Batman #86 & Batman #87 review – the king is dead?

5

Summary

James Tynion has hit the ground running in Batman #86 and Batman #87, and if you were one of the people who jumped off the title, now’s the time to return.

This review of Batman #86 and Batman #87 only contains very minor spoilers and no major plot details.


So Tom King’s long, long run on Batman came to a conclusion with his 85th issue on the title and the conclusion of his Bane and Bad Dad Wayne storyline. To say that the run garnered a lot of attention from fans would be an understatement, as his softening of the character, along with a huge romantic subplot leading to one of the greatest comic book U-turns in history, split the fandom in two. But then again, what doesn’t these days?

Regardless of your stance on his run, it appears that the powers that be at DC decided enough was enough, and despite King publicly announcing his desire to do 100 issues of the title, it was unceremoniously cut at issue #85, meaning there may have been nearly two more years of King ready to arrive, but not on this title.

The wedding, issue #50, was perhaps for many the jumping-off point.

Arguments that Batman in any incarnation would not take a wife had already begun to cause fans to wonder about the decisions being taken on the book, and then the hype and marketing was gazumped when the story leaked to the press before the issue hit the stands, and the actual wedding was, of course, canceled.

Sales slumped further, King left the title early, and new writer James Tynion took over.

Oh my, he has hit the ground running in Batman #86 and #87.

Dealing very loosely with the previous storyline, Tynion immediately sets his standards on where this title is going. We see Batman reminiscing about moments with the now-dead Alfred (thanks Tom) and deciding his doodles of a new Gotham, with him as an architect, should see fruition. A later battle with Deathstroke sees Batman focussed, fierce and looking like a force to be feared.

The art by Guillem March on Batman #87 shows elements of Tony Daniels and Andy Kubert and we see Batman, and his villains, as larger than life, often quite horrific stylized characters, but with enough context not to look silly.

The dialogue is crisp, often strangely funny, and there is very little navel-gazing to wade through. The story flits by with great pacing, and Tynion seems to show great respect for the Batman lore. The fight scenes are vicious and stakes are high.

And Batman is on a Luge. Take my money.

If you dropped this book, it’s time to get back on it.


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Louie Fecou

Louie Fecou reviews films, tv shows and comics for Ready Steady Cut, HC Movie Reviews and We Have A Hulk.  He currently runs his own business in between watching films.

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