Review: BATMAN #34 (SPOILERS)

By RUSSELL BERGER

It would appear that lightning can in fact strike the same spot two times in a row– huh, who knew. No, that’s just me giving a bit of a backhanded compliment to Tom King (writer) for giving us [yet] another solid issue of BATMAN, and [again] managing to not make it seem like the possible “Catwoman marrying Batman” isn’t a cash grab. Instead, we got an issue that continues what is turning out to be an overall good story arc.

I’m just going to start this one off with giving Joëlle Jones (artist) her rightfully deserved props, because she is killing it the last two issues. She’s made Selina look sexy as hell in tactical gear, and the point (granted, I don’t know if it was her idea or Tom’s) of using that “Knightmare” sequence design from BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE works to an extraordinary degree in this arc.

I think overall she’s given A+ quality work, and it was definitely on display in this issue with the intricate [and Tom usual] nine panel grid and the multiple splash pages.

Something that Tom [King] is using very perfectly is the bit of bickering back and forth between Bruce and Selina. It brings this degree of reality to their relationship, and infuses a hint of hope. I mean, I don’t think there’s a single person who doesn’t want to see this actually pay out for Bruce, and he’s definitely banked on that hope to push this along thus far.

Another shining point of the issue was the back to back style of showing them fighting together. It really sends home their dynamic,

BATMAN and CATWOMAN

Art by Joëlle Jones, Colors by Jordie Bellaire

BREAKING NEWS! Breaking news, everybody! Damian Wayne has won the “Savage of the Year” award with his ruthless threat to Superman.

I mean, of course it was meant to be a moment of comical relief– and it was. It was perfect organic comedy that felt real. It was something you’d 100% expect to hear Damian say, and especially in the place he’s been put with having the news that his father asked Selina to marry him, [and she said “yes,”] dropped on his head. Along with finding out they [Bruce and Selina] went to see his mother [Talia.]

The savage known as Damian Wayne

Art by Joëlle Jones, Colors by Jordie Bellaire

Damian is the furthest from a stable boy– of course, he’s following in his father’s footsteps, because everyone knows Bruce is a high functioning psychopath. I think when we look back on this arc, the thing that’ll stand out the most won’t be Bruce and Selina, or the inevitable fight between the latter and Talia al Ghul, but it will be the way that Dick [Grayson] stands by Damian through what’s looking to be an extremely emotional hard time for him.

And of course, what could very well be the start to my vindication… or perhaps the proof negative of my initial prediction,

CATWOMAN and TALIA AL GHUL

Art by Joëlle Jones, Colors by Jordie Bellaire

So far, it looks like I’m right– well, mostly as we’re left with Talia and Selina face to face, and both armed with a sword preparing to fight to the death. Again, I basically called this after seeing that Selina said “yes” to Bruce when he asked her to marry him, and it does seem like the most likely outcome that she’ll [Selina] will bite the dust at the conclusion of their encounter.

It, I believe, sells more books to see a tragedy like this than the good ol’ happy ending of Bruce and Selina getting hitched. Now I have no problem with being wrong, and if I am, I hope Tom tweets at me, “HAH! You were wrong!” Though, if I were a betting man– and I’m not, but if I were, I think it’s a million times more safe to bet that this was as I originally said, “a SALES GIMMICK.”

That aside, this was a good issue. Most of all, it was a great read and continued to tell a solid story that in my opinion is keeping up with DC Comics‘ [current] massive event of DC METAL. I will always preach that consistency is the key to great comics, and that’s what this issue was, a consistent story and consistent art. I’m giving BATMAN #34 a bat-tastic 4.2 out of 5.

You can grab yourself a copy at your local comic shop, and BATMAN #35 will be whipping its way onto the same shelves Wednesday, November 15th,

“Dream of Me” part three! Has the Caped Crusader passed the point of no return? Turns out he’s going to need a little help from his friends, but this help comes with a downside: Batman’s true intentions will be exposed.

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