Review: Batman #122
With a new creative team coming in a few months, Batman is at an interesting point. After an opening story arc that got the character out of Gotham for a bit, he’s back in the US and roped into “Shadow War“, the event that pits Deathstroke against the League of Assassins. Ra’s has been murdered and it looks like Deathstroke is the assassin. It’s a clash of titan villains as war has begun. Batman #122 is the second entry in the event that has Batman attempting to figure out the who, what, and why of it all as the upcoming clash promises to escalate.
Joshua Williamson delivers a good entry to the story that has Batman being a detective. He’s been pulled into the assassination to figure out who did it and why and uses his cool tech tools in an attempt to do so. For a character that has gone low-tech in previous issues as he’s lost his fortune, the use of these particular tools stand out as they feel a little beyond is current means and a bit like the “old” Batman with the bottomless fortune and unlimited R&D. Beyond that, it’s a good entry in the event. For those that missed the opening issue for “Shadow War”, Batman #122 does a good job of catching up readers as to what’s going on and what it all means. It also moves around the various puzzle pieces as battles play out. It moves the story along really well.
Howard Porter handles the art with Tomeu Morey‘s color and lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art is good though at times doesn’t quite feel like it totally fits Batman. I’ve loved Porter’s work elsewhere as it has a certain kinetic style that really fits characters that involve a lot of movement and action. Here, with a character being more of a detective, it doesn’t quite fit those particular scenes. But, it does work for fights throughout. It’s an interesting style that I generally like but not all the way here.
The issue also features a back-up story from Williamson, art by Trevor Hairsine, color by Rain Beredo, and lettering by Willie Schubert. The story is supposed to be the first meeting between Batman and Deathstroke. Deathstroke is hired to kill Robin which of course leads to a clash between the two. I don’t know the history enough of these two to really nail it all down for continuity but the comic has a nice retro feel to it all. There’s also an intriguing twist at the end where I want to read the next chapter and see where it goes.
There’s nothing inherently bad or wrong about Batman #122 that makes it a “read”. The comic is part of a mini-event that spans different series, so unless you’re really invested in the story, it’s an issue whose value really comes from that. There’s some interesting aspects to Batman’s actions but overall, unless you’re into “Shadow War”, this is an issue you can probably skip.
Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Howard Porter, Trevor Hairsine
Color: Tomeu Morey, Rain Beredo Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Willie Schubert
Story: 7.85 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review