REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #97

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman #97

Batman #97 is published by DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV, art by Jorge Jimenez, colors by Tomeu Morey and letters by Clayton Cowles. As Batman fights to overcome his adversaries at the movie theater, as well as the toxin flowing through his veins, Punchline learns that the Joker has another nemesis in Gotham. But what is the Clownhunter’s final aim? And what does it mean for Gotham that this new vigilante isn’t playing by the old rules?

Batman #97 picks up with Punchlime at the Tricorner docks receiving the final ingredient needed for the next big batch of the new toxin the Joker plans to flood Gotham with. But that’s not all she gets, as she is informed that a new vigilante calling himself Clownhunter is killing clowns in the Narrows.

Even with Batman struggling in the fight it is almost like Gotham itself is trying to expel the disease that is the Joker from it’s streets. And unlike Batman, Clownhunter fits the mold of an antibody a bit more closely. As seek and destroy seems to be well within his repertoire. And Batman currently has no time to address a new violent vigilante in Gotham.

For his part of Batman #97, Batman spends most of his time trying to escape the Joker ambush at the movie theater. With the Joker’s running monologue going in the background Batman struggles to overcome his dire situation. But even with his senses twisted by the Joker’s toxin, he’s still Batman, and Batman always has the right tool for the job.

Batman #97

Once he manages to overcome the Joker’s trap Bruce has the luck of once again running into his old friend Harley. And since he is in desperate need of a doctor, Harley might have just the thing for him.

Batman #97 feels like a bit of a stall out for the Joker War storyline. This is particularly true of Batman’s struggles in the theater. It takes an awful long time for him to escape from a trap that ultimately has little plot impact. Sure, we got a crazed monologue from the Joker, and a few story tidbits got reinforced through that, but all in all, it felt like half the time could’ve been spent on this.

My other struggle with this story is Punchline. Her role here continues to grow, but I don’t feel like she is really developing as a character. She’s angry, and she’s obsessed with the Joker. I get it. These are fine building blocks, but there needs to be more to her than this if she’s gonna really land as the exciting new character DC seems to want her to be.

The art in Batman #97  delivers a top notch presentation. Jimenez continues to capture Batman’s warped perception of reality perfectly. Every moment of this story in fact is handled excellently by the art team, as Morey’s colors combine with Jimenez’s lines to truly capture all the energy of the book.

Finally, Cowles letter work delivers a solid performance as always. The story is laid out in a clear manner, with some nice text choices to deliver some extra emphasis on certain characters.

So while I feel that Batman #97 was a little bit of a stall overall I think it still manages to deliver a solid issue overall. Hopefully things can pick back up from here.

Batman #97 is available August 18th wherever comics are sold.

 

 

Batman #97
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TL;DR

So while I feel that Batman #97 was a little bit of a stall overall I think it still manages to deliver a solid issue overall. Hopefully things can pick back up from here.