As Batman deals with the escaped mercenaries, we learn more about those involved in a larger scheme, as well as, receive a new piece of bat-tech that’s sure to appeal to fans.
TynionIV latest run continues to get better and better, that I fear this will only result in a finale that will pale in comparison. We’re already seeing the rise of connectivity amongst the Tom King era of bat comics, with Riddler, Catwoman and Lucius all impacting this new storyline, but we’re also seeing a Batman who’s facing an unknown enemy within a shell game. As each group moves their own way, we’re seeing Batman and Catwoman having to come to terms with different plot elements.
In this issue, Catwoman comes to terms with Riddler cutting ties with her, and The Designer looking to kill those involved with an older plan. Within this plan for Gotham, we’re told that Penguin, Joker, Catwoman and Riddler all had a hand in it. We also see the unexpected as a member of Joker’s team, in the form of Harley Quinn, arrives to save Catwoman’s life.
While these events occur, TynionIV resolves the events of the last issue as Batman catches the mercenaries, only to be given the choice between Penguin’s life or capturing Deathstroke’s team. This ends with the obvious choice and the revelation of a larger shell game and the players involved by Penguin.
As a plot element, this ties nicely with the tease by Riddler and how Catwoman will have to pay for what she’s been hiding from Bruce, someone who sees her as an ally. When she tries to confess, they are cutoff, and Bruce instead finds from someone else. This will drive a wedge in the relationship, and we’ll see how it affects the team dynamic going forward.
Using Alfred’s death already created a window for Catwoman and Lucius to step in and fill the void, but when one of your trusted allies betrays you with a secret that impacts everything; this betrayal can only make the series that much stronger.
Seeing TynionIV weave these intricate elements and showcasing growth, new villains and a larger plot that ties his initial plot points together, really emphasizes the strengths of his writing. TynionIV already delivers on Justice League Dark, but now we’re getting a Batman series that is one of the best runs I’ve seen in awhile, especially with this strong plotline.
Watching villains as they kill each other, or seeing villains tem-up against a larger enemy, is something that I strongly enjoy in series. We’ve seen how Catwoman shifts alliances all the time, so seeing Harley come to her aid for reasons we’ve yet to see, is something that I look forward to finding out in the next issue.
Since Harley is involved in saving Catwoman, it does beg the question as to how Joker blowing up his base plays in the shell game. We’ve yet to see Joker, since his appearance at the end of King’s run, and who better to know what the Joker is up to than Harley. This also begs the question as to what Catwoman, Joker, Riddler and Penguin did, and how much Harley was involved with the plot. Will Harley showing up be a ruse and meant to bring Catwoman to Puddin’? Will we see a different kind of plotline develop from these characters interactions?
Seeing Catwoman in a place and situation that might bring her further from Bruce, leads me to believe that TynionIV plans on balancing two plot points each issue, as we spend time focusing on Batman and Catwoman in two different scenarios. Regardless of how it turns out though, the art remains strong and the story remains engaging. This is by far one of my favorite runs at DC right now and I can’t wait to see what we get next.