An interesting interlude has to overcome rushed art.
Readers probably know all they possibly could know about Batman. However, the Dark Knight seldom pushes outside of Gotham City. It was a question that didn’t really need answering, but it might be one that readers will enjoy in this issue.
This untold tale of Batman’s history continues to clash with her current world here. It’s a story mix that’s hard to fully judge. So far it’s just riding a line of what it can be, thanks to the work of James Tynion IV, Ryan Benjamin, Guillem March, Bengal, Danny Miki, David Baron and Clayton Cowles.
The Ghost-Maker has Batman, Harley, and the Clownhunter all trapped in Arkham. The killer has one goal- to prove he’s better than Batman. Can the Bat-Family find them before blood is shed?
This issue is mostly an interlude, but Tynion does do a few things with the story that make it worthwhile. A Nightwing narrated flashback gives the readers more about Batman and Ghost-Maker’s relationship and how the latter operates. It also gives us some great teases of how the Bats are going to operate from here on out- a slightly more modern take on the late-90’s/early-2000’s status quo that’s exciting to see return.
Artist jam issues are almost always difficult to read. Here it’s a strong showing by each artist, but having three line artists gives any issue a very rushed feel. Bengal’s pages are strongest, depicting a reunited Bat-family in action. March also does some great action scenes while conveying the emotional impact of Batman’s ruined friendship. Baron’s colors are the unifying element that ties it together, at least giving the wildly different styles a visual theme that ties it all together.
The Ghost-Maker is about to make Gotham a living hell. The story’s been a lot of fun so far, and it’s on the right path. I just hope to see it stick the landing.
Batman #104 is available now from DC Comics.