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Comic Book / Batman (James Tynion IV)

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"Yes, Alfred... I will become a better bat."

Alfred Pennyworth has died.

Brought to the brink by Bane and an alternate version of his father, Batman is at the lowest point he's ever been, especially with his surrogate father now out of the picture. It couldn't have come at a worse time, as an old conspiracy that had been brewing since Batman's sophomore era as a superhero is coming to fruition. What began as the machinations of the Designer helping Gotham's supervillains achieve their goals has turned into The Joker's plan to finally bring Gotham to its knees and ruin Batman to his core.

Thus began the Joker War, which saw the return of Dick Grayson as Nightwing as well as the Joker seemingly being killed (again).

In the aftermath, Bruce Wayne's finances have dropped significantly. Gotham is once again rebuilding. And he's going to be there to help it rebuild as old friends and new enemies arise to either help him or fight him or both in this new era of his war on crime.

Following Tom King’s run on the main Batman title, James Tynion IV (formerly of Detective Comics) was brought on to write the book until issue #100 in the lead up to 5G. However, plans changed and Tynion took over the book for the long term, joined by artists Jorge Jimenez, Carlo Paguyalan, Tony S. Daniel, and Guillem March.

During DC’s Infinite Frontier initiative, Tynion launched an ongoing series for the Joker alongside artist Guillem March (with backups for Punchline) and was set to lead the Bat-books in becoming a more cohesive line than they’ve ever been. However, after 20 or so issues and several spin-offs and one-shots, Tynion announced he would be stepping away from writing Batman and the Joker for DC Comics to launch a new line of creator-owned titles for Substack, bringing his run on Batman to an end with issue #117. In his stead, The Flash and Robin (2021)'s Joshua Williamson will take over the main Batman series starting with issue #118.

See Batman (Joshua Williamson) for more info on his run.

Storylines with their own pages:


  • Anti-Hero Substitute: Reconstructed with the Ghost-Maker. He's basically yet another "evil" or "anti-hero" counterpart to Batman, having the same level of skill but none of the moral restraints when it comes to just outright killing the criminals he fights. But while he is often antagonistic and critical of Bruce, he has genuine respect for him and Bruce reciprocates it. Ghost-Maker may not have qualms about killing, but he's not stupid or unreasonable and is willing to make compromises and restrain himself for Batman's sake. In fact, he's not so out of line that Batman doesn't consider him for Batman Incorporated.
  • Brought Down to Badass: The Joker's actions against Wayne Enterprises have severely damaged its finances. This basically means that Bruce Wayne has been reduced to a millionaire and, as Lucius Fox puts it, he'll have to be more careful the next time he thinks he can freely crash the Batmobile since he won't be able to afford a new one.
    • This goes farther than simply not being able to replace the Batmobile. For the longest time, Bruce was capable of essentially buying his way to victory since his nigh-unlimited wealth meant he could afford any technological or logistical solution to his problems while simultaneously doubling as the primary benefactor for multiple iterations of the Justice League as well as his own Bat-Family. Without all that money at his disposal, Bruce is indefinitely forced to make compromises in his armor, gadgets, vehicles, and secret bases moving forward for the sake of maintaining a more frugal crime-fighting operation.
      Lucius Fox: Without all that money, you'll be under far less scrutiny, and you will be able to continue to operate as Batman. But it will have to be a leaner Batman. No more rocket ships or satellites or sophisticated A.I. drones that know how you're going to get punched before you do. You won't be able to print high-tech Batmobiles off an industrial printer beneath Wayne Enterprises. If you break a car, you'll need to fix it yourself.
  • Continuity Nod: Nightwing mentions that Batman had considered Ghost-Maker as a possible candidate for Batman Inc..
  • Corporate Samurai: Grifter is reintroduced as the Fox Family's official bodyguard and resident enforcer after Lucius ended up inheriting the Wayne Family Fortune after the events of the Joker War. Despite Cole's crass eccentricities, Lucius considers his skillset worth enduring the merc's routine snark and general thuggery.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Simon Saint of Saint Industries is revealed to be the creator of the Magistrate, the authoritarian Private Military Contractors who essentially took over Gotham City's law enforcement in DC Future State. Originally a Gotham native, Saint markets his 'Magistrate Program' to Mayor Christopher Nakano as an overdue solution to the supervillain problem plaguing the city. In reality, Saint is working with Scarecrow to instill enough dread in the people of Gotham that they'll be more susceptible to the idea of sacrificing their own freedom and privacy for the security of a Magistrate led rule.
  • Cyberpunk: Gotham City has gradually started adopting this aesthetic throughout this run. The once iconic Neo-Gothic meets Dark Deco architecture is gradually being overtaken by neon-lit brutalist buildings, crowded rainy streets, and all of the futuristic chic associated with the genre. However, this is not just limited to the visuals as the narrative also dips into some of its themes. Morally dubious Mega Corporations like Saint Industries influencing the power structures of Gotham, the looming threat of a surveillance heavy Police State being erected by Saint's Magistrate Program, and a growing transhumanist movement catching on thanks to dubious figures like Dr. Wyze, are all prominent examples of Gotham's evolution into the Techno Dystopia featured in DC Future State.
  • Dead All Along: Turns out The Designer has been quite dead for a long time. Thanks, Joker.
  • Deconstruction:
    • Crimefighting with Cash is actually very costly when you're Batman. And now that his wealth has been significantly stripped, Batman is now forced to be frugal about his equipment. Issue #106 in particular has a scene where Batman explains to Oracle how he downgraded the Batmobile for efficiency, meaning it's no longer capable of artificial intelligence-guided autopilot or automated collision avoidance to make room for a bigger engine.
    • Harley Quinn is shown having trouble getting around Gotham to stop crimes since she doesn't have all the gadgets or vehicles Batman has to get to crime scenes on time. Le Parkour isn't enough to get you places quickly.
      Harley Quinn: How the hell can these hero types afford cars and motorcycles and magic grapple guns without robbing banks every other minute?!
    • The infamous Matches Malone persona Batman uses to personally infiltrate Gotham's Underworld might have worked with the older generation of organized crime. But the criminals of today possess far too much scrutiny for that disguise to be effective against them. The second 'Matches' arrives on the Unsanity Collective's doorstep asking how he can join up with their cause, Bruce immediately gets singled out as a potential undercover cop with both his peak-level physicality and his apparent resistance to their psionic devices all suggesting he is too highly trained of an individual to be the average blue-collar crook he's trying to sell himself as. It also doesn't help that Miracle Molly, one of Mr. Wyze's subordinates, can easily tell that his mustache is fake.
    • Batman's philosophy of criminals being a "superstitious and cowardly lot" is picked apart by Miracle Molly, who points out how this is a mindset for when he started, not for where he is now, smarter and wiser about why some criminals are forced to be criminals in a system that reinforces the dichotomy. Molly asks if Batman can still be effective if he ever let the tragedy of his past go, to which Batman admits to not knowing the answer.
  • Doppelmerger: Issue #117 reveals that some time before Poison Ivy's last attack on Gotham The Gardner, fearing Ivy would not survive, made a duplicate of Ivy containing all of Ivy's innocence and hid her away. Some villains tried to use this Ivy duplicate for their own ends but she was rescued by Catwoman and is brought to Ivy by Harley and The Gardner. The two Ivys merge back into one and Ivy finds herself feeling whole again.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Designer is the brain and benefactor behind many villains' zany and elaborate schemes, really not caring what they want to do with his contributions. But when he meets the Joker and hears what he wants, the Designer immediately tries to have all the villains he's pitching to killed because the Joker's desires were that horrifying.
  • For Want of a Nail: In DC Future State one of the big things about the Magistrate-ruled Gotham was that Jonathan Crane was working with them, having learned to abandon the guise of the Scarecrow and work with others for studying. In Batman #111, having realized that Gotham has fallen into a major state of fear and panic, he decides to pull a Hijacked by Ganon.
  • He's Back!: Dick Grayson makes a triumphant return as Nightwing during Joker War.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: The Unsanity Collective are a nomadic rag-tag pseudo-philosophical gang of cybernetically enhanced thieves who target Gotham's wealthy to support the city's destitute. However, they're not above accepting mercenary work for as long as the gig aligns with their code of ethics.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • As mentioned above, Bane's murder of Alfred is still affecting Bruce.
    • The aftermath of The Joker War and how it affected Bruce, namely with Bruce losing Wayne Enterprises and the majority of his fortune and assets.
  • Mythology Gag: The quartet of villains to meet with the Designer is the lineup from the Batman (1966) movie.
  • Queer Establishing Moment: Ghost-Maker was casually revealed to be bisexual in a scene where he bids farewell to a man and a woman in his bed after they had Three-Way Sex.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Bruce met Ghost-Maker during his global sojourn and they became close friends (indeed, Bruce's first real friend since the Wayne murders)...but he's never been mentioned before now. It's justified in-story, as Bruce and Ghost-Maker had an ugly falling out over ideological differences just before Bruce came back to Gotham. Bruce's attempts to patch things up in the years since (like trying to recruit him for Batman Incorporated) failed. The closest to a détente they've achieved was a promise by Ghost-Maker to stay out of Gotham — a pledge which he honored until the events of Tynion's run.
  • Satanic Archetype: The Joker is treated as the Devil, the Wild Card whose evil shocks even the Designer.
  • That Man Is Dead: The Unsanity Collective is made up of people wiped of their memories of their past lives. Batman addresses how Miracle Molly could very well be the daughter of one of the wealthy people the Collective attacks, but she expresses this sentiment about her past self on the off chance that it really is the case.
  • Prodigal Hero: The narrative gradually sets up Jace Fox as this. He's the rebellious second son of one of Gotham's most famous corporate figureheads who enjoyed a life of luxury until a Noodle Incident when he was 17 forces him into exile. Now after the tragedies that befell his family during the Joker War, Jace returns to Gotham, setting him on a path that will change his life forever...
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Batman with Ghost-Maker. The two are clearly at odds due to their differing opinions on how to go about their vigilante wars, but the two obviously have respect for each other. Their climactic fight even ends with little to no consequence and the two both act like it was just another friendly spat.

Alternative Title(s): James Tynion I Vs Batman