Review: BATMAN #108
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: James Tynion IV
Colours: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Batman #108: Batman goes undercover to infiltrate the transhumanist gang known as the Unsanity Collective and learn more about their sudden appearance in Gotham. And what nefarious plans does Simon Saint have for Arkham Day survivor Sean Mahoney? How does it connect to the Magistrate? And in part two of the action-packed, bone-rattling Ghost-Maker backup story…can our hero stand up to the horror of Kid Kawaii? Plus, don’t miss the debut of the mysterious Miracle Molly!
In Batman #108, Batman has gone undercover to infiltrate the Unsanity Collective. But they suspect that he is not what he seems. But Miracle Molly convinces the others to give him a chance, taking him on a mission with her.
This is the first full appearance of Molly, another new Tynion creation. I have to admit that I find her to be a lot more interesting a character than Punchline. I think she’s got more potential of being the breakout character that DC is insisting that we accept Punchline to be.
Miracle Molly is clearly very intelligent. Not only is she a technological whiz, but she quickly figures out that Match is really Batman. Also, it seems that perhaps the Unsanity Collective, as Molly describes the group, isn’t quite the threat they have appeared to be. Molly’s motives seem benign, but isn’t above using questionable means to achieve her goals.
I think that if Molly could become an ally of Batman as easily as a villain. I have a feeling that she will remain in a grey area between hero and villain, sometimes fighting with Batman and sometimes against him. And given the chaotic nature of the group’s “unsanity”, perhaps it’s impossible for her to commit to one side or the other. And I should add that I love how Jorge Jimenez perfectly captures that chaos in Miracle Molly’s design.
When Batman as Match dons a black mask to join Molly on her mission, she tells him that it’s “Very Zorro of you”. I like this little nod to Batman history. The movie the Waynes were watching before their murder was “The Mark of Zorro”. And Zorro has long been seen as one of Bruce’s inspirations for the Batman identity.
In Batman #108 ,we also witness the origin of Peacekeeper 01. Future State showed us a future where he was the head of the Magistrate, the totalitarian police force that had taken control of Gotham. With this, it seems that Gotham is well on the way to realizing the future shown in Future State. Does this imply that the future shown in that event is inevitable? Or can Batman find a way to steer Gotham to a better future?
The second story continues the solo adventures of Ghost-Maker. In this installment, Ghost-Maker continues his assault on Madame Midas’ headquarters on Devil Skull Island. Kid Kawaii, one of the villains in her hire, tells of an unsuccessful encounter with Ghost-Maker.
I like the unique concept of Kid Kawaii. “Kawaii” is a Japanese word meaning “cute” or “adorable”. And Ortiz beautifully illustrates her as such – at first glance anyway. As the story progresses, there is a darker, horrifying side to her that is anything but cute. She is in fact, a shape-shifting killing machine. Ordinarily, her mouth is covered with a face mask which hides a mouth full of viciously sharp teeth.
And from the dialogue between her and Ghost-Hunter, it appears that he has destroyed her multiple times in the past – and each time she was rebuilt, she was also improved. The idea of a villain that always adapts so that she cannot be defeated the same way twice is quite intriguing. This challenges the hero (as well as the writer) to come up with a new way to defeat her each time he battles her. I hope that Kid Kawaii will pop up elsewhere in the DCU in the future.
I’m not sure I’m happy about how things seem to be headed towards the future we saw in Future State, but as that was apparently supposed to be about five years in the future, I don’t think its a certainty. At least, I hope it isn’t. Future State was an interesting idea to read about for a short-term event, but I don’t know that it could hold my interest as the new status quo for Gotham City. Hopefully, the Bat-Family will find a way to avoid that particular future timeline.
Batman #108 was a well-written and beautifully drawn issue and Messrs. Tynion, Jimenez, and Ortiz should take a bow. I loved this introduction to a pair of intriguing young ladies. Miracle Molly and Kid Kawaii are both fascinating characters with loads of story potential. I look forward to seeing what plans Tynion has for them.