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Batman 106 Main

"Batman #106" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Comics

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Written by James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Jorge Jimenez and Gleb Melnikov
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Lettered by Clayton Cowles and Troy Peteri
2021, 33 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on March 2nd, 2021

Review:

In the wake of the Joker War, Batman's status quo has changed. He's no longer the richest man in Gotham and he's running a more streamlined operation out of the heart of the city. Barbara Gordon has resumed her role as Oracle, helping to guide the Dark Knight on his war on crime and he's joined by a face from his past with Ghost-Maker. Will this new setup be enough to stop the Scarecrow as he rises from the shadows? And what of the billionaire Simon Saint who has set up shop in Gotham pitching a Magistrate peace-keeping force?

After getting a glimpse of a possible destiny for this city in Future State, it's interesting to see where writer James Tynion IV takes the Caped Crusader now. Batman #106 is very much laying the groundwork for what we can expect for the next phase of the hero's adventures. It's got a different vibe than what we saw before. It's still dark, but there's a tinge of light in there, like Bruce Wayne is invigorated by this new challenge.

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Artist Jorge Jimenez delivers some sharp and exciting artwork. The first sequence showing Batman in action is a thing of beauty, making the hero look like a giant among men. It sets a high bar right from the get go. Colorist Tomeu Morey adds to this with some terrific rendering that mixes the shadows of the city with the bright lights and technicolor adventures we can expect from the colorful enemies the Dark Knight encounters.

All of this is great, but what really stands out is the Scarecrow. This is a version of Jonathan Crane we have never seen before. It pulls from elements of previous designs, such as the hypodermic needle claws, but adds so much more to him to turn the guy into a total monster. This is the kind of stuff people have nightmares about and rightfully so. It's hard to make one of the creepiest villains in Batman's rogues gallery even scarier, but that is accomplished tenfold here.

Letterer Clayton Cowles gives the Scarecrow the frightening voice he deserves. The speech is delivered in a traditional spooky style of word balloon with black backgrounds and white font, but what makes it stand out are the shape of the balloons. They're not smooth ovals. Instead, they're rough and angular, like the words are distorted through a filter.

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Click image to enlarge

This is an exciting new take on Batman with a whole new set of challenges. Scarecrow is the perfect villain to start this out, as he can pull on all the fears and self-doubt the Caped Crusader buries deep down to continue his war on crime. It's clear the villain is going big and I am here for it.

Batman #106 also features a backup story focused on Damian Wayne as he searches for his new place in this world. Writer Joshua Williamson, artist Gleb Melnikov, and letterer Troy Peteri show Batman's son venturing to Markovia to face his mother and battle the mysterious League of Lazarus. This is a great complement to the main story. I'm not entirely sold on Damian's new costume, but that mainly comes down to the mask, as it has these little ear flaps that kind of make his head look like a fish. The cloak and everything else looks great and it's even better in action.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.
Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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