SPOILERS: Batman #36

Tom King and company have been on fucking fire lately.

SPOILERS: Batman: White Knight #3

Batman loses his moral compass, Joker finds his. This should be fun.

SPOILERS: Nightwing #34

Yeah, I'm sad Tim Seeley is leaving too.

SPOILERS: Batman Annual #2

So many emotions for only so many pages.

SPOILERS: Detective Comics #969

Oh geez, these guys again.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

SPOILERS: Batman Annual #2


It's almost as Tom King and the artists he works with multiple times are real good at what they do.

The Spoilers:

A long, long time ago, when Batman wore his underpants on the outside, he and Catwoman were just beginning their eternal game of chase, and over a period of a few nights, Catwoman baits Batman on, and leaves a mouse in her wake. Ultimately, it gets to the point where Selina is cracking the safe inside Bruce's bedroom, to find only a single pearl. When she asks why he has it, and the flirtatious bonding that defines them begins.

As always, Catwoman flees, Batman chases. Selina tells Bruce that she's doing this to save his life, to expose his weakness and teach him where to be better. She likens herself to him, which Bruce pauses at, only to allow Selina to escape once again.

But Selina doesn't make as clean a getaway as she thinks. Bruce is waiting for her in her apartment, having tracked her down by detecting plaster particles in the mouse droppings she inadvertently left behind. So now she's caught and asks if Bruce is there to "help" her, but nope... Just there to be romantic and what not, and they break into their conflicting stories of when they first met each other.

Many decades later, the conversation of when they met still continues inside a doctor's office. The doctor eventually makes her way in, and while it isn't seen, you can assume that she tells Bruce that he has terminal cancer. As the couple leave the office, Bruce keeps his composure, but Selina can't hold it in.

That night, Selina meets with her daughter Helena, who's taken up the mantel of Batwoman (I assume), she reports that Zatanna can't do anything, it's just Bruce's time. 

The days pass and Bruce tries to carry on, but his weakness shows. and ultimately he passes, surrounded by Selina and all his close family and friends. 

Selina finds herself in the bat mobile, where the story began, and finds a young kitten with a note from Bruce around it's neck, responding to her final "I love you." She embraces the kitten as it purrs, and so ends Tom King's Batman.

The Opinion:

There was some talk floating around recently about Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy's Batman book, and how it was inspired by Scott's chat with Grant Morrison, who said that everyone who writes Batman has to have their end for the character, and I find it coincidental that we got Tom King's end to Batman here. Where Scott Snyder's Batman has been a fantastical ride that has grown with each story, King's by contrast has set out to humanize Bruce Wayne and his search for happiness. What more of human way to "end" his batman, than having him pass in the most human way possible? By dying of cancer, unable to fight it, despite all he had accomplished and triumphed over in his life. It's sobering to see Batman go in such a way, but fitting. And the way the love story between Bruce and Selina mirrored each other from start to end was a perfect way to portray this story.

This issue also sold me on Lee Weeks, 100%. I knew he was a good artist, I liked the Batman/Elmer Fudd story he did with Tom King, but holy shit, this issue was a beauty. That double page splash of the wideshot featuring Bruce and Selina on the roof? Shit man. Michael Lark's contribution to the future story can't be undersold, but still... I'm all in on Lee Weeks now. 

11 comments :

  1. Can you tell who everyone is by Bruce's bedside? My best guess (left to right): Jason, Helena, Barbara, Dick, Carrie, Duke, unknown bald man in orange shirt, Steph, Tim.
    How did I do?

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    1. Probably right. I was trying to figure if the guy you think is JPV was Damian. Unsure.

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    2. I get the feeling that Damian is dead in this timeline, since Helena is answering the bat signal. Also, didnt future Tim say something about Damian being dead? Who knows if this is the same timeline though.

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    3. Yeah, true, but these are just versions of the future. There's King's version, Scott Snyder's, Tynion's, Batman Beyonds. None of it really matters next to each other.

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  3. I took the doctor's office scene as Alzheimers because he can't remember the story he is trying to tell as they are walking when she breaks down, but Selina finishes it as if she has heard it plenty of times before.

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    1. Ah yeah, possibly. Good observation.

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    2. Yup it all flows with the boat and street thing King is doing and he trained with the "Memory of the Mountain"

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    3. I have been taking the "boat" or the "street" thing as a link to rebirth and Dr Manhattan messing with time. People having fragments of different pieces of memories from various time lines

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  4. King's been hitting out of the park lately. Sure, War of Jokes and Riddles was a little shaky, but Rules of Engagement and this annual are some of the best Batman material in a while.

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