James Tynion IV’s first arc on Batman comes to a close all I can do is sigh in relief. The Designer was a new and exciting villain who held so much promise but became nothing more than a way to bide time until Joker’s upcoming war with Batman. Additionally, artists Guillem March and Javier Fernandez make this issue nearly impossible to read. Moreover, this issue was nothing more than a letdown even by already low standards.
The issue is split up into three stories, Batman’s, Harley’s, and Selina’s. A majority of Batman’s story is he and the designer sword fighting while monologuing in an effort to catch readers up in case they’re still confused. Although the idea of a classic sword fight sounds exciting in theory, Guillem March’s art style makes every facial expression look like a stretched corpse against a wrinkly body. And since this is the issue right before Joker-War, it has to have a clown in it. As the designer’s story comes to an end in the most depressing way, one can only hope for better for future stories, right?
While Batman’s going toe-to-toe with the Designer, Harley Quinn continues her duel with Punchline. Punchline’s goal is to wipe Harley off the board as soon as possible. Whatever’s supposed to happen in Joker-War, Harley clearly isn’t wanted in it. Guillem March seems to draw women differently from the way he draws men Rather than give them a stretched-out appearance, every facial expression is either someone narrowing their eyes or widening them. All things considered; this is his best work in the series.
The final story to be told in this contrived issue is Catwoman’s. Overall, the premise of Selina stealing from the rich is classic Catwoman, there’s a little hitch in this issue. This hitch might be my biggest problem with the issue, and with Tynion’s direction as a whole. It’s been hinted that Selina was once planning on stealing from Bruce Wayne, there’s a revelation that goes against everything Bruce Wayne stands for. Without getting into it, the revelation relates to how Bruce Wayne spends his money and how it’s stored. It’s the most uncharacteristic discovery that makes him honestly no different than Lex Luthor except for how he spends his money. Additionally, although I’m not typically a fan of Javier Fernandez’s style of penciling, he really brings his A-game in this issue and deserves recognition for that. His facial expressions provide emotion and depth that gives the story a sense of fear and seriousness. Meanwhile, his backgrounds are stunning, and although detailed, don’t detract from the foreground.
Overall, Batman 93 was nothing short of a letdown that seems to be putting Tynion on track to be the most average Batman writer in years.