Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Batman #86 Review and *SPOILERS*

A New Vision For Gotham

Written By: James Tynion IV
Art By: Tony S. Daniel, Danny Miki, Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 8, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Some will cheer, and others will cry as we reach a new chapter in the Batman book. Tom King’s run has come to an end and Tynion has taken over the reigns. As for myself, you can read my reviews of Tom King’s run but I overall felt the ending was quite satisfying but his time with the book needed to finally come to an end and while his story will continue elsewhere, we have Tynion taking over and I’m pretty excited. His run with Detective Comics was one that I enjoyed (for the most part) and shows he has a good understanding of the character. In addition, his style is definitely more typical when it comes to writing and after Tom King’s more unorthodox style that we’ve had for 85 issues, I think fans will be happy to return to something familiar. I have high hopes so let’s jump into this latest issue and see where it takes us.

Our story begins as most Batman stories do; with inner monologuing. He’s climbing a building and giving us a story about how he used to think of plans for Gotham on occasion and Alfred would always encourage him to do these things. He wanted Bruce to start building a city that didn’t need Batman. We cut to another section of the city where a man has been knocked onto the street. He begins bleededing from his eyes and mouth as a grinning figure tells him about a jellyfish with enough poison to kill sixty men. The man’s face melts in front of her as he dies and she enters the establishment behind her. The woman is revealed to be Cheshire who is meeting with other assassins for a new job. Inside the place are Merlyn and two newbies named Gunsmith and Mr. Teeth. We see the one in charge of them eventually join them but quickly we cut away before we see them.

We cut to an event unveiling a new Wayne Campus and Selina is rubbing elbows with Gotham’s rich and wealthy. She speaks with the mayor for a while, giving Bruce an excuse for not being there before excusing herself. She gets in contact with Bruce and gives him grief for leaving her with the riff-raff but the two are just checking in before returning to their own jobs. We cut to Wayne Enterprises where Lucius Fox is using a large machine to create a new vehicle for Batman. They exchange some witty banter before Lucius tells him that the machine is finished but as for how effective it will be, time will be the true test. Bruce tells him to send the vehicle to a location of his choosing before he prepares to take on our new group of assassins. His inner monologue tells us that he found about the job from scanning the dark web. Now, he has found their meeting place and we finally see the man in charge; Deathstroke! As soon as Lucius tells him that the vehicle is in place, the battle begins. Deathstroke, being far more skillful than the others, is the main target and he easily reacts quicker than his team. However, despite being faster, he is eventually pulled out of the building and separated from his team. While Batman deals with Deathstroke, the rest of the assassins are being dealt with by some of Batman’s tech. The fight between Batman and Deathstroke begins.

We cut back to the campus where one patron has snuck away. However, before he can initiate his plan, Catwoman catches him by the neck. She takes the device he was planning on using but he immediately begins to die in the same way we saw the doorman die earlier in the issue. As he dies, another voice comes from his body, one that recognizes Catwoman. The voice hints that it is using a plan that Selina came up with a long time ago to pull off the perfect crime. Catwoman’s shock is plain to see on her face as we cut back to Bruce. His battle with Deathstroke has left him battered and bruised but he is victorious. He reports in and asks Alfred to send the police. After a moment of awkward silence, Lucius apologizes but Alfred isn’t on this call. Batman apologizes before leaving the assassin for the police to gather as he hops into his new Nightclimber which pulls him up to the top of the rooftop before launching into flight above the city of Gotham. We get a quick epilogue that shows us that The Joker is still planning something as his goons set fire to the amusement park and then they are all taken out by one last member who dies in an explosion set off by The Joker. This is where the issue leaves us.

This is very much a brand new start for this book. We get your typical Batman storyline and it’s really enjoyable. That being said, this is an issue that is getting ready to set up what’s to come in this book. This issue struggles because of this but it’s down moments can be easily overlooked when the rest of the book is a bunch of fun. In addition, this book did something in one issue that the previous writer failed to do. It made the loss of Alfred a really big deal. Once he was killed, King failed to really make it seem like a big deal. There were definitely moments that he tried, but those moments were quickly overshadowed by the overarching plot. We really didn’t get a lot of time to mourn or to see how it’s affecting our main characters. This issue, we see Batman struggle with it. He has started a new venture due to the fact that Alfred always suggested it. He finds himself returning to one location because of its connection to Alfred. At the end of this issue Batman slips up and accidentally calls Lucius by Alfred’s name. We are seeing how his death is affecting Bruce in his day-to-day and that is a big deal. Seeing that immediately makes the impact even greater. This book has started off at a nice spot. Let’s hope that Tynion will continue giving us such great writing and if Daniel continues to give us amazing art, this could be an amazing run.

Bits and Pieces

We get a new creative team and we have returned to a more traditional style of writing in this book. That’s not a bad thing at all! In fact, it makes a great contrast with the book we have been reading for 85 issues. We get a lot of set up for the future in this issue but we also get some really great character moments and some awesome action. This issue is just a lot of fun and that’s something that I know a lot of readers have been missing. With Tynion writing and Daniel handling the art, I think this book is in great hands.



  1. Your bits and pieces reads like at least a 9/10 ^^ I'll get back to you with my score later this day:)

  2. Ok, i gave it an 8/10. Very promising with some nice interactions, an intriguing story with Bruce wayne design plans and also with what joker is up to

  3. That small moment where Batman slips up and calls Lucius Alfred was better than some whole issues of King's run. I think Batman is back in good hands again! Great art as well. I NEED that splash/title page above as a poster! Thanks for another great review.