Wednesday, January 17, 2018

SPOILERS: Batman #39


More Joelle Jones on Batman... please. Or Wonder Woman, I'll take that too... I'd take a creative team with as much as a vision as the Ruck/Sharp/Scott team did all things considered. WAIT! Batman! That's what I'm supposed to talk about.

The Spoilers:

The story is simple, years ago on a Justice League mission, the League found their way into a dimension where the sins of man manifest as demons and monsters, attempting to break through to the real world. The only one between them is a lone soldier named The Gentle Man, who uses sword and shield to fend off the beasts fore centuries on end. Bruce and Diana made a pact with The Gentle Man that when he calls, they shall give him rest and allow him a day to himself on his world. He has called, and Diana is in Gotham to summon Bruce. 

As Bruce and Diana make their way into the portal, Selina stays behind to chaperone the Gentle Man on his day off. Both sides of the story see Gentle or Diana asking questions about their partners new found engagement. It's there where Selina learns that The Gentle Man has a wife on the outside. She also learns that time flows differently, as the Gentle Man has been fighting for thousands of years, but he's only been gone a year in his time... so with Diana and Bruce being gone for a couple hours on earth, they've spent ten ageless years fighting together... alone... and flirting. For reasons I'm sure to be a fake out.

The Opinion: 

First off, I think this issue is fucking gorgeous. Joelle Jones and Jordie Bellaire knocked it out of the park. From the monsters, to the Batman armor, to that one panel of Wonder Woman having washed the blood off.... god damn, just a beautiful book. I need way way more, and I hope DC knows what they've got here. 

You've got your standard (sort of) compare contrast story telling which offers unique perspectives on the same subject, with outside influences questioning motivations and what not. It's interesting stuff... but I feel like the major talking point is the last page... and to be honest, I think it's cheap. Just cheap heat meant to get a reaction. Will anything come from it? Probably not. And I know there are better uses of Wonder Woman.

3 comments :

  1. perhaps this is a continuity follow up on Forever Evil. That series ended with an unresolved issue of a hinted secret romantic history between Batman and Wondewoman which at the time was scandalous due to wonder woman and superman being a couple.

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  2. Responding to the twitter comments, what does ‘monogamy’ and ‘marriage’ mean to a island consisting of only women? Is the ending cliff hanger really that disrespectful of Wonder Woman, who, in this rebirth telling us envisioned as a ‘queer’ character? Assuming that Wonder Woman is ‘monogamous’ would be imposing heteronormative paradigm on a character that might not have a vision of ‘modern marriage’. Where ‘traditional marriage’ was about a man paying for and owning a woman.

    That argument aside I don’t think Tom King is even exploring that fantastical element of Amazon culture. Tom King is invoking his experience as an ex-CIA agent to explore the intimacy between two agents that develops while on missions for extended missions. It’s an exploration of human nature through fantastic characters. I hope he is not influenced by the back lash and continues his narrative as planned

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  3. The reaction on Twitter is kind of crazy. For one thing, it's a cliffhanger ending - it's the equivalent of assuming that Batman will be killed in whatever death trap the Riddler has him in at the end of an issue.

    Beyond that, this story strikes me as REALLY similar to the Superman/ WW Action Comics issue. The scenario is set up in such a way as to remove cheating or monogamy from the picture. In this story Batman and Diana have been gone for 10 years and believe they are never getting out of the place they are in - that's not "cheating" by any sane definition of the term. In the Superman story it was even more pronounced - they'd been gone for 1000 years. Superman wouldn't be intimate with WW not because it was cheating, but because Lois was the only one for him. It didn't matter whether he was with her - he wouldn't be with anyone else under any circumstances.

    King may very well be making a similar statement about Batman, but again we don't know yet because of the thing where the story is only half over.

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