Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Jorge Molina, Mikel Janín, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: February 1st, 2022
After hearing that BATMAN INC. was incarcerated for the death of this mystery person named Abyss, BATMAN left for Badhnisia to investigate. Sure enough, the rumors are true, however, BATMAN discovers that Lex Luthor has been funding BATMAN INC. leaving Bruce wondering why. Nevertheless, BATMAN’S inquiry leads him into a direct showdown with Abyss thus proving BATMAN INC.’S innocence. Yet, as the fight comes to a close, Bruce is somehow blinded by Abyss and left in pretty bad shape. Let’s dive into BATMAN #120 to uncover what’s next with Bruce’s investigation as well as Lex’s involvement and who this new character Abyss happens to be.
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Joshua Williamson uses this issue of BATMAN #120 as more of a setup and big reveal to twist the reader’s mindset and make them question who’s really responsible. It’s a commendable technique that many writers do to warranty confusion in hopes to hook the reader. The reveal at the conclusion of the issue wasn’t too bad and truly does have my interest piqued. However, it does point me towards some speculation as to who Abyss is as well as a possible motive. Additionally, the clever twist as BATMAN #120 ends appears to make Lex Luthor more of a red herring than anything else.
As stated above, BATMAN #120’s focus is more on the story and setup pushing thrills and action towards the back burner. Sometimes, this is a necessity to help hone the true scope of the creatives team’s narrative. However, my big problem with BATMAN this week was that Williamson pumped the breaks for a reveal that really only occurred as the story wrapped making the entirety of the issue feel flat. Moreover, readers will discover a few, more ridiculous elements of the story. For those that forgot, BATMAN lost his sight yet can still manage to break into a maximum-security prison and fight solely by someone talking through to his earpiece.
Moreover, this next take is more trivial, but I hate when comic book characters are put in prison yet still remain in their costumes and masks. I get it… you don’t want to reveal their identity. And I understand for illustration purposes, it stands out more making characters more noticeable and distinguishable. But, that would never happen. Furthermore, the reveal may also lend itself as to why BATMAN INC. was still in their attire since the prison was more a setup for BATMAN than anything else.
So, to introduce mild spoilers, my assumption after the reveal in BATMAN #120 is that Abyss is either Detective Cayha or one of her lost family members. Technically, Cayha and Abyss haven’t been in the same place at the same time yet. It would still be hard for Williamson to connect those dots, especially with her guiding BATMAN through the prison. But, why else would Williamson spend so much time of the issue getting to know a new character that may not even be within any future arcs of BATMAN? She’s most certainly connected to Abyss if not herself Abyss. I’ve been wrong more times than I can remember. However, the puzzle pieces fit together nicely.
Jorge Molina and Mikel Janín steal the show once again. These two show just how much more important art is to story. Molina and Janín take an average story and make it real, exciting, and dynamic. They add definition to the characters as well as emotion. Heck, Clayton Cowles even gets into BATMAN #120 with his powerful lettering and design showing BATMAN’S frustration throughout the entire issue. Or, how about the drastic color distinction in Lex’s suit making the yellows vibrant and glowing while adding shadows across his face? Truly stellar work from this creative team. Ultimately, it’s Molina and Janín that breathe life into this average story and make the difference this week.
BATMAN #120 is more setup and less action with an interesting enough reveal that does cause the reader to question Lex’s involvement as well as who Abyss really is. However, the action takes a backseat to the story this week slowing down the pacing just a tad. Yet, Molina and Janín deliver a thorough display with vivid detail that will still captivate the reader this week. As far as Williamson’s run goes, this is by far the least exciting issue hindering the scope of the story in order to move the plot forward.
However, Molina and Janín definitely overcompensate and almost mask some of the ridiculousness. As of right now, I’m definitely still in on BATMAN but hope that the pieces jive a bit better after BATMAN #121. However, my biggest need is a thorough explanation involving Cayha and Abyss if my assumption is correct. If not, I think there are too many plot holes that simply won’t fit. So, if I’m wrong, then no worries. But if I’m right, readers will need a detailed explanation of their connection to make it believable instead of laughable. Let me know why you think, have a great week, and God Bless!