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Batman 94 Main

"Batman #94" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Comics

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Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Guillem March & Rafael Albuquerque
Colored by David Baron
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 8th, 2020

Review:

Batman is battered, bleeding, and alone. The Dark Knight has a sword through his leg as he finally sees the bigger picture. The Designer's plan is laid out for him to see and the real person pulling the strings stands revealed. All is lost.

Well, that's a pretty depressing opening paragraph. However, that paints the picture for what to expect as “Their Dark Designs” wraps up and we prepare for what comes next in “Joker War.” Considering that the following story arc has gotten a heavy amount of promotion, it's not much of a spoiler to talk about the Clown Prince of Crime as the one behind all this. It's as impressive as it is terrifying.

Writer James Tynion IV puts Batman in a rough position. I mean, that's kind of the job of every writer for the Caped Crusader, but in this case, the guy is brought lower than ever. Not only is he without the support of his adopted family, but he's now penniless and potentially on the run. It's hard to pay for all those fancy gadgets without any cash.

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One aspect of Batman that is making it really unsettling is that the Joker most definitely knows that Bruce Wayne is under the cape and cowl. This has been hinted at for a while, but it's clear as day now. That secret identity was always something that allowed Batman to stay at least a step or two ahead of the Joker, but that is stripped away now. Not only that, but the villain has the Wayne fortune. Imagine all the horrors he's going to cook up with that capitol.

The rest of Gotham City is preparing for “Joker War” too. They realize the danger they're in. This is true not just for the Dark Knight but also for the other villains. They're basically bracing for impact, like you would if you were waiting for a tornado. This speaks to the dastardly nature of the Joker, as the entire DC Universe is aware of what this man is capable of. He's not all squirt flowers and laughing gas. He's far more sinister than that.

As menacing as he is, Joker barely appears in Batman #94, yet his presence is most definitely felt. He pops up in an impressive double-page spread, maniacally grinning as he brags about what he has in store for Batman. It's not quite a victory lap, but it's pretty frightening.

The artwork in this issue is a little uneven, as it's split between two artists, Guillem March and Rafael Albuquerque. They're both solid pencilers in their own right, but their styles are different enough to disrupt the flow. March has done some phenomenal work on this book so far and this issue is no different. His depiction of the Joker is full of course lines and unsettling wrinkles, giving the character a twisted visage that is nothing short of haunting.

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Similarly, Batman is shown as this powerful force of a man. Nothing will keep him down, even the aforementioned sword through his leg. He's made of muscle and will power and he's pissed off. You can see how the events of this evening are weighing on him. While he's certainly capable of carrying this load, he's still struggling with it.

This is shown well in a beautiful exchange between him and Catwoman. Letterer Clayton Cowles brings a ton of emotion to this scene as the two speak over the phone. Much is implied as the history between them is vast, however the words that do come through speak volumes.

Colorist David Baron casts an ominous cloud over Batman #94, giving us an idea of the dark terrors awaiting us. The sun may never rise again in Gotham City by the looks of things. This issue finishes with a bold splash page that has the faintest glimmer of hope as the world's greatest detective rises to the challenge laid out by his arch-rival. This is like a candle in a hurricane though, so he'll need a lot more if he hopes to take down his foe.

This arc in Batman was unsettling to say the least. It has shook the Dark Knight to his core and now it prepares to put him through a gauntlet like never before. It's not just a solid super hero book. It's one full of terror at every turn from one of the most heinous villains ever to appear on the comic book page.

Grades:

Story: fivestars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4.5 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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