REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #101

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman 101
Batman #101
 is published by DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV, art by Guillem March, with colors by Tomeu Morey, and letters by Clayton Cowles. With the Joker’s reign of terror subdued it’s time for Gotham to move on. But what is next for Gotham? And more importantly, what kind of Batman does this brave new Gotham need?

It has been said, that the only constant is change. That no matter how hard we attempt to control our surroundings they will inevitably get away from us. With massive changes occurring to both Gotham, as well as Bruce Wayne, change has escaped beyond Batman’s control. The only question is, will he embrace it, or will he fight to control whatever he can.

With the exception of a minor scuffle at the beginning of the story, Batman #101 is all about putting the last few pieces into place so the series can move past the Joker War. To do this, Batman has to have a couple of heart to hearts to get things where they need to be. These conversations won’t be easy, and the conclusions may not be pleasing, but if the job was easy, anyone could be Batman.

Batman’s first stop in Batman #101 is to the home of his old friend, and current holder of all his wealth, Lucius Fox. In light of recent events surrounding Bruce Wayne’s fortune temporarily residing with the Joker, there are potential problems with simply gifting Wayne his wealth back. Will people be paying closer attention to him? Will someone realize who Wayne is? But can Batman continue on without access to the Wayne fortune?

I really enjoyed the way Tynion wrote this sequence. Particularly Fox’s character. Usually, in order for someone to speak with any sort of authority to Batman, they must come across as powerful. They have to match his presence. Fox feels strong in this sequence, but not because of his power, but in his confidence with his friend. He knows Bruce. And he knows, in the end, he’ll figure out what the best course of action is, whether Fox sees it himself or not. But perhaps more importantly, he knows that Bruce will truly listen to him. He will consider what he needs of him, and give that equal weight. Fox’s trust in Bruce lets him speak with the utmost strength and confidence.

The back half of Batman #101 sees Batman and Catwoman going over how Batman will be adapting to the newly changed Gotham. And just as before, the highlight of this sequence is Tynion’s writing of the characters. Selina is everything Bruce needs her to be. She understands him on a level few others can. And she knows when to fight Bruce, and she knows when to give him space. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the way the sequence is handled, the ultimate result of the meeting left me frustrated with what the coming issues look like in many regards. They keep handling Batman like this and I’m gonna start thinking I’m actually reading a shojo.

The art of Batman #101 excellently compliments the story’s tone. March’s art keeps the reader in the middle of the conversations, allowing every emotion to be not only seen but felt. This is further augmented by Morey’s color choices. The colors balance light and dark excellently throughout the book. Making the story feel neither brooding nor overly hopeful. But rather, the colors make it feel like the transition that it is. From something old, into something new.

Finishing off the story we have Cowles delivery of another proficient lettering performance. Everything with the letters is clear, well laid out, and works harmoniously with the art.

When all is said and done Batman #101 delivers a well-executed close to one chapter, as well as the beginning of the next. While some of its decisions didn’t jive with me completely, I cannot debate the skill with which the creative team delivered them.

Batman #101 is available on October 20th wherever comics are sold.


Batman #101
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done Batman #101 delivers a well-executed close to one chapter, as well as the beginning of the next. While some of its decisions didn’t jive with me completely, I cannot debate the skill with which the creative team delivered them.