Batman #81 Review

by Wes Greer on October 16, 2019

Writer- Tom King
Penciller- John Romita jr
Inker- Klaus Janson

 To begin this review, I need to be honest. I did what all our moms and elders have been telling us not to do since we could remember. I judged this issue by its cover. Yes, I am guilty of breaking the old-time rule. Picking up this issue, I saw the big, burly, and Venom pumped Bane and saw the title SHOWDOWN and got a little giddy. As most of you who have been following the series know, it's been a bit bland as of late and we have all been wondering when will this madness end? So after seeing the cover I thought to myself “its finally about to go down”.... Boy was I wrong!

Jumping into this issue, we begin right where Batman #80 left us. Thomas Wayne pointing a weapon at the young Damien after having the order come down the wire. The issue begins with Thomas’s decision and goes into how the Bat-family reacts to his choice. This does get a little exciting and with these panels we start to some some amazing colorings that have been missing recently. Batman has been a little dull and bleek as of late so it was nice to see some amazing coloring popping off of these panels.

After a quick update on the current Thomas situation, we then get to see what our main hero Bruce Wayne is currently up too. A character who was absent all last issue. A thing I have heard a lot of is that Batman hasn’t really been a story about Batman lately and it has really bugged a few readers because well, his name is THE title of the book!

The story then goes back and forth a bit between the two situations and of course ends on a brief halt of the current situation. Overall though this time around I do have to admit that I found this issue a bit more thrilling and enjoyable then the last issue. We get a bit more action and excitement and there is a surprise twist of fate that really shocked me and had me yelling at the book, which I know we have all done a time or twenty.  The end of this one also had me excited to see what happens in the next issue which last issue I didn’t feel very drawn into.

The story to this one does feel rushed just like the last few issues though. I imagine it is just because they are coming to the end of this series and Tom King is just pumping out the last few issues to be down with it and move on from all the criticism he has received during his run on Batman. The pencil on this one is as expected with this series but kept very clean and neat and we do get to see quite a bit more drawn out then last issue as well. I personally have not been a fan of the current style of Batman and his characters and have even heard someone recently refer to him as looking like a janitor. I am also not a fan of what look to be the whiskers drawn on Bruce’s face around his mouth. This is ironic when he is standing next to Catwoman at times. They look like they truly belong together! Although I do give credit to John Romita jr because even with the character flaws, his overall art style is still very fluent and well done and I still feel this Batman exists in the Bat-Verse.

Overall this is one of the better issues I have picked up in a while and I was most excited by the fact that there was finally something that drew me in and got me pumped up to see what happens next. It finally brought Bruce Wayne back into his element and that is always nice to see. We also learn of a drawn-out plan he has had throughout which brings us back to that detective mastermind feeling that has been absent for a little bit. As drawn out as the series has been, this issue makes up for it and I highly recommend picking this one up.

-Wes Greer


Our Score:


A Look Inside