Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Batman #101 Review and *SPOILERS*


Written By: James Tynion IV
Art By: Guillem March, Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 20, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Well, we hit the 100 issue mark and the Joker War came to an end. Frankly, at least to me, it was an absolute eye sore. Tynion’s run with this book started out with so much promise and all it took was a single crossover to completely reset things for me. Instead of reveling in a new story and how much I’m enjoying it, I find myself wanting to get as far away from the Joker War storyline as possible. That being said, with all the things that happened which will continue to affect Bruce going forward, I’m certain that the Joker War will haunt this book for months and months. The question is whether that will create the opportunity to tell a new story with new circumstances for our main cast, or if it will drag the story down by trying to tie everything back to this one moment. I’m hoping that Tynion will give us some interesting stories now that he isn’t involved with a huge crossover event, but I’ve been burned before. Let’s just try to stay positive and hop into this new issue.

Our issue begins with Batman reminiscing about the old days of being Batman with Selina. He talks about how he could go to the GCPD building and meet with Commissioner Gordon to hear about the latest problems in the city and gather clues that he needed. He would then travel the rooftops, sometimes with a partner and make deductions about the case. He talks about returning to the Batcave to have Alfred try and convince him to rest all the while he would keep thinking more and more about the case. However, none of that exists anymore. There’s no Commissioner Gordon, there’s no current sidekick, and there is no Alfred. Bruce and Selina talk about the future and how things are going to change significantly. We then cut to a flashback from a week ago when Batman is fighting with Grifter (from the Wild Storm comics) but Batman is able to get a strong upper hand before Grifter pulls a hidden gun from his wrist and has it pointed at Bruce’s head when Lucius Fox suddenly stops them.

Grifter has been working as a personal bodyguard for Lucius and he told him not to fight Batman when he comes over. Grifter says he couldn’t resist the chance to fight him before Bruce and Lucius head inside. The two see how each other is doing and deal with some of the fallout to the Joker War crossover. Lucius is still struggling with the Joker Toxin and seeing Punchline’s video in which she plays the victim has set him on edge. They talk about how the Joker goons have gone away to hide in plain sight and there is a young vigilante who seems hell-bent on hunting them all down. The city is also electing a new mayor and the Joker is still at large. They then talk about money. Thanks to Selina, Lucius has the Wayne fortune but it’s being watched heavily and even if he gave it back to Bruce, the authorities would be watching him intently. He wouldn’t be able to support his life as Batman with that money anymore. Batman has a decision to make about how he wants to move forward, but it seems that he will be leaving his spot at Wayne Industries in order to allow the company to continue being a strong force in Gotham and Bruce will have to rough it. Lucius plans on bringing his family in on their plans.

Lucius once again voices his support for Bruce, whatever his decision may be and then Batman leaves. As he does though he comes in contact with Grifter again who tries to smooth things over. Batman, however, knows who Grifter really works for and tells him to give a message to them. He knows about Halo and even though things are different, Gotham is still his territory and he will be watching. In the present, Batman tells Selina that he has to move into the city in order to get things back on track. Unfortunately, his relationship with Selina will also be tested as he will be unable to team with her while she is still one of the most wanted women in the city. They eventually come to the conclusion that in a year they will meet back up and make the big decisions that they have to. This will give Selina time to clear her name and Bruce the time to remake Batman. They decide to shelf the discussion for now and the two share a kiss and make plans to return to Bruce’s new apartment for some private time. This is where the issue leaves us.

This issue isn’t a beginning to something new but is rather a transition issue for the Joker War and what is coming next. We are still dealing with the massive fallout that resulted from the Joker War and while we know the direction that we are going now, I wouldn’t say that this issue tells us a whole lot. That being said, it was exciting to see Grifter show up in this issue. I’m unsure if we will see those characters and storylines bleed into the Batman book in the future, or if it is simply a reference for comic fans, but I appreciated it nonetheless. The art in this book is really great although it makes Bruce look significantly older than I’m used to. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but it was definitely interesting. I’m hoping that the future will give us more exciting Batman stories that we can really sink our teeth into.

Bits and Pieces

This latest issue of Batman serves mostly as a transition issue. We have just come out of the Joker War so we need to set up how the circumstances of that crossover have changed things going forward in the Batman book. It’s nice for us to have something like this but ultimately the issue itself is not very exciting. Nice to see a surprise appearance in here though.


1 comment:

  1. So where did the Bat Family go? Why is it they only show up for "events"? I'm personally getting tired of solo stories. I miss the 90s when he and Tim Drake were a team. And since when do the characters even care that the Joker is still at large? That hasn't seemed to bother them recently in recent years he just seems to turn up once a year cause chaos then disappear again. For that matter are there actually any villains IN Arkham? I think I'm done with this book I've just found it depressing for the last several years and there's just this feeling of hopelessness that I can't help but take away from it. I can't be alone here.