I think I’ve probably been the most vocal critic of Tom King‘s current run on Batman of anyone on the interweb. But more specifically his uniting of Batman and Catwoman under the sacred vow of “’til death do us part”. My reason being that it’s out of character for the “Dark Knight,” let alone had an aura of being a “money grab” gimmick from the fact that it took 8-issues to get an answer to Bruce popping the question.
Something I’ve noticed over the last 5 or so years: the BIG-2 will milk their readers for all they can. Why do I say that? Well, it’s because we’ve seen more massive “things will never be the same again” events, long and dragged out arcs, and reboots, and renumbering in the last 5 years than in the history of comics.
Now, hold the pitchforks for a second… I was hyperbolizing when I said, “in the history of comics,” because I’m sure that’s not true— but it feels it.
I had said that this whole wedding story would end in one of two ways: (1) Catwoman would end up dying/be killed at some point before the wedding, and it’d thrust Bruce into a dark spiral like one we haven’t seen since The Dark Knight Returns, or (2) this would be one huge and long dragged out cash grab plot.
I’m a man, so I admit when I was wrong. With that being said, I was wrong with my first prediction, because Selina didn’t bite the dust. BUT, I was definitely right on my second.
Batman 50 is not the end. This is a 100 issue story documenting and celebrating the love of Batman and Catwoman. Whatever happens, whatever anyone says, nothing’s going to spoil that. pic.twitter.com/Crm5t0CKcI
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) July 2, 2018
Not only did it take 8-issues for Catwoman to say, “Yes,” and then 18-issue to the Wedding (which isn’t having the ending that’s been hyped), but now this Bat and Cat “love story” is being dragged out to 100-issues long!
Brett Booth — a comic book artist currently under contract for DC Comics — had recently tweeted out what I thought was the perfect antidote to the BIG-2’s “burn out spiral” when he said that comic arcs should be short and full of action, thus moving the arc along instead of having a ton of dialogue with the story (visually) going nowhere.
Shorter arcs. More action/adventure. I hated reading more than 2 pages of exposition with people just standing around. Move the story forward you can explain on the way! https://t.co/EnZla9nFTP
— Brett Booth (@Demonpuppy) June 28, 2018
This is one of the (many) reasons as to why Image Comics is so good, and I’d argue currently better than the BIG-2. They go by short arc to arcs that move quick over roughly 5 or 6-issues (usually), which intertwine to form overarching arcs that keep us readers invested, instead of finding ourselves burned out and bored with a title because it takes 26-issues for the goal to come to fruition.
Knowing that King is dragging out what should have been a 10 to 15-issue arc properly paced out over three phases — (1) the proposal, (2) the wedding, and finally (3) the honey moon/divorce that would’ve given a well done and to the point story, now into an extremely long “love-story” frustrates me as a reader of comics.
I’m left sitting here, shaking my head, grinding my teeth at the fact that I was right… yes, you read that right. I’m mad that I was right, because I hate when a creator (and company) use a specific plot point to hook an audience, and then don’t fulfill it in order to thrust forward into a 100-issue story as the ultimate cash grab.