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"Batman #90" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Comics


Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Jorge Jimenez
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on March 4th, 2020


It's tough for criminals to keep secrets from Batman in Gotham City, yet that's just what Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, and The Joker have done. Years ago, they met with the mysterious Designer, a man used to pulling strings from the shadows to pull off the greatest crimes you've never heard of. The meeting did not go well and the four rogues left a body behind... only the Designer is back with his sights set on Batman.

I've enjoyed writer James Tynion IV's run on Batman so far, but I have to say, this issue really steps up the game. The story is absolutely riveting, pulling you in deeper and deeper with each turn of the page. I desperately want to learn more about this strange new villain and what he's capable of.

Click images to enlarge

Additionally, Tynion IV builds on the storied history of Batman, setting this clandestine meeting in the early days of these villains' careers and showing how they've grown and changed since then. This is particularly true for the Joker as this is before he really crossed a few lines and became pure evil. It's fascinating to see all these character quirks build up over time. It shows how the bad guys up their game with each new scheme and the heroes are forced to do the same to keep up.

This is greatly enhanced by artist Jorge Jimenez's work on Batman #90. He showcases a younger look for these four, harkening back to a simpler time before all the scars pile up. Jimenez's artwork is absolutely amazing. I found myself exclaiming “WOAH” on numerous occasions while reading this issue. The details are off the charts. The characters are expressive. The action is frenetic and exciting. This is some next level stuff.

The Designer's lair is called Tartarus House. It's a creepy cabin of sorts that floats out in the waters just outside Gotham. To get there, you take a boat driven by an animated corpse. It's a super creepy setup. As we're just starting to learn about the Designer, I'm very intrigued by this. Just how far does his reach go? This adds a supernatural flair to the new villain.

Click images to enlarge

Colorist Tomeu Morey makes this location look rather ominous. It's surrounded by an eerie green mist, like you can't see it until it's right upon you. Lights shine brightly through the windows as if the house itself is alive. Catwoman is telling this whole story to Batman atop a building in Gotham as the rain pours down around them. It's a fittingly dark tone for the tale of blood and carnage.

One detail I will never get tired of is how The Joker's voice is shown. Letterer Clayton Cowles uses wavy word balloons to convey a lilting and... well... crazy tone for the Clown Prince of Crime. It adds to his menacing nature, like anything can happen when he's around.

I was already all in on this latest iteration of Batman, but this issue just knocked my socks off. It works on so many levels, properly introducing us to the Designer, filling in some gaps in the timeline, making The Joker look just as terrifying as ever, and setting up the story in the present day, all wrapped in some of the best artwork you'll see on the stands today. This comic is awesome and I cannot wait for more.


Story: fivestars Cover
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Art: fivestars
Overall: 5 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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