Review: Batman #103
Batman #103 continues a rather middling new arc for the series after the mixed “Joker War”. The issue features Batman battling Ghost-Maker as we learn a little more about the two’s history. Nothing is too surprising or exciting but at the same time, there’s also nothing particularly bad about the issue. It’s a fine, somewhat forgettable read.
Writer James Tynion IV continues his Batman run with a “fight issue”. It’s interspersed with cliché and things we’ve seen so many times before. All it was missing was Ghost-Maker uttering “you have failed this city”. That’s just some of the frustration of the comic. With Ghost-Maker uttering “Bruce” every other page, you wonder who at this point doesn’t know Batman is Bruce Wayne. With Clownhunter standing there… does everyone have to know his identity?
There’s nothing particularly bad about the issue. If you enjoy fights and battles, that’s about it. Whether it’s Batman vs. Ghost-Maker or Clownhunter vs. Harley Quinn, Batman #103 delivers visuals and action over substance. There’s a bit more depth as to the history between Batman and Ghost-Maker but overall you leave the issue with little more than you began the issue with.
Where things do get a bit more fun and interesting is the mentioned Clownhunter vs. Harley Quinn. Harley is attempting to right her ship and do the hero thing again. Clownhunter though, wants his revenge. Watching the two battle it out is actually interesting as Harley mostly plays defense, laying out her vision of going legit. She also has some fun with it all analyzing Clownhunter a bit during their dance. That’s the most interesting aspect of the comic and hints at what Tynion might have been going for presenting the issue as is. We’re supposed to get a little juxtaposition between the two sets of adversaries. But, that never clicks. We generally get some nice visuals and tired cliché where Batman explains how Ghost-Maker’s actions actually hurts things.
Visually, the comic features a trio of creators, Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, and Guillem March. Along with David Baron on color and Clayton Cowles lettering, the art flows between the three with little notice of changing things up. Visually, the comic looks crisp and nice and beyond a weird positioning of Batman at the end the action as presented is interesting. Harley and Clownhunter’s dance especially stands out with its close quarters and humorous tone to it.
As I stated, Batman #103 isn’t a bad comic at all. It’s just rather boring. Much of it feels like things we’ve already seen. That can work if it’s presented in a new or interesting way. As is, we have another “anti-hero” thinking Batman’s actions haven’t worked while Batman explains he sees a bigger picture. It’s an attempt to extend some of the themes from “Joker War” but it never quite works or clicks. Instead, the comic feels like it putters about a bit never getting to the point and extended things out much longer than they should.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, Guillem March
Color: David Baron Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review