The highlight of DC’s “Future State” was its Batman line of comics. It featured a neon Gotham under the watchful fascist eye of a new security force that has cracked down on “masks”. In the current Batman line of comics, we’re seeing the seeds of that possible future laid out and what turned Gotham from a grimy city to a futuristic fascist state. Batman #110 has Batman confronting Peacekeeper-01 and the city inching further towards its dark future after an attack on City Hall.
James Tynion IV has really come into a groove when it comes to this series. The current focus has a great mix of action, tension, and political maneuvering. It also has some small bumpy moments I have trouble getting over. The issue really comes down to Simon Saint’s plan coming into focus. The attack on City Hall and threat of Scarecrow have the Mayor forced to get into business with Saint. We, the reader, know that Saint is behind all of this creating unrest so he can gain influence and power. What the actual end goal for Saint isn’t quite clear beyond having his Magistrate program launched. Even in Future State Saint’s ultimate goal wasn’t clear beyond just being a rich asshole.
Where the issue is bumpy is Batman himself. In his battle, Peacekeeper-01 admits to everything. Batman has the evidence in a confession that Saint and Peacekeeper-01 are behind all of the current issues. So, being Batman, wouldn’t he have a way to record this and release it? It feels like when a villain confesses he probably should use that. It’s a hole I kept coming back to.
But, Tynion does a fantastic job of making Peacekeeper-01 Batman’s equal if not better in some ways in Batman #110. It feels like an actual tough fight. There are moments I’m really unsure if Batman will win and if he does, how? We’ve got a new villain who can go toe to toe with one of the best DC has to offer. And, it doesn’t feel unrealistic as to why or how. Tynion keeps it simple in some ways and it works all the better for it.
The art by Jorge Jimenez is amazing. With color by Tomeu Morey and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the action and tension is perfect. The issue blends those shocking reveals and desperate moments for a comic that ups the stakes and really moves the story forward. What’s great is that Batman’s wearing down is a slow progression. There’s no quick blow, it’s an actual fight and brawl and we get to see what Batman’s up against as that progresses. As the issue goes on, we see that slowly wear on Batman as he realizes what he’s up against and what he needs to do resulting in a breathtaking escape beautifully rendered.
The issue also continues the “Ghost-Maker” backup story also written by Tynion. It’s another fantastic entry that has me liking this new character more and more with each chapter. It features art by Richard Lopez with color by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and lettering by Clayton Cowles. Each chapter has been fantastic with villains recounting their encounter with the hero. And we get to learn more about his abilities and why he’s such a great foe. But, there’s a question building as to where this character was in “Future State” and if he could take on Peacekeeper-01?
Batman #110 ups the action and really gets the ball rolling even more. It’s a hell of an issue where the cards are laid out on the table and we can see the “fall of Gotham”. We get a villain that feels like Batman’s equal but left with questions as to how stupid people are, because it’s clear as to who’s behind everything. Still, it’s a fantastic chapter as this latest arc of Batman is one of the best in a while.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Jorge Jimenez, Richard Lopez
Color: Tomeu Morey, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review