REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #124

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman #124

Batman #124 from DC Comics tells two wonderful stories as the Williamson run concludes. This issue is removed from the ‘Shadow War’ drama currently running in many of the Bat titles, so the offer here begins with a one-shot and ends with one terrific preview. This issue is written by Joshua Williamson, with a preview by G. Willow Wilson. Howard Porter and Dani provide the artwork, while Tomeu Morey and Trish Mulvihill work colors. Clayton Cowles and Hassan Otsmane-Ehaou letter these fine tales. No ‘Shadow War’ turns out great because Williamson leaves fans with a heroic, compassionate Batman in a grounded, emotional tale. 

Williamson began his run with the story of the Badhnisian villain Abyss, who turned out to be a pawn in Lex Luthor’s bid to take over Batman, Incorporated and create his own Dark Knights. Twisted ones, of course, because of villainy. With Abyss out of the way, Badhnisia can go back to working on its usual level of corruption and graft. Not so. Abyss is back in town, terrorizing the populace, and Batman is on the chase. Now, I never read the Abyss storyline. But from this issue alone, Abyss put more terror into this country than Batman ever has in Gotham after years of trying. So, okay, Abyss has game. But our hero finds out things are not as they seem, which turns the story on its head real fast. I loved it. Batman becomes heroic in his standoffish, brooding way we all know and love to hate. 

Williamson does this so well. It is a breath of fresh air seeing Batman be a hero, a mentor, once again. It’s like waking up from a bad dream that lasted almost four decades. Batman is the saint of emos, and in this issue, he shepherds someone very much like him, and it’s a fantastic read. It even makes for a significant first issue for a budding comic book reader. You get everything you really need to know about the title character. There’s also a bit of setup for what’s to come, not a lot, but to whet the appetite. This is perfect for getting introduced into Batman and his world before the next creative team bounds in and hits us with a multi-part storyline. Bravo.

Porter’s art is jagged, powerful, and high-octane fun to look at. Morey colors a grim, dark, cluttered Badhnisia that gives Gotham a run for its money with the art and dreary colors punched up by skillful use of Cowles’ lettering. This issue is what Batman is all about. Buy it. Writers, remember this one.

Batman #124 continues with a preview of the Poison Ivy series (that is already out). Wilson, one of the comics’ finest, gives us the conflicted, complex, deeply written Pamela Isley I love; always been a huge Ivy fan since back when, and I’m loving that she’s getting more press. Having fallen from the Queen Ivy state, Pamela is determined to get it back, and I am all here for this dark journey of empowerment and self-discovery. Dani draws some haunting figures that almost seem to quiver. Every panel appears more inhabited by specters than people, and I love it. It sets the mood well, and Mulvihill’s artistic monochrome backgrounds with primaries focused on characters only give the story a theatrical vibe that enhances the dramatic tone. Otsmane-Ehaou’s lettering is sketchy, drifting in wobbly balloons that act as ghosts over the specters’ troubled heads. Flawless.

Batman #124 is a wonderful issue that captures the essence of Batman, and with this, I hope Williamson returns to the title one day. And the added peek into what lies ahead for Poison Ivy is too good to miss. Writing and art are excellent, and you should not pass over this issue.

Batman #124 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

 


Batman #124
5

TL;DR

Batman #124 is a wonderful issue that captures the essence of Batman, and with this, I hope Williamson returns to the title one day. And the added peek into what lies ahead for Poison Ivy is too good to miss. Writing and art are excellent, and you should not pass over this issue.