With 5G upon us at DC and lots of talk about hanging the modern lineup and moving the original characters to Black Label; James TynionIV delivers one of the best Bruce Wayne interpretations in awhile. TynionIV manages to bring Bruce back to his roots and find a way to incorporate King’s storyline into a larger picture that’s befitting of the caped crusader.
Watching Harley Quinn and Catwoman aline with Batman, brings about a dynamic that hasn’t been fully fleshed out until now. In the past, Batman only sided with Catwoman and rarely Harley, but with the rise of depicting Harley as a character seeking revenge on Joker, we’re seeing a new picture. Harley Quinn is being turned into a new version of CAtwoman in terms of being a villain with multiple redemption arcs. In TynionIV’s version, Harley seeks to kill The Joker’s goons and find the Clown Prince of Crime. This results in her saving Catwoman and shortly after, an encounter with Batman.
We’re also seeing the dynamic of how all the villains plotted the destruction of Gotham in a plan that has been kept a mystery by TynionIV, while TynionIV has also managed to give us two new characters in this issue. TynionIV gave us Punchline and the overarching villain of this plotline and we know already that Stanley “Artgerm” Lau has been hired for a variant cover of Punchline in an upcoming issue. Seeing her fully fleshed out makes for more impact compare to the jester style that Harley started with. Now that Harley is more canonically in a punk/biker styled outfit, we’re seeing a new take on how a Joker sidekick and lover would look. Punchline gives us a design with some callbacks to Marionette from the Doomsday Clock series.
From the artistic elements of this issue, like Batman chasing down Gunsmith, to introducing new kinds of characters and story dynamics, this issue and run has been like no other and is all thanks to TynionIV’s ability to take what Tom King did and make it that much stronger. We’re seeing one of DC’s strongest authors use his prowess combined with the stellar art team backing him, to give us a series that will become one of the flagship comics of DC, especially in the 5G era. There is nothing like this series at DC right now and TynionIV continues to impress. I can’t wait to see where this mystery goes next, but I’m glad to go along for the ride with TynionIV and his team.