Review: Batman #94
With the previous arc over, Batman #94 acts as a bridge to the highly anticipated “Joker War” storyline. It’s an interesting issue that’s a bit cliche. The story really emphasizes how much the previous arc was really a setup of what’s to come. Written by James Tynion IV, Batman #94 feels like Tynion’s attempt to give us his own iconic moment. We don’t get Batman realizing he must strike terror in the heart of villains. Instead, we get a take that falls a bit flat.
Tynion takes us to the past as Bruce Wayne seeks out a teacher to help him become a greater detective. It’s an interesting beginning as it ties in a bit with the concept of the Designer whose arc just ended. Baker is another mentor for the character, one who’s “the world’s greatest detective.” With the name Baker, it’s not hard to figure out the inspiration for the character. It’s an interesting concept. The concept plays nicely into the previous arc and whose purpose is about the present and future.
Tynion is laying the seeds for his vision of Batman. In this case his statement is the character has been too cerebral and in doing so has missed things like the Joker’s latest move. It’s a line in the sand that is emphasized at the end that what we’ll see going forward is an evolution of Batman. This is a character who has relied on others like Alfred and Lucious Fox. With all of that failing, we’re going to get something that’s different in the months to come. This is a character who is both alone and also surrounded by friends and allies. Exactly what that is should be interesting but this issue lays out the vulnerabilities and faults of Batman as is.
It’s also that cliche of the hero confronting the villain over the phone. It’s a parlay of words that points us to the clash ahead and unfortunately feels like a waste of concept in this bridge to “Joker War.”
The art by Guillem March and Rafael Albuquerque is pretty good. There’s a clear difference in the styles that’s noticeable and does stand out. It’s not quite enough to derail the visuals but it’s a small bump in what has been a visually intriguing run. The color by David Baron and lettering by Clayton Cowles helps tie things together. The big letdown in the visuals is we never quite get the full picture of just how beaten and bruised Batman is. The man is clearly hurting and we’re told so multiple times but visually the character never really feels more than “bruised” while we’re to believe he could collapse or worse any minute. The physical toll is never sold visually.
The issue is an ok one and a step back in what has been a good run so far. The issue feels like it’s full of cliches and tropes that never quite standout. Add in plotlines it feels like we’ve seen before. There’s also groan-worthy moments that just feel like shallow attempts to recreate previous magic. Add in a lack of exciting visuals, the comic is a forgettable bridge to “Joke War.” Batman #94 isn’t a bad read at all but it also lacks the excitement or interesting ideas that Tynion has entertained us with so far.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Guillem March, Rafael Albuquerque
Color: David Baron Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read