Too often after a big event there’s this overwhelming urge to get everything back to the familiar status quo. James Tynion IV doubles down on the decisions he made during Their Dark Designs and The Joker War forcing Bruce Wayne to relearn how to be a better Batman.
While The Joker didn’t win the public eye is focused more on Bruce and how his money is being spent. With Lucius Fox now in control of the Wayne fortune, Bruce has to play by a different, less exorbitant way to battle crime. That means the hi-tech toys are temporarily not in the budget. Ditto for Batmobile factories. Batman’s going to have to fix his own ride.
The new changes also include a bodyguard for Lucius with Grifter coming on board as a supporting character. This is a fun element that Tynion immediately shows the potential following a Batman and Grifter encounter. This idea of making Batman more financially responsible is a good one and removes the massive fortune he could always depend on in his fight against Gotham’s worst.
Tynion also addresses the status of the Batman/Catwoman relationship in a way that makes a lot of sense and paves the way for Tom King’s Batman/Catwoman series. If there was a down part to the issue it was Tynion didn’t work in any of Batman’s sidekicks into the issue following The Joker War just to reiterate Batman’s stance that they’re not soldiers, but family.
Guillem March handles the art this issue and has become a very reliable and solid artist for Batman. His style still favors the female form, but he’s evolved his work to handle the gritty street crime level action required in a Batman title. Tomeu Morey’s color work looked amazing as always.
I’m very excited about the future of Batman as Tynion continues to create a reinvention that makes sense without a renumbering, new suit or shocking death to establish. Batman has once again become one of DC’s best titles in a time when that kind of consistent quality is most desperately needed.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10