Review: Gotham Is A Powderkeg And ‘Batman’ #109 Lit The Fuse

Gotham has been through hell lately. So when the Scarecrow begins a reign of terror on the city just by being seen in the city, it turns Gotham into something explosive. In Batman #109, we get to see the Dark Knight try to defuse the bomb his city has become.

After years of escalating threats, Batman finally seems to have reset itself with a combination of several threats — smaller in scale, but when combined, push the Dark Knight to his limit. It’s a tense story with clear ramifications for the Bat-world’s immediate future. It’s an interesting next chapter from the Bat-team of James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles. 

The Unsanity Collective is something deeper than Batman feared, and it doesn’t seem to be the true threat to the city. Nevertheless, the Scarecrow and Simon Saint are using that to their advantage; their reign of terror is about to begin, and Gotham’s only hope is once again the Dark Knight.

I really enjoyed this issue. It isn’t the usual Batman set-up and story. Though the Scarecrow is central to it, this feels more like a thriller than a superhero story. Tynion has made an effort to make it feel like something unique in the character’s history and it truly does. If this is the modern Batman, then I’m all for it. It’s tense, it’s thrilling and it’s breaking the mold of what I usually see out of Batman. It feels sweeping and epic in a way that few ongoing comics feel right now. Even the back-up was a hell of a lot of fun, giving Ghost-Maker a lot more depth.

Jimenez continues to be DC’s best artist, hands down. Everything he does works, from the little stuff like Bruce Wayne’s pensive expression as he gets home and Babs sitting in her desk chair eating a gyro to the big issue-ending fight between Batman and Peacemaker-1. He has a great sense of pacing to match Tynion’s story. Morey’s colors are bright and he makes Gotham feel like a cyberpunk dream. I’m excited every month to pick up this book just to see what Jimenez and Morey do to bring Gotham to life.

For four months in a row now, Tynion, Jimenez and Morey have surprised me. After a rough start, this run quickly morphed into my favorite Batman story … perhaps ever. I hope that this run continues this trend and continues to be the run I probably look forward to the most every month.

Batman #109 is available now from DC Comics.

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