REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #88 – “Their Dark Designs Part 3”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Batman #88

Batman #88, published by DC Comics, is written by James Tynion IV, art by Guillen March, colors by Tomeu Morey, and letters by Clayton Cowles. The issue picks up from the previous one as Batman travels to Arkham Asylum to get answers from the Penguin. As the league of assassins continues its assault on Gotham, Catwoman forms a shaky alliance with the Riddler to unearth a secret, but information Penguin as on her, Joker, and Riddler could doom them all. Meanwhile, Slade gets that much closer to taking down the Dark Knight for good.

Batman #88 focuses a lot on Catwoman and her inner turmoil. Selina is stuck between the force of good Bruce wants and her checkered past. Riddler is quick to remind her that she, at her core, is like them – a villain. Riddler’s manipulative tactics focus directly on Catwoman’s own insecurities and hit Selina harder than she would like to admit. The strongest part of the issue is the twisted relationship created between these two characters. Tynion’s writing is accented by March’s artwork. March’s closeups of Catwoman, particularly her eyes, convey so much emotion. Her fear and insecurity are palpable on the page. The panel layouts help create a lot of this drama as well, moving back and forth between Catwoman’s face and the entire scene in the graveyard. While the Riddler’s design is not my favorite, Morey’s coloring of him is spectacular. Illuminated by pale, sickly green lighting, the Riddler feels intimidating and dangerous.

Batman #88
This issue also weaves in horror elements. Batman’s dark, brooding nature and lore makes it the perfect breeding ground for good horror. The final cliff hanger with Selina is jarring and March’s artwork only elevates the suspense. Even the fight scene between Batman and Deathstroke has an unsettling to it. The use of blood splatter reminds the reader just how deadly and violent Slade Wilson is. Additionally, Cowles’ lettering accents a lot of the violence and horror elements. The font color for certain characters helps add to their eerieness.

Batman #88 amps up the pacing of the story arc. A lot happens in this issue, that I don’t want to spoil, as Batman and Catwoman’s storylines begin to connect. Tynion’s excellent storytelling ability is finally coming out in the series as we move past everything that was leftover from King’s run. That being said, the stand out winner of the issue is Morey’s colors. His ability to create vibrancy while keeping Gotham dingy and dark is impressive. Fans of the Dark Knight who might have left the series should definitely jump back in.

Batman #88 is available now wherever comics are sold and online.

Batman #88
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TL;DR

Batman #88 amps up the pacing of the story arc. A lot happens in this issue, that I don’t want to spoil, as Batman and Catwoman’s storylines begin to connect. Tynion’s excellent storytelling ability is finally coming out in the series as we move past everything that was leftover from King’s run.