James Tynion IV ‘s Batman run isn’t pulling and punches!! We are officially two issues into his run and we’ve gotten a pretty good taste of what we can expect from this run… Villains and awesome new toys!! Tynion is welcoming us to the next era of the Bat and I could not be more excited. After 85 issues of Tom King’s Batman this is the story we needed! With that said, lets dive right into the story.

This issue is a continuation of the “Their Dark Designs” storyline. It picks up right where the last issue left off as far as action and the story is continued at an acceptable pace. We have come into this run seeking change from what we received the last 85 issues with Tom King and honestly Tynion is delivering. With Batman # 87 we are getting more new toys such as the Bat-Shot, a modified Rail Gun feature that shoots you out of the Night-Climber, a new addition to the capability of the Bat-suit and new prison called “The Black Block” completely bankrolled by Bruce Wayne. According to Batman this new prison is capable of securely holding him and the members of the Bat-family and is perfect for those. I know what you’re thinking, you’re looking for more than just new toys! Well, fear not because this issue also brought back some villains we haven’t seen in quite some time and they aren’t just thrown in for effect, they are finely woven into the fabric of the story.

We get to see Riddler a few months removed from his year of the Villain One Shot story, he is a disheveled mess, hasn’t slept in 3 months and is on the verge of a psychotic break but he isn’t the only new addition to this story as we are also brought The Penguin in all his horrifying glory. Aside from the new additions we also carried over the Assassins from issue 86 Deathstroke, Cheshire, Gunsmith, Mr. Teeth and the Dark Archer. We learn some more about the perfectly laid plans of “The Designer” not to mention the fact that the plans we stolen from the Penguin.. I know shocking right!!

This series is moving along really nicely, Lucias and Bruce are starting to find a rhythm as a team. Lucias is taking over the role left vacant by the death of Alfred and while we are all still in pain over that fact Lucias is proving to be a more than suitable stand-in. The back and forth banter between Batman and Catwoman make them feel like a real couple unlike that of the simple “Bat/Cat” conversations of the previous run. In the end we are getting a Batman that is not only a badass but is proving himself to be a hell of a detective.

The ARTWORK!! Guillem March has some of my favorite Bat-Character designs in this issue! His gruesome portrayal of Penguin, Ridder and a few of the other scenes in this issue are fantastic and the colors of Tomeu Morey definitely added another layer to this already buzz-worthy issue.