Writer: James Tynion In
Penciler: Tony Daniel
Inker: Danny Miki
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Alright first off let me just say, I was a huge fan of Tom King's run and I loved what he did on the book. Yes there were times I didn't love it but I was still down to see the conclusion to his story. While we have to wait until BATMAN/CATWOMAN for that, today is not a day to be upset, because James Tynion IV killed it on this issue. If you read his run on DETECTIVE COMICS then you know he was the most logical successor to Tom King. While that book had Batman in more of a team dynamic, he still had a clear grasp on what makes Batman work. After reading his newsletter, I became even more excited at what he was planning. In the aftermath of a really dark turn in Bruce's life, there would be a newfound resolve to save Gotham in ways we've never seen. Let me tell you, after this issue, I'm all in.
The book opens with Bats talking about not just saving Gotham by defeating crime, he talks of "building a better Gotham. How does he plan on doing it? By using designs that he would come up with as little sketches in his old casebooks. It was the memory of Alfred's prompting him to do it. It almost seems that he's now doing this not only to save Gotham but also to honor Alfred's memory. It's still weird that Alfred isn't around, but I'm sure it's inevitable that we'll see him again.
Luckily Bruce has someone he can trust to aid him, Lucius Fox. Fox not only serves as the other end for his comms but he also helps build him one of the coolest Bat toys yet, the Nigthclimber. Just wait till you see what this thing can do.
How is it that he make such sweeping changes so quickly, you ask? Well first off he's Bruce "muthaf***ing" Wayne and he's also enlisting all the "young money" of Gotham to help fund it. Since he's off doing Batman stuff, he sends Selina to scope out the charity event looking for anything suspicious. See while the gala is happening, a group of assassins has ascended upon Gotham, led by Deathstroke. Which I have to say is one of my favorite characters for Batman to square off against. Why they're here and who hired them is still a mystery, but I'm sure it will end up being the new villain that Tynion teased, The Designer.
Throughout this book, the art of Tony Daniel is fantastic. From the designs of the new Bat vehicle to the fight scenes and composition of his panels. This book was visually captivating. It's so great to see Daniel back on a Bat book.
After Catwoman takes down her target, we learn that there may be a mysterious connection between her and what's happening in Gotham. Looks like this may cause a little tension between these two. But while she takes care of her target, Bruce (with the help of the Nightclimber) takes down all 5 of his targets. He mistakenly refers to Lucius as Alfred, which is probably out of habit but also him still dealing with the loss of his "father" and friend.
Overall, I loved the beginning of this arc and I love that Tynion is having Alfred still be a presecence in this book even if it's just as a memory to motivate Batman to try something new. Tynion you have my full attention and I can't wait to see what's next. If you guys have been looking for a great time to jump on a Batman book, this is it.