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Review: Batman #102

Batman #102

With “Joker War” over, I’ve been intrigued to see where Batman would be taken. In the event, we saw how Batman’s plans have failed Gotham. The city isn’t better off and in many ways, it’s as broken as when he started his battle. Bruce and Batman have also pushed away his allies and relied a bit too much on his toys in his war on crime. Batman #102 takes the first real steps as to Batman putting things back together.

Writer James Tynion IV delivers a reflection in Batman’s current state with Ghost-Maker, a character from Bruce’s past. Like the Joker, Ghost-Maker feels Batman has failed in his role of protecting the city. But, his take is a more brutal justice. Criminals should be executed, not taken to jail, and Ghost-Maker’s first real target is Clownhunter, the new hero of the Narrows.

The issue is an interesting one with a clear focus on reminding us of Batman’s new status-quo. Barbara is back as Oracle and without his unlimited funds, he needs to handle issues differently. We’ll clearly see a Batman whose battle is hindered by failing gimmicks. That’s been foreshadowed a lot. We’re also going to get a new Bat-team for Batman to rely on if this issue’s hints are a bit more than just that. This is the arc to get us… somewhere.

And that’s the good and bad of the issue. Like much of Tynion’s run so far, the issue feels like it has a specific job of take us to some other point in the story arc. That the point of the issue isn’t Ghost-Maker, it’s to set up what happens next in the following arc. This is much like the previous arcs of Batman that had Tynion leading to Joker War. His Batman feels more like a three-act play that a self-contained story or arc. That each issue and story is built to drive you towards something down the road, not so much focused on the here and now. In that way it feels a little forgettable. While there’s some solid action and interesting concepts, the issue itself feels a little thin.]

The art by Carlo Pagulayan and Carlos D’Anda is solid. Along with ink by Danny Miki and lettering by Clayton Cowles Batman #102 is crisp in style and really gives a visual sense of where things are. That “status quo check” is not just for Batman but also Gotham as a whole. We can see it’s a city still under construction attempting to rebuild itself from its ashes. With Batman, there’s a low-fi feel about him. Gone are the cool vehicles and tools, instead things feel a bit back to basics visually. But, it’s Ghost-Maker that really stands out. Compared to Batman and Gotham, the character feels like the future. It’s a sleek design that looks modern and advanced compared to the more rusty/under construction Gotham and lacking toys Batman.

Batman #102 feels a bit like a reminder of much of what the previous issue laid out. The difference is, this issue has Batman in the field. There’s a bit too much set-up and foreshadowing making the issue feel not so much as something that stands on its own but a bit focused on what comes down the road. Unlike Batman, who’s attempting to focus on the now, the issue is focused on its endpoint down the road.

Batman #102 is a rather thin issue that gets to the conflict between Ghost-Maker and Batman too quickly and doesn’t build enough tension. In other words, it’s just another person for Batman to fight not some difficult obstacle for him to overcome. Batman #102 rushes to its end fight without giving us much of a reason to care or much of a reason to think that this will be a tough battle. It needed to focus on setting up the issue itself not issues down the road.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Carlo Pagulayan, Carlos D’Anda
Ink: Danny Miki Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Batman #102

Batman #102

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Carlos D’Anda, Carlo Pagulayan

Bruce Wayne and the city he loves have changed dramatically following the events of “The Joker War,” but Batman and his mission are eternal. But not everyone thinks that should be the case… The mysterious vigilante known as Ghost-Maker has known Bruce since they were teenagers, and he’s made his decision. It’s time Gotham City had a new hero.

Batman #102

Preview: Batman: Gotham Nights #13

Batman: Gotham Nights #13

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Nothing 2 See Here…” by Michael Grey, Carlos D’Anda, Luis Guerrero, and Ryan Christy.

Damian Wayne, the most powerful adversary crime has ever known, sits alone in the Batcave, twiddling his thumbs. Where is Batman? Why won’t he allow Robin to help? And most importantly, why has he left Damian to die of boredom?

Incorruptable Force” by Scott Bryan Wilson, Christopher Mooneyham, Ivan Plascencia, and DC Hopkins

Two-Face and Commissioner Gordon walk into a bar. When old grudges are resurrected and new plots are revealed, it’s a coin toss as to who walks out.

Batman: Gotham Nights #13

Shazam Debuts on DC Digital First as Harley Quinn Returns

DC’s Digital First launches a new series this week, Shazam: Lightning Strikes! The digital comic features a story by Dan Jurgens and Travis Moore about DC’s Big Red Cheese vs the gods of Egypt! Also of note this week is the return of Harley Quinn: Make ‘em Laugh with a story by Mark Russell and Laura Braga, and a new story in Superman: The Man of Tomorrow by Robert Venditti and Gleb Melkinov, giving fans even more choice of characters while expanding DC’s digital publishing line with original stories.

And watch DC’s digital space this week for the fifth chapter of DCeased: Hope at World’s End on Tuesday July 14, the seventh chapter of Batman: The Adventures Continue on Thursday July 16, and the fourth chapter of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red on Friday July 17!

Monday July 13

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #11

Fight of a Lifetime” by Robert Venditti, Gleb Melkinov, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles
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A powerful warrior from space arrives to Earth with the sole purpose of fighting the Man of Steel himself. Can Superman defeat Grikus, the champion of 10,000 battles?

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #11

Tuesday July 14

Batman: Gotham Nights #13

Purchase

Nothing 2 See Here…” by Michael Grey, Carlos D’Anda, Luis Guerrero, and Ryan Christy.

Damian Wayne, the most powerful adversary crime has ever known, sits alone in the Batcave, twiddling his thumbs. Where is Batman? Why won’t he allow Robin to help? And most importantly, why has he left Damian to die of boredom?

Incorruptable Force” by Scott Bryan Wilson, Christopher Mooneyham, Ivan Plascencia, and DC Hopkins

Two-Face and Commissioner Gordon walk into a bar. When old grudges are resurrected and new plots are revealed, it’s a coin toss as to who walks out.

Batman: Gotham Nights #13

Wednesday July 15

Harley Quinn: Make ‘em Laugh #3

Escape Therapy” by Mark Russell, Laura Braga, Luis Guerrero, and Marshall Dillon
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Therapist extraordinaire Harley Quinn has been knocking it out of the park while helping Gotham’s criminal element navigate their psychological burdens. But not everyone shares her dedication to the mental health, and now Harley and her patients are stuck in Arkham Asylum with a robot who doesn’t make coffee and no way out!

Harley Quinn: Make ‘em Laugh #3

Thursday July 16

Titans: Titans Together #4

Career Day” by Phil Hester, Skott Koblish, John Kalisz, and Marshall Dillon
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When Wonder Girl, Starfire, and Raven give a presentation at a local high school, they’re confronted by a student with an ax to grind against the Titans. Raven is compelled to investigate, and they learn this teenager’s grievances might run deeper than they thought…

Titans: Titans Together #4

Friday July 17

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #1

Home Quest” by Dan Jurgens, Travis Moore, Nick Filardi, and Marshall Dillon. Cover by Evan “Doc” Shaner.

A class trip to an exhibit on Ancient Egypt goes all wrong when Billy tries to set a bragging classmate straight. Now they’ll have to work together to help a lost spirit find its way home!

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #1

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Preview: Batman: Secret Files #2

Batman: Secret Files #2

(W) Andy Kubert, Tim Seeley, Steve Orlando, Mairghread Scott, Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing (A) Eduardo Risso, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Carlos D’Anda, Amancay Nahuelpan (CA) Andy Kubert
In Shops: Jul 31, 2019
SRP: $4.99

“City of Bane” is upon us! Bane’s conquering Gotham City, but he’s not doing it alone. In this Secret Files issue, read about Bane and his cabal: The Joker, the Riddler, Hugo Strange and the Psycho-Pirate. Brutal stories of madness, murder and hatred done by some of comics’ greatest talents!

Batman: Secret Files #2

Review: DC’s Beach Blanket Bad Guys Summer Special

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got a summer special!

DC’s Beach Blanket Bad Guys Summer Special is by:

“WORST FINEST“
A JOKER/BIZARRO STORY
Lee Bermejo – Writer
Francesco Mattina – Artist
Tom Napolitano – Letters

“HELP“
A LEX LUTHOR STORY
Jeff Loveness – Writer
David Williams – Artist
Steve Buccellato – Colors
Carlos Mangual – Letters

“CLOSE SHAVE“
A MR. FREEZE STORY
Paul Dini – Writer
John Paul Leon – Artist
Deron Bennett – Letters

“FALSE IDOLS“
A CHEETAH STORY
Vita Ayala – Writer
Amancay Nahuelpan – Artist
June Chung – Colors
Clayton Cowles – Letters

“ICY EMBRACE“
A BLACK MANTA STORY
Gabriel Hardman & Corinna Bechko – Writers
Gabriel Hardman – Artist
Matthew Wilson – Colors
Deron Bennett – Letters

“GIGANTA STRONG“
A GIGANTA STORY
Michael Moreci – Writer
Max Raynor – Artist
Paul Mounts – Colors
Dave Sharpe – Letters

“CRUEL SUMMER“
A GORILLA GRODD STORY
Tim Seeley – Writer
Minkyu Jung – Artist
John Kalisz – Colors
Tom Napolitano – Letters

“DOG DAYS OF SUMMER“
A DEATHSTROKE STORY
Shea Fontana – Writer
Carlos D’Anda – Artist
Luis Guerrero – Colors
Carlos Mangual – Letters

“PERFECT GENTLEMAN“
A PENGUIN STORY
Daniel Kibblesmith – Writer
Laura Braga – Artist
Arif Prianto – Colors
Dave Sharpe – Letters

“INDEPENDENCE“
A CRIME SYNDICATE STORY
Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing – Writers
Giuseppe Camuncoli – Pencils
Cam Smith – Inks
Tomeu Morey – Colors
Clayton Cowles – Letters

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Preview: DC’s Beach Blanket Bad Guy Summer Special

DC’s Beach Blanket Bad Guy Summer Special

(W) Paul Dini, Lee Bermejo, Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, Tim Seeley, Rod Fontana (A) Carlos D’Anda, Gabriel Hardman, David Williams, Otto Schmidt
In Shops: Jul 25, 2018
SRP: $9.99

It’s summertime in the DCU and the bad guys are taking over! Beat the heat with 10 all-new stories by top comics talent starring DC’s most spectacular super-villains! In this issue, find out what Mr. Freeze does on the hottest day of the Gotham City summer! Learn what made Grodd such a bad gorilla! Then, while in a small beach town, Deathstroke gets hired for murder by the last person he’d expect! And The Joker and Bizarro team up for a truly weird summer bromance!

Preview: Cyborg #21

Cyborg #21

Story: Marv Wolfman
Art: Tom Derenick, Scott Kolins
Color: Wil Quintana
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover Art: Dale Eaglesham, Ivan Nunes
Variant Cover: Carlos D’Anda, Luis Guerrero
Group Editor: Jim Chadwick
Editor: Harvey Richards
In Shops: Apr 04, 2018
SRP: $3.99

In the DC Universe, Cyborg is the most technical advanced being on the planet-or so we thought. Introducing Mother Box 2.0: Robo-Dojo! Unlike Cyborg, these robots are piloted by the government’s best, brightest, and most loyal soldiers. Super Heroes just got a major upgrade produced, developed and financed by S.T.A.R. Labs.

Preview: The Flash #41

The Flash #41

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Carlos D’Anda
Colors: Luis Guerrero Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Group Editor: Marie Javins Editor: Rebecca Taylor Assistant Editor: Andrew Marino
In Shops: Feb 28, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“PERFECT STORM” part three! The Flash has lost what he prizes most of all and must call in an old ally to protect Central City while he sets out to get it back…Wally West! But with a new Flash protecting his city, will Barry be willing to cross lines he never crossed before?

Exclusive Preview: Scooby Apocalypse #22

Scooby Apocalypse #22

Written by: J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen
Art by: Colleen Doran, Andy Owens, Ron Wagner
Cover by: Carlos D’Anda
Variant cover by: Howard Chaykin
U.S. Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: February 14, 2018

The world as we know it is gone! The gang is left with two options: Save whoever they can or watch as the human race fades into extinction! Plus, the daring adventures of Secret Squirrel continue!

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