Writer: James Tynion IV Artist: Guillem March Rating: 4.5/5
After seeing The Riddler and The Penguin enter the fold last issue, I was looking forward to see what part they were going to play in this new storyline and I wasn’t disappointed. If you haven’t read this issue yet then I’m gonna issue a SPOILER warning here. SPOILERS BELOW. You have been warned.
This issue did a great job in capturing what makes these characters so fun and exciting. From Catwoman, to The Penguin, to Deathstroke, Tynion IV knows just how to write these characters and characterises them perfectly.
Opening up with Catwoman grave digging, we saw her contact The Riddler. Demanding to know what is going on, it’s revealed Catwoman, The Riddler, The Penguin and The Joker had once put a plan into motion to take down Batman and now it’s looking like someone is using their plan, Catwoman is scared her original involvement will ruin any relationship she has with Batman. I like how they did this as it shows how much she cares about Bruce now, but doesn’t shy away from the fact she was once quite the villain and she’s come a king way to better herself.
This issue did a good job capturing what made The Penguin such a great character as well. Buying off the prison guards and using them to kidnap Deathstroke and his gang of assassins, before offering each assassin a large sum of money to leave Gotham for at least a year. It demonstrated perfectly how The Penguin believes his money is always the answer to any problem he has and the way he reacts when he sees that this isn’t the case is always entertaining.
After a lack lustre first couple of appearances in this story, this issue restored a lot of the reputation Deathstroke has as a cold blooded killer that makes him such a fan favourite. Having him quickly escape Penguin’s grasp and swiftly slit the villa inside neck, but having the precision to make sure Batman was able to save The Penguin, giving Deathstroke and his gang the chance to escape whilst Batman tended to The Penguin. This sequence showed how brutal, but intelligent Slade Wilson could be, which I loved!
The arrival of Harley Quinn was a nice surprise and her statement that “You don’t even want to know how deep this goes. It’s enough to drive you nuts.” sends an ominous warning that something big is about to hit Gotham and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds!
While it had shock value initially, Catwoman digging up a grave to reveal The Joker’s corpse quickly lost it’s lustre when I remembered we had the Joker War coming up so it was quite clear there is no intention of killing The Joker off so there would obviously be an explanation around this.
All in all I absolutely loved this issue and it was probably my favourite from James Tynion IV’s run so far and I think he’s doing a fantastic job of building up the aura surrounding The Designer and creating the message that this new villain is going to be quite the adversary for The Dark Knight.
Have you read Batman #88? If so what did you think? Feel free to comment underneath and let me know!