Review by Paul Bowler
The Dark Knight squares off against Deathstroke in Batman #91 as the mysterious Designer’s grand plan begins to overwhelm Gotham. In order to help Batman save the city Catwoman will have to undertake the greatest heist in Gotham’s history. However, with Joker, Penguin and Riddler involved, and with a team of assassins on the loose Catwoman must reluctantly team-up with Harley Quinn while Batman confronts Deathstroke alone…
Writer James Tynion IV gathers numerous plot threads together in Their Dark Designs Part 6, as the pieces of the Designer’s scheme woven from the betrayal of the major players of Gotham’s nefarious Rogues Gallery of villains begins to unfold. Batman #91 starts chillingly enough. Joker has a tale to tell, one where he’s naturally the star of the show of course. It’s a glorious retelling of the Joker’s, Riddler’s, Pernguin’s, and Catwoman’s past encounter with the Designer from last issues flashback to events at Tartarus House, and its frighteningly relayed to the Joker’s captive audience. Add an intriguing phone call, together with the fact that the Joker War storyline is rapidly approaching, and this interlude with Joker clearly lays the groundwork for even darker things to come.
After reigning in Harley Quinn following her brief stint on drone duty, the primary focus of the issue is Batman’s high-octane chase and showdown with Deathstroke, Once again Tynion’s brings some superb characterisation to the fore here as Batman confronts Deathstroke with the Nightclimber, highlighting some striking parallels between them as Batman strives to make his case for saving Gotham City. Likewise, Catwoman and Harley Quinn are thrown together again and have to fight their way out of trouble. There’s a great dynamic between them too which leads to some hilarious asides and observations from Harley Quinn on the whole Bat-Cat relationship!
Batman #91’s artwork is shared between Rafael Albuquerque, Jorge Jimenez, and Carlo Pagulayan. Each of their distinctive artistic styles is perfectly suited to the trio of plot lines they’ve been allotted to render. The varying styles overlap nicely and don’t jar as a result, action sequences flow seamlessly alongside the more character driven moments, and the colors by Tomeu Morey accentuates the dark, brooding atmosphere of the issue perfectly.
Following Batman’s unexpected alliance with a deadly foe, everything builds to an exciting cliff-hanger as another player steps into the fray to take their turn in the Designer’s game. Although the story is starting to feel a little conventional with yet another mysterious villain seemingly knowing the Dark Knight’s every move, Tynion’s excellent writing keeps things engaging enough, the art is also very good, and the action-adventure tone ensures this is another exciting issue.
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer James Tynion IV /
Art: Rafael Albuquerque, Jorge Jimenez, Carlo Pagulayan, and Danny Miki
Colors: Tomeu Morey / Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Jimenez and 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