REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #108

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman #108 - But Why Tho?

Batman #108 is published by DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV, art by Jorge Jiménez and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, colors by Tomeu Morey, and letters by Clayton Cowles. Bruce Wayne has gone undercover as Matches Malone to discover the secrets of the Unsanity Collective. But what lies before him may leave him questioning the nature of villainy in Gotham. Plus, Ghost-Maker continues his assault on Madam Midas’s island fortress.

With Gotham’s restless nights extended thanks to the ongoing Scarecrow situation, Mayor Nakano attempts to bring light to the situation by honoring one of the survivors of the Arkham attack, Sean Mahoney. Whether this media stunt pays off for Gotham’s mayor is unknown, but it does land Mahoney in the path of Simon Saint, who is all too eager to talk with Gotham’s latest hero.

The rest of Batman #108’s first story centers on Bruce’s infiltration of the Unsanity Collective. After getting off to a rough start, Batman, under the guise of Matches Malone, gets handed off to Miracle Molly. She is to evaluate whether or not this new potential recruit is trustworthy or means the Collective harm. From here, Molly very much steals the show.

As Matches is given his tour of the Unsanity Collectives’ operation, he receives a running monologue from Molly all about the how and whys of the Collectives’ actions in Gotham. Tynion does a magnificent job creating this new character’s voice. She delivers her opinions in a clear, well-thought-out yet impassioned way. These are not emotional reactions she is acting on; she has done a lot of thinking and comes to these conclusions rationally. And whether you agree with her motives or means, there can be no doubt that she is 100% sure of them herself.

The only aspect of Molly that doesn’t work for me is her appearance. For someone who seems as thoughtful in her approach to what she does, donning attire that could easily have her mistaken for a part of Gotham’s current clown problem seems like an obvious oversight.

The art for this portion of Batman #108 sees Jimenez continue to deliver on the overall look of this story. This is especially true where Molly’s heavy cyberpunk design elements and her various technological gizmos are concerned. This style provides a harsh contrast with the scenes between Saint and Mahoney. Here the environments have a sterile feeling that contrasts sharply with the personality overflow of the Unsanity Collective.

Morey’s colors get to run wild throughout the scenes in the Collective. With neon everywhere, this sequence is brimming with energy. It almost feels like all the dark and brooding alleyways of Gotham exist because they poured all the colors into this one place. I’m mildly surprised Batman doesn’t have to squint to see.

The second portion of Batman #108 continues Ghost-Maker’s assault on Madam Midas’s island fortress. While he overcomes the threats his gathered enemies have laid out for him, the reader gets a glimpse into Ghost-Makers’s past through the eyes of the assassin Kid Kawaii.

While I am a fan of most of what Tynion has done during his run on Batman to date, the Ghost-Maker side of things continues to underwhelm me. It feels like there is some huge rush to get the character established in the universe. So rather than letting him build up naturally, it feels like we are getting a rush job of greatest moments that exists solely to convince the reader this guy has Batman-level talent. This feeling of unnatural speed in the delivery of the character tarnishes the story overall. Which, as far as a high-pitched action encounter goes, is crafted well and certainly shows off the skill Tynion is driving home for the character.

The art for this story brings the previously mentioned action to the panels well. The odd nature of Ghost-Maker’s opponent is captured with skill. The abnormal approach to combat that Ortiz’s art highlights furthers the protagonist’s abilities and responsiveness to a changing situation.

The final part of this book is Cowles’ lettering. I appreciate the split approach Cowles takes with this book’s letters. While the first story has the standard fonts one expects when flipping through a comic, the back story goes a little bit rougher. This roughness works well with the story’s overall visual tone.

When all is said and done, Batman #108 delivers some interesting developments for its primary plot while serving up some interesting action in its back half. With Tynion introducing an intriguing new character, Miracle Molly, I hope future issues give this new character plenty of opportunities to stick around.

Batman #108 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Batman #108
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TL;DR

Batman #108 delivers some interesting developments for its primary plot while serving up some interesting action in its back half. With Tynion introducing an intriguing new character, Miracle Molly, I hope future issues give this new character plenty of opportunities to stick around.