May 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: Batman #87 (January, 2020)

Batman thought he had a handle on things. Catwoman, the Riddler, and the Penguin know otherwise.

I had heard good things about James Tynion’s Batman run.  I wasn’t too keen on his Detective Comics run, but I figured I should give this stuff a try.  He did follow up Tom King’s run, and I did enjoy that.

Well, hey, two issues in, and this is far and away better than what I saw in Detective Comics.

Issue:  Batman #87, January 2020

Writer:  James Tynion IV

Artist:  Guillem March

The Plot:  Batman’s enemies know something the Dark Knight doesn’t, and it looks like it’s scaring the crap out of them.

Commentary:  So far, this new run seems to be showing Batman working to get past the absence of two of his longtime allies.  Alfred Pennyworth was killed by Bane, and Jim Gordon…I’m not sure where he is.  Probably a different book.  Harvey Bullock is the commissioner right now.  And if I thought it was something of a cheat that Batman took out Deathstroke and four other super-assassins, well, there was more to it than met the eye.  Cheshire was actually something of a decoy, and Batman has to go after her.  Plus, whoever is behind all this, Deathstroke isn’t too upset that he’s been captured.

That said, as much as the Batman stuff in this issue is exciting–and it is!–I am  bit more intrigued over the reactions of Catwoman, the Riddler, and the Penguin over all this.  All three seem to know what’s going on, but at the same time, all three react to whatever is going on in very in-character ways.  Catwoman is just holding off telling Batman.  She’s semi-reformed, more anti-hero than villain, and Selina and Bruce are still in a relationship that she probably doesn’t want to ruin.

The Riddler went into hiding, becoming some sort of paranoid recluse looking for clues everywhere while forgoing sleep.  He doesn’t do much in the issue beyond talk to the Penguin, but it’s clear they both know something and that something hasn’t been shared with the audience yet.

Oh, and the Penguin is gearing up for war.  He’s killing a room full of, let’s say, underlings while talking to the Riddler in those opening pages.  Oswald gets a bit more “screentime” this issue, and it looks like he’ll be more of an immediate threat than the others or whoever is on the horizon.

The point is I am intrigued over what the bad guys know as it is something that obviously scares all three of them.  Someone from their mutual past is freaking them out.  Who can scare the three of them?  I mean, all three of them?  Scare one or the other, OK, but all three?  I’m not sure even the Joker scares all three of them.  Who is this?

Oh, and it looks like next issue is that Deathstroke rematch.  Maybe this time I’ll get to see it.

Grade:  B+