REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #93 – “Their Dark Designs Part 8”

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Batman #93 - Joker War

Batman #93 is published by DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV, with art from Guillem March and Javier Fernandez. The issue also features colors by Tomeu Morey and David Baron with letters from Clayton Cowles. The issue picks up where the previous one left off as Batman finally faces the Designer. The issue marks the finale for the “Their Dark Designs” story arc.

The Designer finally reveals his master plan and how he attempted to bring the underworld together to rule over Gotham after murdering Batman and Robin. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the main reason the Designer’s original plan failed is that Batman has evolved becoming an even greater threat. However, that doesn’t mean the Designer is finished just yet.

The opening of Batman #93 is intriguing and the breakdown of the Designer’s plan is compelling, interesting, and holds everything I love about Batman detective stories. In addition, Catwoman’s role in everything becomes more apparent as she slips back into her old ways. At the start, I was unsure of what to make of Catwoman’s role but after seeing the conclusion of this issue I am hooked and ready for more.

Batman #93

However, my interest quickly waned when Punchline was back on the pages. As much as I want to love the character, Punchline continues to fall flat for me. Her grudge with Harley boils down to the fact she used to date Joker. So far Punchline’s entire personality is being Joker’s new girlfriend. The petty argument is boring and overall detracts from the book. Additionally, March and Fernandez’s art can be a struggle to look at. Close-ups of Harley and Punchline just feel off. Harley’s eyes are just dead and Punchline’s cheekbones extend nearly to her eyebrow.

Despite the flaws in the art, Morey and Baron’s colors continue to impress. The panels featuring Batman and the Designer and dark but seeped in warm tones. The sword fight between the two reminds me of something out of The Count of Monte Cristo. It is absolutely the highlight of the issue.

Batman #93 is a step up from the previous issues and overall I am happy to see an end to this story arc. That being said, the art and some aspects of the characters continue to hold it back from being a great Batman run. My hope is going forward into the next arc we see more development of Punchline and continue to see more of the detective stories that Tynion excels at writing.

Batman #93 is available now in comic book stores and online through digital retailers.

Batman #93
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TL;DR

Batman #93 is a step up from the previous issues and overall I am happy to see an end to this story arc. That being said, the art and some aspects of the characters continue to hold it back from being a great Batman run.