While most of the DC titles are getting new creative teams, Batman provides some measure of consistency with writer James Tynion, artist Jorge Jimenez, colorist Tomeu Morey and letterer Clayton Cowles back for the Infinite Frontier era with an eye towards possibly setting in motion the events of Future State.
Batman and his allies are facing a new threat with The Unsanity Collective and their leader Master Wyze. Tynion has done some impressive world building during his run, with several new additions to the Bat Family and Rogue gallery. This is the kind of creativity that had been stifled for awhile until creators started receiving more credit for work done under the umbrella of Marvel and DC. It’s nice to see as Tynion isn’t just rolling out the same villains and supporting cast members over and over again.
Oracle is a natural fit in the post-Alfred setting and Ghost Maker makes for a fun sidekick-type character even if he’s more of an equal to Batman than a junior partner.
Tynion hasn’t been at a loss at creating new dangerous scenarios and formidable opponents for Batman and the Unsanity Collective is an intriguing new opponent. Just as ominous is the wheels being set in motion to introduce the Peacemakers and The Magistrate, which ruled Gotham in Future State. Speeding ahead to that timeframe seems unlikely, but Tynion is teasing it now to suggest it’s a possibility.
Jimenez has really settled in to his run on Batman and his work looks even more confident and striking as it did when he started. His layouts have always skewed toward the dramatic, but they have a gripping sense of motion and adrenaline now. Morey’s color work is very impressive particularly in the small light effects and Cowles does some creative lettering for some of the more sinister and twisted characters in this issue.
Additionally, writer Joshua Williamson and artist Gleb Melnikov craft a short Robin story. They begin exploring Damian’s steps after moving on from his Robin identity as he reconnects with Talia just in time to face a new group of assassins. This story continues on in Detective Comics, a savvy way of ensuring readers pick up both Batman titles.
Batman returns without missing a beat and Tynion, Jimenez and company set up this new arc that already looks to be another memorable one for a creative team that seems to be on an extended hot streak.
Rating: 10 out of 10
You can already pre-order the Infinite Frontier arc, The Cowardly Lot, from Amazon now.