Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Batman #119 Review


Dark Side of the Gloom

Writer: Karl Kerschl, Joshua Williamson
Artist: Mikel Janin, Karl Kerschl, Jorge Molina
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 4, 2022

It's funny how each new run of Batman is a reaction to the previous one.  James Tynion replaced Tom King and added so many characters to the book, which fixed what some thought was missing in King's run.  However, Joshua Williamson is already praised for narrowing the focus back to just Batman.  I guess that's just the way things work out.  I liked the first issue of Williamson's run because it set up a cool mystery and had a sexy Lex Luthur for the cliffhanger.  So, does Batman #119 continue the fun?  Let's find out...

The book opens up with a quick flashback familiar to even a casual reader, but with a twist.  Alfred warns Bruce about the baddies who hide in the light, and that's a good segue back to Lex.  Next, Joshua Williamson answers a couple of big questions about Lex since his return after Death Metal.  While I am glad about a big one, I don't understand how Lex has the money he is throwing around in this issue.  I know that "Everything Matters," but Lex lost/gave away all of his money and then sided with the worst villains in Multiverse... regular and dark!  I guess you can never keep a good Lex down!

Money is the big thing here as Lex is funding Batman Inc, and that gives him a chance to throw shade at Bruce Wayne, which is on point with the character.  I love the way Williamson writes Lex here and can't wait to see more.

We continue with Batman figuring out that the murder of Abyss is not what it seems to be and gets blindsided.  I'm not sold yet on Abyss as a villain, but I do like Detective Cayha.  I also like seeing Batman do some detective work, even if it leads to trouble.

Batman #119 expands the mystery by making Batman determine who the real threat is here, Abyss or Lex Luthur.  While I wish there were a bit more of a "time is ticking" tension here, I liked what we got here about as much as the last issue.  This issue is solid all-around with good art and a story with real potential as we advance.  I'm not going to go overboard and try to make the cover of the trade like some surely will, but I will recommend everyone who dropped Batman during King or Tynion's run to at least give it a try.

There is also a Maps backup that any fan of Gotham Academy is sure to love.  It's just the start of the story and the setup that usually brings, but seeing Maps again put a huge smile on my face!

Make sure to listen to our Weekly DC Comics Recap and Review Podcast to hear us talk more about this book.  Just look up "Weird Science DC Comics" anywhere you listen to podcasts, and make sure to rate, review, and subscribe!

Bits and Pieces:

Batman #119 continues the solid but slow start to Williamson's Batman run.  This issue is more about the setup of a multi-pronged mystery than wowing the reader with explosions, punches, and kicks.  I may not be as excited as I hoped to be, but I am still interested in what's going on here.


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