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Batman #93

Review by Paul Bowler.

Batman squares off against the Designer in Batman #93 as Their Dark Designs reaches its thrilling conclusion! In the space of a year the Dark Knight has lost more than he could have ever thought possible, and now he faces a loss so shattering it will change his life beyond all recognition! But an even greater battle awaits. Joker War is on the horizon, and Gotham will never be the same again…

It’s safe to say there’s quite a lot riding on events in Batman #93, as winter Jame’s Tynion IV wraps up his first major story arc on the title, and effectively sets the stage for the imminent Joker War. So, is Batman #93 the culmination of a grand design, or does it completely miss the punchline?

Well, fortunately Tynion succeeds in brining together the numerous tangled plot threads In Their Dark Designs Part 8 to deliver a relatively satisfying finale to the story. There is the usual sparing between villain and Dark Knight as the grand scheme is unpicked and revealed, and their showdown is as deliciously theatrical as it is theatric. We also get to learn a lot more about the mysterious Underbroker and his organisation as he assists Catwoman in completing the greatest heist Gotham has ever seen, while Harley Quinn and the Joker’s new partner, Punchline, face off in spectacular fashion.

I have to say I wasn’t all that impressed with Punchline’s much touted debut last issue. Tynion goes some way to bringing more depth to the character in Batman #93, and her scrap here with Harley Quinn positively crackles with snappy dialogue and razor sharp action. While I still think Punchline comes across like some kind of vamped up version of Gogo from Kill Bill VOL I, her motivations for being with the Joker do at least have some credence to them. I still don’t understand  why there’s been so much hype about Punchline, it all seems a bit gimmicky to me, but hey, who knows, maybe Joker War will see the character continue to evolve and really get a chance to shine?

Batman #93 features some great work  from artists Guillem March and Javier Fernandez, along with colors by Tomeu Morey and David Baron, to ensure that this closing chapter of Their Dark Designs captures the sombre, brooding tone of Tynion’s script perfectly. There’s a wonderful montage of pages that collectively flashback and forwards over events, each one highlighting  a myriad of crucial aspects, narrative threads and potential outcomes. The fight between Batman and the Designer is also equally impressive, as are the highly atmospheric scenes between the Underwriter and Catwoman as Harley Quinn’s and Punchline’s anarchic dance of violence plays out with truly shocking results.

On the whole then, James Tynion IV brings Their Dark Designs to a powerful and surprising end. Batman #93 is an exciting, action-packed issue, it goes for broke, in more ways than one, and I’ve a feeling that by the time Joker War hits the Dark Knight’s world is genuinely going to be turned upside down on all fronts.

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: James Tynion IV / Artists: Guillem March & Javier Fernandez

Colors: Tomeu Morey & David Baron / Letters: Clayton Cowles

Cover: Tony S. Daniel & Tomeu Morey

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook