FINALLY! Finally we get a solid, overall great issue out of BATMAN and Tom King! I’ve been highly critical of this title, and in particular Tom’s run. I’ve felt that it hasn’t quite lived up to what I’m used to out of him, and from his other runs like GRAYSON and THE OMEGA MEN. Though, this issue definitely returned to that vein to a degree and even managed to make this Bruce/Selina “getting married” plot device seem like it’s not just a money grab.
It’s been a bit of a struggle as far as it goes for me to follow this title. It’s been sub par at best, and just hasn’t been reaching the bar that Scott Snyder (writer) and Greg Capullo (artist) had set so very high during their run. I do suppose that’s not completely King’s fault, but as I had said, it hasn’t really felt like King’s A+ quality work either.
Though, like the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI this issue pulled a complete three-sixty. It was able to establish an interesting plot that successfully utilized the underlining Bruce/Selina plot device. To be honest, it felt like an issue of GRAYSON.
I think that one of my favorite things out of this issue was the costume design used by Joëlle Jones (artist) in this issue.
Using the “Knightmare” sequence costume design from BATMAN V SUPERMAN was smart. That costume is hands down amazing looking, and carries an interesting and– heh, for a lack of better words, bad-assness to the character and story that’s being told. And Jones did a spot on job at matching the already epic costume for Batman with Catwoman’s.
Costume and design in general always play a huge role in every title. The art has to be able to match, but also go beyond the writer’s ability to tell the story as they show us the story. Jones did that, and some.
And let us all agree that the best moment in this issue was when Alfred told the “boys” that Bruce had asked Selina to marry him, and she said, “yes.”
It was a shot of perfectly placed comedy that spawned organically out of a serious moment, as comedy should. I’m probably one of the biggest advocates of organic comedy in the comic book genre. Its– or I should say the lack there of in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the largest reasons I don’t get into the movies. When comedy is forced, it ruins what was built up to, as it takes away from moments in the movies, comics and any other medium where comedy is shoved down our throats.
There were a couple of organic moments through this issue, like when Selina takes on THE GUARD IN THE DESERT and totally makes him her– well, you know. But the build up to that moment was the up most seriousness only for Selina to “MEEEOW” at him, and then proceed to beat his ass.
And can we take a moment to all tip our caps to King for giving us that nod to Snyder.
That nod of the dead horse, at least I took it as a little point to the iconic one and his hatred of horses. Again, I know I’m beating a dead horse here (heh, see what I did there), but it was a serious moment that, at least in an inside joke type of way, turned into comedy organically.
Another spot that this issue hit it out of the park for me was its overall tie-in to its end game location. Secretly, (although I saw it coming from a mile away), pointing us to where this arc will go, and then on the last page giving us the huge reveal…
TALIA AL GHUL. I think it was pretty obvious that this “story” would have to go down this road, as I have this suspicion that King is going to have that Bruce and Talia were secretly married. This kind of brings me back to what I was saying in my reaction to Selina saying “Yes,” where I made the prediction,
I’m also willing to go as far as saying that I think Selina will be killed off to send Bruce down a dark path for a story arc [or two.]
There’s clearly going to be some type of battle between the two — Talia and Selina — to the death in order to act as a “divorce” (as long as it turns out the Bat and Daughter of the Demon are married) if Selina wins, and if she loses– well, that’s self-explanatory, isn’t it?
Again, with this issue pulling a complete three-sixty for me, it made it a solid one. I, for the first time in a long time, enjoyed an issue of BATMAN and wasn’t disappointed.
You can pick up this issue at your local comic shop, and BATMAN #34 will be riding in onto the same shelves Wednesday, November 1st,
“Dream of Me” part two! Batman is on a quest in the desert, far from his Gotham City home. His friends and allies think he’s gone crazy, and his mission puts him far outside the law. Waiting for him at the center of the chaos is an old enemy…and plenty of old demons.