Batman #92 continues to go all in with the number of characters in Their Dark Designs by upping the ante even further. James Tynion IV creates a fun pairing between Batman and Deathstroke that showcases the greatest strengths of their dynamic. It sees Deathstroke acting as the observer, constantly surprised by Batman’s latest array of tech and gadgets which allows for some hilarious situations in a mostly dark storyline – continuing to have the same level of fun and enjoyment to it that one would expect. Slade also makes one of the best points that any characters have made in this comic in a while: why does anyone opt to live in Gotham? The more you consider it, the more it becomes clear: not only is highly likely to be a cheaper option, but it’s also not the only city that suffers from the risk of being caught in a supervillain’s latest scheme; half of the major fictional DC cities have their own supervillain problems too.
The team-up between Harley Quinn and Catwoman as they battle zombie cops in the sewers is no less than entertaining; with Tynion IV continuing to craft a fun arc that manages to make the absolute most out of every character in the Batman verse that he can and delights in doing so. The Riddler is such an enjoyable antagonist it’s always fun to see him getting outmatched time and time again by Batman; and the emphasis on Guillem March’s artwork is allows both characters to be fleshed out in striking, crisp detail. This arc puts the utmost emphasis on the artwork and it allows March, Tomeu Morey and Clayton Cowles to come into their own with a fast-paced structure that seems ready made for trade paperback more than anything else: this whole arc in general would work amazingly well as a binge-read. Gotham City is gritty, atmospheric and as darkly lit as ever, with March giving the characters unique expressions and reactions that help illustrate their line delivery.
The Riddler is a fun diversion from the main plot concerning The Designer even if a decidedly campier one than fans may have been expecting going in. Still, the artwork for the character is as good as ever, with The Riddler more than living up to his larger than life persona that he has developed over the years and that is shone through with March’s pencils and Morey’s colours which are the main star of this issue. Out of the two villains for this issue though, it is The Riddler who shines the brightest – Punchline falls flat on execution as far too much of her character is told rather than shown, and there’s only so much that the banter between Catwoman and Harley can do to save it.
In terms of cliffhangers; Batman #92 doesn’t disappoint. It goes all out, tying into the larger arc whilst also acting as a returning point for fans who have been missing the adventures of the caped crusader. It mostly just about works as a standalone issue, minus a few panels, succeeding in keeping fans coming back for more.