The conspiracy that will rock Batman’s world continues to unfold as the Dark Knight travels to Arkham Asylum to get answers from the Penguin! What dark secret does he share with the Joker, the Riddler, and… Catwoman? Plus, the plague of assassins descending upon Gotham City in its weakest moments continues! Will this be the moment when Deathstroke finally takes down Batman?!
What I’m Excited For…
The plans of the mysterious “designer” are coming to a head, and quickly at that. Batman is still recovering from the abuses sustained during the City of Bane conflict and is holding on by sheer grit, which has served him well in the past but may not be enough this time around. The physical punishment and emotional betrayals are going to push him to the brink, and beyond.
What I Thought…
The “Dark Designs” just got seriously, seriously dark but I’ll get to that in a moment. As intriguing as the issue’s prologue is, seeing Catwoman and Riddler exchange barbs over the phone gave me some serious flashbacks to the Arkham games version of the Riddler. In fact the parallels were so strong they briefly overpowered the intended homage and I lost track of the actual conversation for a moment.
Racing from fight to fight amidst chaos, The Batman exudes a “I. DO. NOT. HAVE. TIME. FOR. THIS.” attitude that helps drive a sense of urgency throughout a story that is a very slow burn. Seeing him casually dispatch rogues like Cheshire and Merlyn while hunting down Penguin and Deathstroke further reinforces just how quickly Gotham is sinking back into the quagmire of chaos and villainy.
Personally, I’m still struggling to accept Harvey Bullock as the new GCPD Commissioner. Largely because the grumbling, disheveled office’s usual cynicism makes him bizarrely efficient in the role. His inherent skepticism in Batman allows him to react just that much faster to situations, whereas Gordon’s faith in the Dark Knight occasionally resembled inaction.
Oh, and I really love Lucious Fox’s new Bat-Toy.
Above Average Joe’s Rating
Batman #88 on sale now from: