SYNOPSIS: “Abyss” part two! For years Batman used the darkness as a weapon, but now a new enemy turns that darkness against him! Batman must team with Batman Inc.’s mysterious new benefactor to bring the deadly Abyss into the light! Wait…who is Batman Inc.’s new benefactor?
For me, last month’s BATMAN #118 was a breath of fresh air and pumped new life into the title. I was ecstatic, loving every page, and even read it over and over….and over. I put a lot of pressure on writer Josh Williamson and company to follow it up with a quality chapter.
Happy to say I am at ease.
This week’s BATMAN #119 moves this intriguing tale along at a great pace, developing character and delivering action. While the thought of Batman out of Gotham for an arc isn’t my favorite idea for a story, and the inclusion of Batman Inc. may bring the focus off of The Dark Knight, this arc is juggling these parts in such great fashion and yet again, we are getting a Batman book where Batman IS the star.
What a great feeling.
In short, the last issue’s revelation of Lex Luthor funding Batman Inc. was surprising, to say the least. We get a great sequence in the moments that follow that surprise, and Batman does what he does best and disappears. On that side of the world, Bruce Wayne then meets up with Lex for an exciting exchange, all before Batman comes face-to-face with the new villain, Abyss, in a hell of a fight.
Williamson is on fire lately and his two issues of BATMAN are perfect evidence why. He’s taken Batman out of our comfort zone, and placed him across the world, including characters that can be unfavorable to some. But he’s making this murder-mystery work, and work really well. It’s just really fun and exciting to have this book, thus far, back at the heights it is expected to be.
Art duties are split this month between Jorge Molina, Adriano Di Benedetto, and Mikel Janín. There’s a nice blend throughout, where we can notice the style carry over from the last issue, while also subtly mixing in some new looks. Batman looks great, with an eye-catching yellow oval always present while he’s on the page. I’m really enjoying the art for this arc.
Overall, BATMAN #119 is another solid entry for this new team. We are halfway through The Abyss, and signs show we’re going to go deeper before we can come up for air. – Ryan Lower