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  1. #1
    Always Rakzo
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    Default Batman #118 Discussion/Spoilers

    We know why we are all here. This marks a new beginning from Batman after the disaster that was James Tynion IV's run... after the disaster that was Tom King's run. Yeah, the Batman books haven't been at their best for a while and a change was needed. Fortunately, rising DC writer Joshua Williamson is willing to change a bit about that.

    The first thing that you will notice is that Williamson throws away a lot of Tynion's toys to open with his own story (although I would have been fine if he simply ignored them because they completely blow). This allows for a greater focus on how Williamson sees Batman, particularly early on since Williamson's Batman way to deal with crime is much different from how Tynion's Batman does, there's actually more emphasis on common criminals and cases which is a breath of fresh air after how supervillain-ridden the last run was. In fact, I think Williamson kinda makes fun of that when he presents a scene in which Batman has to face a bunch of criminal dressed as his classic rogues gallery.

    The writer doesn't waste time on a single topic though since we finally see the return of Batman Inc. and of course it had to be that because if we know something about Williamson is that he loves to bring back classic continuity. This comes back with a twist though, one that is pretty interesting, involves a new supervillain (in yet another surprising way) and even an old enemy that we don't see interacting with Bruce that much (again, another breath of fresh air). Is everything pretty promising so far.

    There are also a few character bits like how Batman recognizes criminals just because of their movement or how he barely has any friends left after all the mess that has happened in his life and around the DCU. Is solid stuff.

    Jorge Molina and Mikel Janin share the pencils and their work is pretty consistent over the course of the read, a very prominent dark tone appropriately flows around the story.

    Intriguing beginning. Hope things get even better from here.

  2. #2
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    It was a strong start and it feels really refreshing. No one is taking over Gotham and Bruce is just solving a case, that's already something we haven't seen for a few years, lol. Quite unusual twist with Abyss and Lex playing a role in this is pretty interesting. Liked the scene, where it's shown that Bruce misses Damian, Alfred, Gordon and Clark. Really sad moment. Oh, yeah, and art is astonishing.
    I wasn't fond of Williamson work before, and I can't say I enjoyed his Flash run, but this year he really won me over.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakzo View Post
    The first thing that you will notice is that Williamson throws away a lot of Tynion's toys to open with his own story (although I would have been fine if he simply ignored them because they completely blow).
    But he seems to bring back some of the Batman Inc characters, who are also not that interesting...

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Drako's Avatar
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    I liked, it was a good start.
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  5. #5
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    Rakzo, are you on Williamson's PR team or something?

    Seriously though, I liked a lot of his Flash, the tie-ins with Batman were decent and Robin has been a blast, however, he's returning to Morrison's Batman stuff (including the awful costume) which I think is best left in the past. I'm definitely going to pick up the first few issues to see how it feels as Williamson's past work has proven to me he's worth giving a shot.
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  6. #6
    BANNED Bad Witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakzo View Post
    We know why we are all here. This marks a new beginning from Batman after the disaster that was James Tynion IV's run... after the disaster that was Tom King's run. Yeah, the Batman books haven't been at their best for a while and a change was needed. Fortunately, rising DC writer Joshua Williamson is willing to change a bit about that.

    The first thing that you will notice is that Williamson throws away a lot of Tynion's toys to open with his own story (although I would have been fine if he simply ignored them because they completely blow). This allows for a greater focus on how Williamson sees Batman, particularly early on since Williamson's Batman way to deal with crime is much different from how Tynion's Batman does, there's actually more emphasis on common criminals and cases which is a breath of fresh air after how supervillain-ridden the last run was. In fact, I think Williamson kinda makes fun of that when he presents a scene in which Batman has to face a bunch of criminal dressed as his classic rogues gallery.

    The writer doesn't waste time on a single topic though since we finally see the return of Batman Inc. and of course it had to be that because if we know something about Williamson is that he loves to bring back classic continuity. This comes back with a twist though, one that is pretty interesting, involves a new supervillain (in yet another surprising way) and even an old enemy that we don't see interacting with Bruce that much (again, another breath of fresh air). Is everything pretty promising so far.

    There are also a few character bits like how Batman recognizes criminals just because of their movement or how he barely has any friends left after all the mess that has happened in his life and around the DCU. Is solid stuff.

    Jorge Molina and Mikel Janin share the pencils and their work is pretty consistent over the course of the read, a very prominent dark tone appropriately flows around the story.

    Intriguing beginning. Hope things get even better from here.
    I don't know what.you're on about. Sure Kings run wasn't Snyder level and sure tynions run sucked but this issue was boring and sucked just as bad. The imposter and Murphy's white knight stuff were interesting. Even Garth Ennis recent book was better. Garth Ennis ffs!!

    We need an entire reboot. Just being in someone good or someone new who has an interesting idea. Just start over, orgin/gordon/first encounter with villains just a total clean slate. Instead we're about to get two to three years of dogshit. I'll keep reading it (digitally and for free) but man. This is going to be painful...

    With the news of Collin farell producing and staring in a penguin orgin hbo max series and the Gotham pd. Hbo max and matt Reeves trilogy at least someone will be doing batman justice this decade!
    Last edited by Bad Witch; 12-07-2021 at 08:51 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    Rakzo, are you on Williamson's PR team or something?

    Seriously though, I liked a lot of his Flash, the tie-ins with Batman were decent and Robin has been a blast, however, he's returning to Morrison's Batman stuff (including the awful costume) which I think is best left in the past. I'm definitely going to pick up the first few issues to see how it feels as Williamson's past work has proven to me he's worth giving a shot.
    Honestly, I think the opposite. Morrisons run was the last time the line felt truly fresh. It was a missed opportunity not to build on his run.

    Morrisons Batman run is still the GOAT.

    In regards to this issue, intriguing start with the Abyss and I loved the ending.

  8. #8
    Not a Newbie Member JBatmanFan05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iclifton View Post
    Morrisons run was the last time the line felt truly fresh. It was a missed opportunity not to build on his run.
    Maybe Williamson in some ways will:
    Williamson shared that he wants to deliver a fun Dark Knight. He felt that Batman had "consecutively gone through Hell" from years of storylines stretching back to the start of the DC Rebirth era. Williamson thought this echoed what readers went through in the past couple of years, but he wants to give Batman and Gotham a much-needed win. To help his light-hearted approach, Williamson shared that Oracle and Batman will play off each other more in his Batman run.
    ...
    Williamson's opening arc for Batman shows Bruce learning how to recognize and appreciate his victories while his friends and allies are occupied. Williamson observed, "These four issues are a lot about setting up a couple things and there will be more emotional stuff in the stories we're doing in the spring. There is a story coming with Bruce and Damian together and that's where the bigger, emotional stuff will be." It'll be the first time in a long while in DC Comics that Damian and Bruce will be together again.
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  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member HsssH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iclifton View Post
    Morrisons Batman run is still the GOAT.
    Yes, but unfortunately I don't have much faith in Williamson being able to deliver.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iclifton View Post
    Morrisons Batman run is still the GOAT.
    Don't know, most of his creations (Spyral, Leviathan, Batman Inc., his villains ...) were not that interesting or well developed.

    I don't really get why they keep using them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aahz View Post
    Don't know, most of his creations (Spyral, Leviathan, Batman Inc., his villains ...) were not that interesting or well developed.

    I don't really get why they keep using them.
    In order to develop them. Morrison fully explored the main plot thread of his run while also introducing new/fresh concepts that oerh writers could explore.

    Dedalus/Spyral were pretty well developed and interesting over the course of Inc. As were his villains (Pyg, Flamingo, Dr Hurt and the Black Glover).

    Concepts such as Spyral were able to be given focus in other books, such as Grayson. I cannot think of a single run since that has successfully introduced so many new characters and concepts to the lore.

  12. #12
    Not a Newbie Member JBatmanFan05's Avatar
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    Morrison's run was dark at times, but I think, even more than entities and characters he created (most other writers don't use them so well IMHO, because Morrison is jut such a unique writer), his tone and more positive less-insane presentation of a less-dual more holistic Bruce/Batman was a bit revolutionary amid a sea of "Bruce is nothing, Batman is everything" grimdark runs on the main title.

    Morrison's run kinda struck me as a modern day Bronze Age run a bit in that sense.

    (I've long seen Bruce/Batman sane vs "insane" or mentally ill or whatever term you want to use, as a big core fundamental dividing line between writers in Batman history, particularly after Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns)
    Last edited by JBatmanFan05; 12-07-2021 at 01:11 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Ooh I liked this. It did feel a bit like "Building a Better Batmobile", or like the interlude chapters of Incorporated. One doesn't get the sense that Batman is totally closed from his allies or friends, just that he's feeling a bit off, a bit ungrounded. This is frankly the same thing that's going on with Damian right now, which will assuredly collide in Shadow War. Everyone is unmoored because of Alfred's lingering death and the Bat-Family is recentering around Dick & Babs (rightly so, even though they're not usually the pinnacle of stability).

    Anyway, the inclusion of Luthor is perfect because it picks up threads I really like. Apart from being a natural foil for this sort of thing, the interactions with Luthor and Bruce are some of the coolest story beats from New 52 up through (particularly with the Forever Evil/Grayson/Spyral linkages). I'm curious if he's still aware of Bruce's identity or not and thus if there's that slightly more nuanced weird dynamic between them where he like, really seriously bought out Batman, Incorporated in a strange rivalry way to actually continue the mission, or if it's all part of some scheme. Or both, it's Luthor after all.

    Batman switching costumes just simply because "it's Incorporated business" is fun. He doesn't need any more reason than that. The selection of Inc. Batmen is neat - they're not all Club of Heroes originals, but some are. We might presume which ones are more likely to "kill" than others. Gaucho, one might think, the most likely. I'm curious where we go because the storyline feels like Williamson read through Morrison's run, through Inc, and probably even Grayson: Agent of Spyral, before cracking this story, and the vibe I'm getting is that we might even see Kathy turn back up, but I'll wait and see. Abyss, first, and this murder mystery. Luthor stepping into the role of John Mayhew ... except not! ... should be interesting enough in its own right, and the contrast with the Billionaires Party in the beginning is telling.

    Lovely art. One or two potent connections alluded to or brought in. Interesting premise. Seems like it'll start "small" (albeit, jet-set global) and probably widen in a big way. Yes. More, please. And it seems pretty obvious from the panels showing what Bruce has been up to/what he usually does to relax that it's not ignoring recent Justice-Level involvement, either.
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  14. #14
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    Well this was off to a promising start. I've always preferred my Batman more grounded. Plus more Bruce Wayne is always a good thing in my book.

    Positive vibes from Williamson's interview as well. That said, I had high hopes for Tynion after reading his and IMO, his run went off the rails very quickly and ended up a general train wreck.

    Thankfully since Snyder's run (the last one I actually enjoyed) there have been other Batman books to keep the interest (White Knight, Grave, Earth-One and the like).

    Fingers-crossed Williamson's "fun" Batman will be akin to the late bronze-age days.

    (Also, smart move taking Batman out of Gotham. Sure "Gotham is as much a character as Batman etc" but in reality, it limits the kind of stories that can be told).
    Last edited by Mr. White; 12-07-2021 at 12:40 PM.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    While I'm not looking forward to the event this will get wrapped up in as a single issue this was really good in and of itself. The characterization of Batman was great, I liked the return to a smaller scale and the reveal that Lex is running Batman Inc. was an interesting development. I'm looking forward to seeing where this story goes, which is something I haven't been able to say about the main Batman title in...ten years? Man, it's been a slog.
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