James Tynion IV‘s run on Batman, so far, has been a lot of ups and downs. Arcs overall have been good but none are instant classics. It’s all entertaining but not a lot is memorable. Everything is just a setup to something else with very little feeling like real conclusions. Batman #105 continues that pattern as the “Ghost Stories” arc wraps up.
Batman, Harley Quinn, and Clownhunter are still captured by Ghost-Maker with Clownhunter being tempted to enact revenge against Harley with only Batman there to stop him. It’s a test by Ghost-Maker in hopes of making a point to Bruce/Batman that his ways are a failure. It all leads into another battle between Batman and Ghost-Maker as Bruce attempts to make a point his way is better to his long-time friend and rival.
Tynion uses the arc to introduce this new rival/friend but also continues to set up the new status-quo for Batman. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as layers are added to his vision for the character. But, while some themes are touched upon, each new layer seems to forget there was a layer underneath ignoring what has been set up before. In this case, Gotham is still dealing with the after effects of “The Joker War” but that is barely touched upon. Instead we get a bit of a continuation that Bruce/Batman has been a failure.
The forgetting of layers also seems to happen within Batman #105. The first half of the comic focuses on the dynamic between Clownhunter and Harley. As soon as that’s over, Clownhunter stomps off and Harley just disappears. While Bruce fights it out, she’s nowhere to be seen though could have stuck around to help. You’d also think Clownhunter, so focused on revenge, might want to stick around to get some against the person who kidnapped him.
The art of the comic is handled by Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, Alvaro Martinez, Christian Duce. Unlike the previous issue, this one feels much more consistent in art. The different creators aren’t as noticeable and not the detriment like the previous issue. Joined by David Baron on color and Clayton Cowles on lettering, the issue has an almost “classic” design about it. Batman looks much more like Neal Adams’ version, the blue cowl and grey suit. There’s some inconsistency in Batman’s body but overall, everything flows well and there’s a good view of the action. Nothing is confusing or too much of a “quick cut”.
Batman #105 sets up an interesting dynamic by the end of the issue but like the arcs before doesn’t quite satisfy. It again feels like a piece of a bigger puzzle. And due to that, it’s not all that satisfying. These aren’t the classic days where Batman’s adventures were confined to some issues that you could enjoy on their own. Instead, this is just part of a bigger story whose arcs don’t feel like they quite stand on their own.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, Alvaro Martinez, Christian Duce
Color: David Baron Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.35 Recommendation: Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review