For seven issues, the Dark Knight has seemingly faced one of the most cunning new villains he’s fought in years. However, Batman #93 brings that all tumbling down on top of him.
James Tynion IV, Guillem March, Javier Fernandez, Tomeu Morey, David Baron, and Clayton Cowles bring the saga of the Designer to a shocking end.
Batman finds himself face to face with the Designer. As the two duel, Batman explains the plan while his allies rush to stop it. However, the obvious is revealed, as it turns out the Joker is behind it all! Has the Clown Prince of Crime finally won?
I struggled with this issue a lot. There’s a lot to like here. The action is good, the plot is interesting, and the last few pages, though telegraphed throughout the issue, are a genuine gut wrenching moment. However, it’s hard to look past the pure camp of this issue. The dialogue is over-the-top, the twists are predictable (even if they are executed well), and it’s impossible to discount that this is yet another Joker story. It has its redeeming qualities, so I’m still on board, but this issue ultimately fell flat.
Where the issue succeeds is its art. March’s exaggerated pencils are a huge mismatch from Fernandez’s sleek lines, but they divide the story in a way that it works to their advantage rather than detriment. March’s Dark Knight is a massive, imposing figure, and his duel with the Designer looks stunning. However, Fernandez does a tremendous job with his quieter scenes. It especially shines through with the fantasy sequence in which each villain fulfills their wildest dreams. It’s a visually exciting issue, that’s worth it for the art alone.
Up next, we’re thrust into the ‘Joker War’. I’m curious to see what we have in store for this crossover event. Hopefully it’s an upwards swing form here.
Batman #93 is available now from DC Comics.