Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Batman #106 Review and *SPOILERS*

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Written By: James Tynion IV
Art By: Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 2, 2021

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

After taking a couple months off to release the Future State books, we have finally returned to our regularly scheduled program. Frankly, the Batman book is in a really interesting place. Batman is now without his fortune and will have to continue his crusade without that massive financial backing. Luckily for him, he has more allies than ever before as his old friend Ghost-Maker has now set up shop in Gotham. We also got the Infinite Frontier book which gave us some insight into where the book might be going in the future, and it just so happens to line up with the Future State book very well. Overall, there is a ton of interesting ways that this story can progress. The question now is, will this creative team take any of them? Let’s jump into this latest issue and find out.

We begin our issue with a man tied to a chair. We get Batman’s inner dialogue and we soon come to realize that it is none other than Bruce Wayne that is tied to the chair with his eyes being forced open in true Clockwork Orange fashion. Fearful thoughts pop into his head and he is forced to try and shut them out but Scarecrow isn’t too far away and he isn’t going to let Batman get away this time. We then cut to the present where Batman is speeding through Gotham City after a new gang called The Unsanity Collective. The Collective has been targeting the art collections of massive media moguls and now they are trying to get away on their hovercraft. They call into their leader when they realize that they are now being tailed by the Batman. They tell them to simply follow the plan. Turns out that Batman isn’t the only one taking these guys down though as Ghost-Maker makes his appearance. It isn’t long before the goons are easily taken care of.

After securing the criminals, Batman hears the leader calling in over the radio and he answers telling them that their plan has failed and that he would be coming after them. At this point, the GCPD starts rolling in and Batman and Ghost-Maker flee the scene. We get a small scene of Harley Quinn rushing to the crime scene via the rooftops but far too late. She seems to be trying to turn over a new leaf but is experiencing some growing pains. We then cut to the Saint Industries building where the CEO is pitching a new idea to the Mayor. He talks about how he grew up in Gotham and even though it was rough, it made the people strong. Now, however, Gotham is seen as a place so dangerous, that almost no one that wasn’t born there has any desire to go there. The CEO tells him that the GCPD was not established in order to fight off the kind of crime that Gotham is seeing regularly at this point. He wants the Mayor to allow him to establish a Peacekeeper operation in Gotham in order to allow deputized men and women to use the latest technology and combat the threats that Gotham is under regularly. The Mayor agrees to consider the offer before leaving. In the distance, we see Scarecrow.

In another neighborhood, we see a reporter trying to get a television interview with Bruce Wayne but his neightbor give them an earful instead. Inside the home, Bruce is watching the feed and starts working on the case for the Unsanity Collective. Ghost-Maker in the meantime is working on a punching bag. The two eventually begin a sparring session with each other and they start working through the case as they fight. Bruce sees their true intentions. The Collective is trying to make the people of Gotham afraid. That night, the mayor returns to his home. While on the phone he makes it clear that he is not interested in Saint Industries’ offer. Afterwards, he walks into his home, pours himself a drink, and then sits on the couch to watch the news. As he does, we see behind him stands a scarecrow  propped up in his bedroom. This is where the story leaves us.

So this isn’t the most exciting story in the world right now. The book hasn’t had an issue in a month and we need to reestablish the current reality. That said, there is some great art in this book and honestly, it is a little nice to have a refresher. The story however, focuses upon Saint Industries and a plot to make the city of Gotham so afraid that they will turn to them and their peacekeepers. As we have just exited the Future State books, this is very notable. That said, the Future State book was supposed to take place a significant amount of time down the road. Considering we flashed back to the present and Batman is still dealing with this problem makes me think that the creative team just wanted to do this story all along and thus, used it for the Future State book. I can’t help but feel like we might have been better off just continuing the current continuity.

Bits and Pieces

Our returning issue of Batman is a bit slow as much of the book is used to reestablish the setting of Gotham at the current moment. While it is a bit dull at times, the refresher was nice since we haven’t been in this story for a while. There is also some great art to accompany this issue which is always nice. That said, this issue isn’t going to set the world on fire.


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