BATMAN #86 – James Tynion IV nails his Debut

Batman, Batman #86, DC Comics, James Tynion IV, Cover Art, Soda and Telepaths

Batman #86 – Enter James Tynion IV

Talk about a tall order: Writing Batman is intimidating enough, but following Tom King’s iconic run on DC Comics’ flagship title is a whole other beast. However, master storyteller James Tynion IV is not only up to the task, he absolutely nails his debut in Batman #86.

Batman (2016) #86
  • 99%
    Awesomeness - 99%
  • 93%
    Plot - 93%
  • 98%
    Characters - 98%
  • 90%
    Tone - 90%
95%

Summary

Batman #86 is everything you want in a Bat story: Mystery, great detective work, awesome fight scenes and Batman doing what he does best – being Batman.

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Following the events of Batman #85 and the conclusion of King’s massive “City of Bane” arc, Tynion wastes no time tossing Batman into another existential crisis as the Dark Knight copes with Alfred’s loss. Thankfully, while Batman works one angle he has Selina Kyle, his partner in crime, working another. Lucius Fox serves as Batman’s new wingman, and there’s some exciting new Bat-Tech that fans will learn about over the course of upcoming issues. 

Batman #86 opens with a Batman on a roof with a Wayne Enterprises billboard in the background: “Rebuilding Gotham City for Everyone.” Batman ponders the days when he used to dream of a better life for Gotham City, and Alfred was there to cheer him along while dropping hints that he might be able to make a bigger impact by working on the plans for the city rather than donning the cape and cowl. Until now. 

Batman, Batman #86, DC Comics, James Tynion IV, Cover Art, Soda and Telepaths, Comic Book, Panels

Meanwhile, a group of high-end villains converge on Gotham City following a message that Batman intercepted on the dark web. He has a plan to take them out, of course, but that plan relies upon some new technology that Lucius has been developing. It’s not ready, he warns, but Batman reminds him that everything he does is based on faith. 

Selina is working the crowd at a Wayne Enterprises fundraiser on Bruce’s behalf, glad-handing the room of millionaires and billionaires to raise money for Bruce’s projects. She’s bored to tears and she tells him so when he checks in, but she knows that what she’s doing is important and Batman seems relieved to have her around. 

The story moves fast, building its own narrative quickly and ending with a mystery that kicks off the Tynion era. In short: Tynion hits a grand slam with Batman #86 and successfully carves out his own microcosm in the Batman Universe to play in. 

Batman, Batman #86, DC Comics, James Tynion IV, Cover Art, Soda and Telepaths, Catwoman, Selina Kyle, Comic Book, Panels

Tynion taps into Batman’s Innermost Thoughts

One of the biggest changes from King to Tynion Batman’s inner monologue. Tynion masterfully utilizes Batman’s thought process as he works the problem at hand while trying not to think about the myriad issues plaguing him. He knows he’s always one step ahead, but his confidence masks his insecurities and doubts, too. 

Also worth noting is how Tynion includes the supporting cast in the story. Now that Alfred is gone, Bruce Wayne lost his anchor and if not for Selina Kyle and Lucius Fox in his life, he’d be a mess. But he’s not. He has them, and they’re both there for him. 

Batman #86 is everything you want in a Bat story: Mystery, great detective work, awesome fight scenes and Batman doing what he does best – being Batman. If this is a sign of what’s to come in the Batman Universe, then fans are in for one hell of a ride. 

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