Comic Review: Batman #123 (DC Comics)

Batman and Robin are reunited, and it feels so good. It’s Batman #123 from DC Comics. Once again, we join the Batman crowd, with your host, Batman, with special guest […]

Batman and Robin are reunited, and it feels so good. It’s Batman #123 from DC Comics.

Once again, we join the Batman crowd, with your host, Batman, with special guest Robin, and a cast of costumed other people. This issue, Shadow War Part Five, is written by Joshua Williamson.

Williamson begins the story in Blackgate Penitentiary, where Bat and Rob are speaking with an inmate about the fake Deathstroke’s, regarding the death of Ra’s al Ghul.

It’s a snappy script, with plenty of father figures and surrogate fathers and their sons. Kind of heartwarming, in a ‘what will happen next’ kind of way. Male bonding while punching people in the dark, sort of thing. Explosions, dramatic poses, dramatic pauses. Refreshing in a ‘what will they say next?’ kind of way.

The locale of the story changes every few pages, and the drawings of Howard Porter (colour by Tomev Morey, letters by Clayton Cowles) keep shifting, shadowing, threatening to merge with the panel borders, pushing buttons, pushing envelopes. Porter doesn’t ‘mail it in’, rather keeping it shrouded and dynamic and fun, in a ‘who turned out the lights’ kind of way. And it’s kind of fun also, how the panels will all align horizontally on one page, and all be vertical on the next. Keeps us on our reading toes, our step light and bouncy, defensive. The angles of the figures are pointed and aggressive, the planes are flying low, shading the environments with even more darkness.

And so what if I think that there are an awful lot of costumed characters running around in the dark all the time, and we meet a new one every three pages? And so what if I wish people would stop constantly talking while they punch each other? It’s all good, all fun and dramatic and “Batmany”!

Backup story is written by Joshua Williamson, with art by Trevor Hairline, colours by Rain Beredo, letters by Willie Shubert: The Joker grins, schemes and reminds us of Carmine Infantino’s drawings of the Silver Age. Nuff said!

DC, Batman #123, $4.99 for 31 pages of content.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!