Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Batman #123 Review


Huh, I'd Like to Meet His Tailor

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 3, 2022

While I am still trying to enjoy the Shadow War, I think Joshua Williamson is starting to lose grip on his story as it's progressed.    The wow factor of Ra's al Ghul's murder has come and gone, and now we are stuck in a snail's pace story watching the characters in the book slowly catch up to what we already know - Deathstroke didn't do it.  For some reason, Williamson thinks the big thing is who did it, but I want to know why.  My bet is on GeoForce, but something tells me Ra's is also involved.  So let's see what we get this week in Part Five of the Shadow War.

Batman #123 opens with what was promised at the end of Part four of the Shadow War (in Robin #13) - Batman & Robin!  It's been a while since the Dynamic Duo has been together, so that I will forgive the somewhat cringe dialogue going on here.  I don't know if I can forgive Williamson tying in his story with the Bendis bullshit from his Justice League.  I usually applaud when a writer shows they are paying attention to the connected DCU, but some things should never connect!

Besides that, tying in the faux Deathstrokes hired by the Royal Flush Gang in the Justice League book feels like a stretch, and when we see the connection, it just ends up feeling forced.

While that is going on, we see Ghostmaker, Clownhunter, and Batman inc. trying to protect Deathstroke's Secret Society and Slade himself.  We all know Slade should be lying low, but we also know that Slade don't play that!  He has taken Respawn and Rose to the scene of Ra's murder, and just as he declares he knows who the killer is, they are attacked by Talia's ninjas.  It always drives me nuts when shit like this happens!  Just say who the murderer is in case you get killed.  I say that, but I don't think anyone thinks that Slade is going down here, but that doesn't mean that everyone is safe!  The issue ends with Batman and Robin face-to-face with the murderer and Slade having a little deja vu all over again. 

Joshua Williamson moves the story ahead more this week, but he is still stringing everything along a bit too much for my taste.  I am hoping the reveal of the murderer has more layers than just a revenge move, but we will have to wait and see.  I like Howard Porter's art in this issue, but I am a fan of his, so your mileage may vary.  Overall, I feel like there isn't enough story to equal the number of books involved in this crossover, but I am still hanging in there with it.

(There is the second part of the Batman/Deathstroke backup story in this issue, but it's a nothing story.  I think I am being kind not to let it affect my overall score here)

Bits and Pieces:

Batman #123 is an okay continuation of the Shadow War story.  I love that we get some Batman & Robin action, but most of the plot feels like it's being stretched to fill up the multiple books involved.  It does look like things are finally heating up by the end of this issue, and that has me looking forward to the next installment.


1 comment:

  1. You are more than generous with the rating, the first story is pretty boring, there are two pages of interest and everything else is just not important. And the backup is just awful. Williamson is getting worse and worse and even though I think part of it is because he is saving himself for Dark Crisis, my fear is that the pay-off will not be worth it eventually. I also couldn't care less about Ghost-Maker, Clownhunter and all that stuff. Batman is again just a spectator for the ride here, being constantly outshined by Slade and Damian. And why is Rose all of a sudden with Slade, didn't she just try to kill him literally an issue ago? And if Respwan is dead, then what was all the character development for? I don't know, at this point I just want to know who the faux-Deathstroke is, if it's Brion or Grant and get over with it.