Review: The Dark Knight Faces Darker Designs In Batman #87

by Tony Thornley
Cover by Tony Daniel and Tomeu Morey

In this new era of the Dark Knight’s adventures, a sinister undercurrent is already running through the story. However, Batman #87 shows that it might be even worse than it first appears.

James Tynion IV, Guillem March, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles continue forging ahead into this new era.

A sinister presence is returning to Gotham, and Batman’s enemies are running scared. However, Batman and the GCPD are too busy to notice. After all, they have their hands full with Deathstroke, Cheshire and their team of assassins!

Though this issue still has the darkness that runs through most Batman stories, Tynion IV adds an element that I haven’t seen in a long time – this story is just plain fun. Sure it’s very serious, and there are high stakes, but it has multiple moments that just make me grin. 

This is a comic where a group of assassins try to eliminate one of Batman’s closest allies. However it’s also a comic where Batman is shot through a rail gun on a rocket street luge to catch one of the killers on a motorcycle. It’s exciting, fun, and exactly what the series needed in this new run.

March balances the two sides of the story in a great way. The fun superhero action is exaggerated and exciting. He makes sure it’s dynamic, with panels in wild shapes, and great lines to guide the reader through the page. Morey’s colors are the perfect sort of dark and moody for Gotham, but during this scene he adds splashes and highlights of bright colors to heighten the action. However, the opening of the issue is a miniature horror story, and March leans into that perfectly.

Though the story itself is a conversation between two scared villains, the Riddler and Penguin, March transforms it into something more. Penguin becomes a vicious monster, a killer, inhuman beast. The Riddler transforms into a grotesque wraith, a man who’s no longer a man but is a withering shade due to his fear. It’s horrifying and effective, and does an excellent job at setting the tone for the rest of the arc to come.

Gotham is in danger once again, but this creative team has breathed life into those classic tropes in a way we haven’t seen in a long time. I’m excited to see where this goes!

Batman #87 is available now from DC Comics.

%d bloggers like this: