Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Batman #87 Review and *SPOILERS*

Crazy Old Bird

Written By: James Tynion IV
Art By: Guillem March, Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 22, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Tynion’s run began last issue and the fandom breathed a collective sigh of relief. It was good! Hell, it was great! Tynion really knows these characters well and he knows how to use them in clever ways. The previous issue did so much right especially when it came to dealing with the aftermath of events in King’s run. In addition, his first issue gave the audience something a little more traditional. This was something that fans have been begging for after having King’s unorthodox style for so long. I’m not saying one is bad and the other is good but too much of one will make you yearn for the other. Last issue set us up with some amazing pieces for the future of this book so let’s jump into the latest issue and see where it takes us.

Our issue begins with someone speaking to Oswald Cobblepot. We learn soon that it is The Riddler new and deformed. He begins talking about how he is solving Gotham. Basically, he is rambling in his new insanity. Meanwhile, Penguin is standing over a fresh kill and doesn’t seem pleased to hear from Riddler. Edward tells him that he will focus his mind and talks to Penguin about the five assassins that were recently apprehended. Penguin tells him that he is already aware of all of this and has begun to act accordingly. He is cleaning the house as we see he is surrounded by tons of bodies. Penguin suggests Edward should leave town and live a normal life but Edward reveals that he tried and it didn’t work. Penguin meanwhile is preparing for war. The two made a deal and The Designer is coming to collect. Penguin opens his personal weapon cache saying “he can try”.

We cut to the GCPD who are still in the process of apprehending Deathstroke and his team of assassins. Batman meanwhile contacts Catwoman once again. It turns out that the blueprints that the man tried to replace at the Gala were with those of a building that already existed. During their conversation, Batman picks up that something is up with Selina and he asks her about it. However, she decides to keep what she knows to herself laughing it off as nothing. Afterward, Batman meets up with Commissioner Bullock. Bullock hates the new position he’s in and sees it as only temporary as the city won’t want to build the GCPD around him. He informs Batman that the assassins are being put in the Black Block and then Batman leaves the scene in his usual way. We then see what the Black Block is. A holding facility that restricts the criminal's entire body with machinery. Batman visits Deathstroke here. Deathstroke gives him nothing of course but as he is leaving Batman opens Cheshire’s cell and realizes that she has been replaced with a clay double. He immediately calls Lucius Fox in order to track her down.

Eventually, she is found on a motorcycle in Gotham. Batman is shot out of his new plane on a wheeled cart that rides extremely low to the ground. He quickly catches up with Cheshire but she sees him coming and excited for some challenge she flips off her bike to attack the Bat. She scratches him, poisoning him but as she begins to gloat the cart goes under a semi-truck and Cheshire isn’t low enough to avoid the blow. Turns out that Batman has a membrane in his suit to combat her poison and she is in no condition to keep moving so she has been taken care of. Back at the GCPD, as Bullock is investigating Cheshire’s cell, Slade and his assassins are able to free themselves. Slade easily takes care of Bullock but leaves him alive. However, in the final moments it is revealed that Penguin knows about the plan because he was one of the first creators of it and thus, this gives him the advantage. This is where the issue ends.

Well, this is unfortunately not nearly as good as the previous issue. There are some really fun parts that deserve credit. The scene with Cheshire on the street is really cool. However, the rest of the issue is set up and exposition. It’s a significant amount of dialogue and not a lot of it actually tells us what’s going on in the issue. We have all these mysteries and for all the talking going on, no one is actually saying what we actually want to know. However, I am excited that Deathstroke wasn’t just a one-off villain for Tynion’s first issue back. Instead, we are now embarking on a story that has him being one of the main players. In addition, we’ve added Riddler and Penguin to the mix. The art in this book is also very good. Occasionally it goes off the rails, but overall the art is beautiful and fits the book very well. Hopefully, things will return to the quality of the previous issue soon but as for now, this issue is fairly average. Not bad by any means but not all that exciting either.

Bits and Pieces:

The latest issue of Batman, unfortunately, fails to follow up properly on the first issue of Tynion’s new run. That being said, it is still filled with intriguing moments and some really beautiful art. We get a mountain of exposition and yet somehow, I still find myself very much in the dark about what is happening. Overall, this issue was a little above average and hopefully the book will return to the heights of Tynion’s first issue.



  1. Still better than the crap King put us through.

    1. agreed! This at least feels like it is happening in the larger DCU