Batman #109 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Jorge Jimenez, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Artists; Tomeu Morey, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Gotham is getting busier than ever this issue, as multiple agents make their move on a city in chaos. Even Batman’s having trouble organizing his own network, as Ghost-Maker and Harley are doing their own thing when he needs backup. That leads to him confronting Simon Saint over the recent Scarecrows popping up around the city solo—which leads to an up-close and personal encounter with the newly upgraded Peacekeeper-01. This is a messier Batman than we’ve seen in a long time, a combination of the loss of his fortune and likely the loss of Alfred. It’s a compelling look at a Batman who’s definitely less than perfect and is seeing his city slip away from him.
But I was much more intrigued by the other main story this issue, with Ghost-Maker and Harley. First of all, Ghost-Maker is one of the most entertaining new characters we’ve seen in comics in a while. Essentially an obsessed supervillain whose MO leads him to do good things, this issue reveals how deep his obsession with Bruce goes—and it’s kind of hilarious. But he and Harley’s sparring session is interrupted by the new wild card known as the Gardener, who has knowledge of Poison Ivy’s whereabouts and how dangerous she’s become to Gotham—as well as a surprising past link to the anti-hero. Tynion writes a great Harley, and I’m very excited to see how her relationship with Ivy develops in this story. This Gotham is just as chaotic as it usually is, but the new blood is giving it a shot of energy.
The Ghost-Maker backup continues to be strong as well, as Ricardo Lopez-Ortiz’ kinetic art pits the man under the mask against a different rogue every issue. This month it’s the mysterious Brainstorm, a psychic assassin who has a longer-lasting grudge against Ghost-Maker than many of the assassins. This story is really just the lead character fighting his way through a different boss level every issue before he gets to the woman of the hour, but it’s written well enough that it’s more than holding my interest.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.