REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #104

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Batman #104

Batman #104 is published by DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV, art by Ryan Benjamin, Bengal, Guillem March, and Danny Miki, colors by David Baron, and letters by Clayton Cowles. Having been knocked out by Ghost-Maker, Batman, Harley Quinn, and The Clown Killer awaken in a strange place having been abducted. Well, maybe not that strange for the two of them. What is Ghost-Maker’s plan? And can the rest of the Bat-family find them in time?

The bulk of this issue’s time is spent fleshing out the relationship between Bruce and Ghost-Maker. This new information comes courtesy of Dick Grayson. When Oracle can’t raise Bruce she reaches out to Dick in hopes of learning more about what they are dealing with. Turns out there was a near brush with Ghost-Maker back when he was still the Boy Wonder.

Tynion utilizes this portion of Batman #104 elegantly to help explain why the Ghost-Maker’s presence seems so personal to Bruce. The reason for their falling out and the scars it left on him do a great job of helping to personalize the struggle going on. And while I still find certain elements of Ghost-Maker a bit lacking, the emotional connection between him and Bruce goes a long way to helping smooth those points out.

While gathering intel from Dick, Oracle also observes a huge breakdown in the criminal underworld of Gotham. As reports come in of gangs abandoning their turfs and mobsters turning up dead, it looks like Ghost-Maker’s presence is already having a dramatic effect on Gotham. Though whether or not these retreats on the part of organized crime would be permanent, or merely a setback till the inevitable retaliation from one of Gotham’s many more dangerous villains came around would be interesting to know.

As the trio of kidnapped vigilantes fully come to they realize that Ghost-Maker has left a test for them. And if it’s failed, heads are gonna roll. Luckily for them, the Batgirls are on the hunt and have a pretty good idea of where they might be. Though their intel comes from an unusual source. Well, at least it would be unusual anyplace but Gotham.

Each part of the art in Batman #104 is individually good, but when taken together I think it leaves the presentation a bit disjointed. The art differences between the scenes with Batman and company and those searching for him are too different for me. The linework and colors just don’t feel like they are in the same world. As I said, both are good on their own, they just don’t meld well here.

The letter work here does a solid job relaying the story to the reader. The dialogue flows nicely thanks to the good placement and clear text.

Batman #104 ends with the situation for Batman, Harley, and Clown Killer escalating to a place that none of them may be ready for. Ghost-Maker certainly has a unique approach to trying to win an argument. It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out next issue.

Batman #104 is available December 1st wherever comics are sold.

Batman #104
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TL;DR

Batman #104 ends with the situation for Batman, Harley, and Clown Killer escalating to a place that none of them may be ready for. Ghost-Maker certainly has a unique approach to trying to win an argument. It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out next issue.