Adam Graham's Reviews > Batman, Vol. 1: Their Dark Designs

Batman, Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV
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really liked it

Batman is grieving the death of Alfred but that's interrupted by a major shake-up. Gotham is under siege as are many of its supervillains, as the plans of the Designer begin to come to fruition.

In the interest of full disclosure, I picked up this after having dropped Tom King's run on Batman after the volume after the "wedding," so was aware of the events of City of Bane mainly through coverage.

As a jumping on point, this book does fairly well. There are still some gaps unexplained. But if you accept that Bruce and Selena are back together and Alfred's gone, you can enjoy this book with minimal knowledge of what's come before.

Tynion uncorks an epic story to open his run. He doesn't waste time, but gives us Batman's Big 4 of Rogues (Catwoman, Joker, the Riddler, and Penguin), Harley Quinn, plus add in Deathstorke and a Squad of Assassins on a mission, and this whole idea of the Designer and you've got a story that works.

Ever since DC Rebirth, writers have been obsessed with introducing randos we've never seen before as massive menaces to Batman. However, Tynion's take works because the concept is interesting and this isn't some lone rando, but someone who is tied into Batman intimately in a way that's believable. Add on that, a massive mystery that actually allows Batman to be a detective.

The stories from Batman Secret Files are pretty good and showcase a variety of styles, but the main attraction is Their Dark Designs, which manages to be a thoroughly engaging, must-read Batman epic.

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Reading Progress

November 7, 2020 – Started Reading
November 7, 2020 – Shelved
November 7, 2020 –
page 51
November 10, 2020 –
page 112
November 12, 2020 –
page 155
November 13, 2020 –
page 201
November 15, 2020 – Finished Reading

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