Review: Batman #118
With “Fear State” over, a new creative team has taken over Batman with Batman #118 starting an all-new story arc and all-new direction. Gotham is celebrating the end of Scarecrow’s plan and end of the Magistrate leaving Batman in a very awkward position. One, there’s just not a ton going on but also, the town is celebrating his work. He’s being metaphorically hoisted over the heads and on the shoulders of Gotham’s citizens. It’s an odd spot for him to be in. Luckily, a case involving Batman Inc. has come up forcing him to leave the city for matters outside of it.
Writer Joshua Williamson takes over the writing duties and delivers a debut issue that feels so grounded compared to the last who knows how many issues. What’s presented is the start of a murder mystery and Batman trying to figure out what to do next. In a series that has so recently dealt with the Joker declaring war and Scarecrow sowing fear, city wide attacks, the focus on something so basic feels like a breath of fresh air. It also dives in a bit to Batman Inc., a concept which has been shelved for some time. What has that been up to, especially since Bruce Wayne lost all his money? Williamson ends the issue with a tease of an answer and one that’s beyond intriguing.
The art is pretty solid. With art by Jorge Molina and Mikel Janín, the issue lacks a lot of splash to so many others rely on. That’s not a bad thing at all. It delivers a grounded take to a more grounded story. The art really fits what Williamson is going for. But, the duo also use Batman’s theatrics well especially in an opening sequence involving robbers. It’s simple, yet works so well for what makes Batman tick as a hero. There’s also plenty of humor and fun as Batman must save partygoers from a robbery. The less said about that scene, the better. The two are joined by Tomeu Morey on color and Clayton Cowles on lettering and the group together delivers a solid visual transition that fits the narrative transition.
Batman #118 is a new beginning that pumps the breaks from world shattering events. There’s a grounded sense of it all that feels like it brings Batman back to basics in many ways. Here’s hoping it stays that course delivering something classic in many ways.
Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Jorge Molina, Mikel Janín
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review