Writer: James Tynion IV
Art: Jorge Jimenez, Guillem March, Carlo Pagulayan, and Danny Miki
Publisher: DC COMICS
Release Date: October 6th, 2020
After the self-proclaimed 100 issue run of Batman by Tom King didn’t come to fruition, we finally make it to issue 100 penned by James Tynion IV. Will this oversized anniversary issue live up to the hype, or just fizzle out as yet another “meh” Joker story? Let’s head to Gotham City and find out!!
James Tynion hits a leadoff homer on page one! Oracle is back and so is the Bat-Family!
For this reviewer, this is what I was lost looking forward to! Dick as Nightwing after 2+ years of nonsense, plus everyone else you’d expect. Even Duke…
With Barbara back as Oracle and Orphan and Spoiler sporting the Bat symbol, I sure hope we get an Oracle and the Batgirls book!!
Based on the first 5 pages of this book I’d give this book a 10. Alas, there’s a lot more to get through. Tynion’s strength is writing the Bat-Family so I’m all for more of this going forward. Not just standing around for a page, but actual involvement in the story. That’s what we get this issue!
As with many others, I’m not a fan of Tynion’s portrayal of the Joker. My favorite version of the Joker is in Death of the Family. Different era, different writer blah, blah, blah, but this doesn’t seem like the same character at all. Other than in appearance. It doesn’t ruin the book by any means. The good far outweighs the bad overall in the issue so I’ll focus more on the good.
The re-emergence of the Bat-family is by far the best part of this issue, but following very closely behind is the absolutely outstanding art by Jorge Jimenez and the coloring by Tomeu Morey. Mere words aren’t capable of doing justice to the art/coloring. It literally needs to be seen to be believed. A top tier book deserves the top tier art, and Batman has the perfect combo of writer/art in my opinion. And with that being said, I’m elated that both Tynion and Jimenez are staying on Batman post issue 100.
I mentioned hype in my opening blurb. Much of the hype of this issue was centered around Punchline and Clown Hunter. Do they live up to it? Well, yes and no. They are featured in the backup stories that serve as a prelude of sorts to what Tynion has in store for us in Batman in 2021. The Punchline story eerily has a Heroes in Crisis feel to it. Some shade being thrown Tom King’s way perhaps?? Batman also just happens to know Clown Hunters name and background. We have no idea how he came upon this info though. He just states it. Very strange.
So, to answer my own question, did it live up to the hype? Not for me, but I’ve got low expectations. I don’t read solicits and rarely look at upcoming covers anymore. I like to pretend I’m 12 and heading into the drug store and have absolutely no idea what I’ll find on the spinner rack and be surprised. But in 2020 it is next to impossible to avoid anything if you’re online even a little bit. That being said, I liked the issue quite a bit. It’s just not great. I have the Bat-Family back. Bruce is trying to be better, and hopefully not a jerk all the time. And perhaps a bit more trusting. We’ve got a fabulous art team and a writer who I personally like much better than the previous one. So….I’d say things are looking up in Gotham!
James Tynion brings the Bat-Family back in a big way! He also sets up several storylines while finishing out the Joker War with a character that doesn’t feel like the Joker all that much to this reviewer. The art is absolutely stunning! So while the main villain seemed a bit off, the issue/arc end with the series trending upwards.