Batman #97 (Review)

Aug 20, 2020

Batman #97
DC Comics

Words by James Tynion IV
Art by Jorge Jimenz 
Color by Tomeu Morey
Letters by Clayton Cowles

All hell is breaking out in Gotham with Joker’s newly stolen fortunes. With Batman still recovering from Punchline toxin and Gotham looking for a new villain, the only hope is Harley and Clown Hunter. Can Batman’s new allies help him save Gotham?

This issue is unique as it’s the setup to the setup. We learn more about how Clown Hunter functions and the fear he has installed in Joker’s men. As he is not bound to Batman’s no killing policy, there is a genuine fear of him. We also get to see the growing animosity between Harley and Punchline.

Tynion IV has regained what was making his Batman run great when he took over for Tom King. In this issue he is keeping the story on track and not trying to tell multiple stories at once. By focusing on the characters he is able to allow the narrative and his story to flow. By setting everything up to be intertwined with all the parts it pushes the story forward with strong traction. 

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The art in this issue is also a vast improvement from the other issues. With the bi weekly deadline, the strain to deliver top art is a strain for a lot of artists and Jimenz work was evident of it. He was able to figure out that balance and it shows in this issue. One of the things that stands out is how well he prioritized which panels needed a detailed background and which ones didn’t. 

Over all this issue has improved and is back on the right track. Jimenz’s art doesn’t feel inconsistent and haphazardly thrown together with backgrounds and characters looking flat like in previous issues. Tynion IV story is solid and doesn’t feel over encumbered with too many moving parts. This was a solid issue and shows a lot of promise with the payoff if they can keep it going this way. 

Score 8.5

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