city into a deeper state of panic. This is a new type of psychological warfare for Scarecrow—letting the public scare itself. Complicating things further, Batman’s attempt to investigate is interrupted by the newly minted Commissioner Montoya—who makes clear she has no problem enforcing Mayor Nanako’s anti-vigilante directive, even if she gives Batman a slight head start.
There are many subplots in this issue, with my favorite having to be Harley’s continued oddball attempt to be a superhero. That involves trying to wrangle a former Arkham neighbor who goes by the codename Stabbo, getting into a brawl with the GCPD, and getting rescued by Ghost-Maker. Oracle seems to be settling back into the role where she’s best, and her banter with Batman is a lot of fun. The lingering threat of the Unsanity Collective is unbalancing the city further, and that leads Batman to pull an old tool out of his bag of tricks in the cliffhanger. Add in Scarecrow’s disturbing partnership with the oily Simon Saint, and we have an issue that builds the tension high and leaves us with more questions than we started.
Then it’s onto the backup, with kinetic art by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz. Focusing on Ghost-Maker, this story shifts the narrative nicely to a high-seas spy adventure. Ghost-Maker, a bisexual man of mystery with a snarky computer assistant, has aroused the ire of the world’s richest woman—the new villain Madame Midas—and she’s brought in a quartet of assassins (one of whom is a giant crocodile-mutant). She lures him to an island filled with deathtraps, and the battle is on to see who gets to who first. After Ghost-Maker’s debut, I would not have bet on him becoming a fan favorite, but he’s exactly the right kind of chaotic energy the world of Gotham needs and this backup is exactly the solo spotlight he needs.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.