This week from DC Comics we get Batman and Harley 107! Okay, the title may read Batman 107, but let’s face it, Gotham is now the Batman and Harley show. Why? Harley says so! We will come back to that, but before we do, let’s step back and look at Gotham and its current state. I don’t know in its 82-year history if we have ever seen a Gotham like this. The status quo has been shaken beyond recognition. Gotham has been terrorized, poisoned, bombed, controlled by the evilest villains, yet there was always an underlying safety net that could right whatever wrongs were committed. Gotham would always have Batman. Batman would always have his money, his tech, Robin, and Alfred. Alfred is dead. Bruce no longer has his fortune, an unlimited supply of tech or money, and his Robin sidekick abandoned him. Not only has the status quo been shaken, but everyone, good or bad, can feel it. Fear now takes hold of Gotham and Jonathan Crane isn’t helping.
The opening of Batman 107 confirms what we suspectedin the last issue. Crane holds Batman captive and is attempting to destroy his mind once more. The problem is Batman is no slouch when it comes to mental strength and willpower, but even Bruce can only take so much. This issue does a wonderful job setting the stage in Gotham and telling the story through Batman’s detective skills. A new terror is attacking the fringes of Gotham, and the populace knows they cannot withstand another event post-Joker War.
Batman 107 – Allies New and Old
One of the many things I am loving about this new trajectory is Batman may have lost his partners in Alfred and Robin, but this time he knows he cannot operate alone. Barbara Gordon as Oracle now features heavily in the story as the person Batman can play off of for information and ideas. Barbara may be the last person in Gotham that can get through to Bruce on a personal level. Babs hasn’t really been featured much in the Gotham title on an ongoing basis, so it’s good to see a character of her quality returning to the forefront.
Then we meet Renee Montoya for the first time in a long while, but now with Gordon gone, she steps up as the new commissioner of Gotham City. It seems like Renee will walk a very fine line. She knows what Batman meant to Gordon, so she doesn’t outright hate him. Then again she shows no love for him either. Renee will support the anti-vigilante movement, but she knows Batman’s methods well enough to know (even in the back of her mind), Gotham needs him in some way. She shows restraint and understanding few have in the GCPD.
Harley Quinn. We knew her status in the vigilante circles of Gotham continues to grow, but now she’s fighting crime from the back of a brand new bike, claiming to be Batman’s new sidekick. While I doubt Bruce would agree, He doesn’t exactly shut her down either. Plus, we should ask the question – where did she get the bike? Sporting her new bike, new look, and a new attitude in crime-fighting, Harley already stands out on the streets, but there is one more thing Harley brings – compassion.
Batman 107 – Harley, the Hero Gotham Needs
We see Harley zoom in on her new motorcycle, ready to save the day with bat in hand. As usual, her bat flies with the speed of her mouth in reckless abandon. She lays ‘Stabbo’ out in no time and stands ready to quip about his name, but then something happens that Gotham really needs. She recognized him as Benji Fink, an Arkham escapee who, when on his proper meds, is really sweet. Instead of beating him to a pulp or tying him up for the cops, she sympathizes with him and knows he just needs to get back on his meds, and he’ll be good as new. Of course, then everything goes sideways as it usually does with Harley.
People underestimate Harley. Her fighting skills are on par with Dick and most of the Bat-family. She is highly intelligent and does care about people more than you might think. She simply has one rather large drawback – her impulsivity rating is through the roof! Harley tends to ask first then figure her way out of the trouble she just caused later. In a lot of ways, she reminds me of Han Solo from Star Wars.
A cop shows up, ready to strong-arm a perp that killed three people. Harley tries to tell the cop how to handle the situation with the least amount of violence. The cop will not back down and Harley slugs him with her bat. Only then does Harley notice the entire police force standing beside him, “Aw nerts” is right. Thankfully there is one more source of help in Gotham.
Batman 107 – Harley Has New Friends?
Enter the latest Bat-buddy, Ghostmaker. He swings in and bails Harley out by dropping some smoke and repelling her up and away. Although, the line about Harley ‘fascinating’ Ghostmaker seems both odd and troublesome. I sense a disturbing future ahead with these two. I laughed at Harley not wanting to leave her brand new bike behind. Ghostmaker tells her he will buy her a new one and of course, the first thing out of Harley’s mouth is “Can I have a car?” I also love the note Harley leaves on Stabbo’s head directing the cops what to do. Harley is a breath of fresh air in Gotham. She and Ghostmaker should really shake up the town.
Then the last page. I’m confused because I do not know this girl or ‘Rex’. She seems like a new bad guy made for Harley, but that doesn’t add up. She holds a rose and two canine-type creatures. Except these canines look like walking shrubs. Supposedly a new villain called Miracle Molly is about to surface in Gotham, but Miracle Molly looks like a Joker knock-off? This new lady makes the comment Harley returned to Gotham, so there is still hope. Does this lady have connections to Poison Ivy? I’m curious where this takes us.
Batman 107 – Opposite Side of Darkness
After all that we get a nice little short about Ghostmaker. We see further into his psyche and how he is Bruce’s exact opposite. Batman dresses in black. Ghostmaker dresses in white. Batman will not kill or let others kill in Gotham. Ghostmaker will kill if not under Batman’s oversight. Batman may have the bat-vehicles and Batcave, but Ghostmaker flies around in a state-of-the-art jet and reinventing the mile-high club.
Work calls and he’s out the door at 30,000 feet and crashing the party on Devil Skull Island. A group of eclectic baddies awaits him, and he knows this. He simply doesn’t care. Robotic laser tigers keep him busy and away from his goal – Madame Midas. This style of crime fighting shows off his reckless, careless attitude. He trusts he can get himself out of anything. This usually lands our heroes in big trouble, but I guess we have to wait until Batman 108 for that.
What did you think of Batman 107? Do you like Harley being the new Bat-side kick? Is Gotham in more trouble than ever? Head over to DC Fanatics on Facebook and tell us what you thought of this latest issue.