Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Batman #108 Review and *SPOILERS*


Gothampunk 2077


Written By: James Tynion IV
Art By: Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 4, 2021

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It has been a little bit of a wait, but we once again are returning to Gotham City and the Batman series. The series has been flirting with greatness ever since Tynion took over. However, most likely due to being dragged into various crossovers, the book has staggered and now usually resides somewhere in the middle when it comes to quality. Sure, there are some neat things and storylines that intrigue, but there also doesn’t feel like that something special is here. The series just feels average and frankly, I think that is a terrible thing for the most popular character they’ve got out there. This series needs to step it up and bring us an exciting story that everyone is theorizing about and that everyone is just waiting for the next installment so they can finally figure out what’s going on. Instead, the series just sits comfortably without taking any sort of risks. That is boring. However, perhaps things will turn around this issue. Let’s jump in and find out.

Our issue once again begins with Batman struggling to maintain his sanity as Scarecrow tortures him. Frankly, I’m over this section of the book. I’ve seen this exact scene for the past 3 issues and it is meaningless at this point. We haven’t progressed this section of the story at all which begs the question, if we aren’t doing anything with it, why is it still showing up at the beginning of every single issue? We cut to the present where the Mayor is speaking to a crowd outside of City Hall. He is honoring one of the men that survived the massacre at Arkham Asylum and they are giving him a hero’s treatment. Simon Saint is one of the people in attendance. He sees Scarecrow watching from afar, and then when he has his chance, he approaches the new hero, Sean Mahoney. He want to talk to him about the future. We peak in on the Watchtower as Barbara is catching up on events of the day. During a recording of the Mayor’s speech, she is able to find Scarecrow on the footage and she tries getting in contact with Batman once again.


We cut to Batman who is currently being interrogated by the Unsanity Collective. He is still in his disguise but the members clearly don’t trust him in any way. However, one member of the Collective, Miracle Molly takes responsibility for him and tells the others that she is going to give him a chance. She frees Batman from his confinement but she lets him know immediately that she knows he is wearing a disguise. She gives him a mask to wear and the two move out on to her glider that takes them across the Gotham City skies. We catch back up with Simon Saint and Sean Mahoney as they take a tour of Saint’s labs. We get to know Sean a little better and then Saint offers him a position as a Peacekeeper. When he hesitates, Saint has his assistant show him his functioning prosthetics and Sean is more than happy to accept Saint’s offer to become Peacekeeper-01.

Back with Batman and Miracle Molly, they arrive at another safehouse after they talk a little about the Collective’s ideology. When there, a young girl approaches Molly with some new ideas about what kind of weapons she wants. Molly encourages her and tells her that she will work on them as soon as she is able. Molly and Batman once again exchange a few words about how she sees the rich of the city. She believes that they have given up their humanity. We get a few more pages that simply outline the Collective’s belief system which is when Molly reveals that she knows that the man before her is Batman. Molly then asks what he wants from her and he asks about the heists on the owners of the media companies. Molly reveals that they had accepted a contract to pull off those heists and when Batman pushes further, she reveals it was Simon Saint. We get a quick glimpse at what Saint is doing to Sean Mahoney in order to make him into Peacekeeper-01 and it looks to be extremely painful. This is where the issue leaves us.


I cannot help but see that this creative team fell in love with the future setting of the Future State book and is now writing the book in order to focus on that. The cyberpunk aesthetic is used HEAVILY in this book. Human augmentation, excessive corporate greed, small rebel communities, and so many others are staples of the genre are used throughout the book. The only change is that instead of this story taking place in the near future, it is now taking place in modern day Gotham. Now, this isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it very much feels like this book took a massive deviation from the previous story. At least we finally got to know the Unsanity Collective a little better, but for the most part this issue isn’t very exciting and is frankly, a little boring.

Bits and Pieces

Batman has changed into a full cyberpunk genre book with all the staples you would expect from the latest Blade Runner film. I know that we suspend our disbelief a lot with superhero stories, but this has taken the Batman book to a very different place than we are used to. This story feel far more Batman Beyond than the standard Batman book. Maybe that’s a good thing? They’re trying to mix things up. However, this issue is mostly exposition and is very dull.

 

5.5/10  

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