“Their Dark Designs” – Part Six
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Rafael Albuquerque, Jorge Jimenez, Carlo Pagulayan and Danny Miki
Color Artist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Action, intrigue and more iconic characters than you can shake a stick at! Issue #91 of Batman is a fast paced, pedal to the metal comic book. In what has already become a familiar trope within Tynion’s initial take on the title, the narrative goes from 0-100 in an instant and doesn’t let up for the duration of the proceedings.
If you like your comics to move along at a brisk pace with little time for reflection or drawing breath, then you’ve come to the right place. If you prefer things a little more cerebral, or a little more philosophical, then you may not get all you want from these pages.
I myself fall equally between the two ends of the taste spectrum, so I found this issue a very enjoyable read indeed. Tynion’s approach doesn’t allow the reader to get bored; not keen on the characters on a given page? Don’t worry, as another icon of the DC pantheon will be along soon.
Make no mistake, this isn’t a scattergun, throw everything at the wall and see what sticks approach, Tynion is a high calibre storyteller and the different threads have already begun to come together nicely.
On one hand, we can enjoy the team of Catwoman and Harley Quinn, teaming up to prep an army of drones to assist the Dark Knight. With Selina yet to face the music from Bruce for her part in the history of The Designer, the colourful banter with Harley is a nice change of mood for the character, with some extremely dark times yet to come. The interplay between the two femmes fatale is engaging and entertaining, a bright beacon amidst the chaos.
Of course, as previously mentioned, there is action galore on offer here. Pitting Batman up against the deadly Slade Wilson is a great choice as it highlights the durability and endless will of the character. Their clash is a sight to behold as each pushes the other to the limit.
A Deathstroke/Dark Knight face off is always a treat, as two of the premier combatants in the DC universe tend to bring the best out in each other. It’s just a shame that events conspire to cut the proceedings short just before things get really interesting.
Damn you, Designer!
A high octane, pulse racing issue that plays Tynion’s trump cards with all the aplomb we can expect from such a top tier writer. Whilst the action speeds along and jumps off the page, thanks to the wonderful art team involved on the book, there’s still very much a long game being played here.
With the identity of The Designer still tightly under wraps, there’s still a lot of mileage in this arc. Issue #92 promises to deliver much, with Deathstroke and The Bat fighting together for their survival and an “enigmatic” character about to join in the fun.
Until then, make it your business to read this new issue and prepare yourself…