It's a new era for the Dark Knight in James Tynion IV's run on Batman. With the "City of Bane" behind him, Batman is focused on literally rebuilding Gotham City. Bruce Wayne has a plan for the city's infrastructure and future, but it isn't just a change in direction for the hero. He's making some changes to how he approaches his work as Batman as well. With Alfred gone, Lucius Fox is the one on comms but he's also providing Batman with some wild new vehicles as part of his garage. Batman #86 introduced Transformer-like Nightclimber which can climb walls, fly, track targets, and more but this week's Batman #87 the next new vehicle and it may be the wildest one yet.
Spoilers for this week's Batman #87 below.
In Batman #86, Batman utilizes the Nightclimber to take down all five of the supremely deadly DC assassins that have descended upon Gotham City - Deathstroke, Merlyn, Cheshire, Gunsmith, and Mr. Teeth. The assassins are soon taken to the Black Block, a special containment area in the new Gotham City Police headquarters specifically designed to hold the worst of the worst. However, Batman soon learns that the Cheshire he apprehended was just a decoy. The real one is free in the city so Batman rushes out to deal with her. As he's chasing Cheshire in the Nightclimber, he realizes that he needs to go after her on the ground and thus deploys the newest and wildest "Batmobile" yet: the Bat-Shot.
The Bat-Shot is, essentially, a tricked out luge sled on steroids. Fired from the Nightclimber with high force, the Bat-Shot hits the ground at high velocity, with the Dark Knight navigating obstacles by veering left and right (much like one would steer the luge sled). In terms of speed and navigation, it's an impressive vehicle, but it also has some incredible weaknesses. The largest of those being the fact that Batman is entirely exposed while operating it. He has to lie back leaving his entire core open for attack. That flaw is one that Cheshire exposes when she jumps from her motorcycle onto Batman, prepared to poison the hero and thus up her rates for having killed Batman.
Cheshire fails, of course, because Batman is ready for pretty much anything - a semi-truck literally hitting Cheshire helps, too - but the debut of the Bat-Shot is a clear indicator that the Dark Knight is upping his game. With Tynion's Batman being two for two with new vehicles, it will be interesting to see what else comes out of the Nightclimber in future issues. It will also be interesting to see whether Lucius makes some tweaks and upgrades to the Bat-Shot going forward. That whole being fully exposed thing seems like a major risk, even for Batman.
Batman #87 is in stores now.
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