Review: Batman #93
“Their Dark Designs” wraps up in Batman #93, the opening arc of writer James Tynion IV‘s run on the iconic character. While the issue is action-packed and full of excitement it’s also at times predictable, especially its ending.
The cover really says it all. Batman #93, and the arc as a whole, is just a “journey to Joker War,” the next big story. It’s a setup of what’s coming giving Tynion time to establish his take on Batman. It’s a transition arc of sorts introducing new characters while acting as a post-mortem for the previous run.
The issue has Batman squaring off with The Designer, the character who has been the focus of this arc. Like a magician revealing his tricks, we see everything that was planned and hinted at previously. The Designer’s various projects with Gotham’s villains is gone over one by one before the inevitable physical showdown. It’s also revealed why The Designer’s overall plan would have failed. There was an x-factor, an agent of chaos, whose goals didn’t align with the master planner. And that’s when we go down the rabbit hole learning who The Designer really is and where things go from there.
It’s an interesting moment in the comic as it becomes clear, this is all a setup for “Joker War.” Where the comic ends has been telegraphed for some time and isn’t surprising at all. Where Tynion takes it will be the interesting thing. There’s been some willingness to explore Bruce Wayne’s soft diplomacy. We were finally seeing that being wielded. Now, the question is, where does that go from here? What does this all mean for Bruce and Gotham?
The art by Guillem March and Javier Fernandez is fantastic. They’re joined by Tomeu Morey and David Baron on color and Clayton Cowles on lettering. The art has been a highlight of this run and this issue is no exception. There’s something that really pops with the art style and color choices. There’s also some fun with the eventual physical fight playing it off with a swashbuckling flair. I’s all very pleasing to the eye and overall there isn’t quite the use of splash pages you might expect. It also helps key moments as opposed to dramatic entrances, even if that key moment is told in a panel on a page with numerous other panels. Others may have dedicated a larger footprint for the moment or even an entire spread.
“Their Dark Designs” is an interesting arc. It’s an entertaining read but the landing doesn’t quite stick as it is revealed it directly ties into “Joker War” as opposed to being two stories running side by side. It takes what was an interesting new villain for Batman and turns him into a puppet, deflating the balloon. It’s not bad and does the job of transition from the last run to the current but by issue’s end, something felt a bit off. It no longer was the self-contained storyarc, it’s just the beginning of something much longer.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Guillem March, Javier Fernandez
Color: Tomeu Morey, David Baron Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read