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Batman #1
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Good run with some extreme choices for an in-continuity marquee series.
Batman #1 Review
December 22nd, 2019

Just after its conclusion with issue 85, It seems appropriate to write a review for the whole run. This run is reflective of Tom King’s chosen style in the last few years. If you liked Sheriff of Babylon and Mister Miracle, you might like TKs Batman run. This recommendation comes with a caveat. If you have a strong perception of Batman, and you don’t like risk taking with the fundamentals of the character, there is a lot deconstructing the myth in this run, and it has lead to a lot of negative reactions along the lines of “Tom King doesn’t understand Batman” and so on. There is a rawness throughout that makes it stand out and not quite fit with the rest of the DC line including the Bat Family, Gotham City related series that run concurrently. Most importantly, Batman is presented as a person who is deeply scarred by tragedy and flawed going beyond what was done in the past. There is some similarity in the plot to Hush by Loeb, Lee and Williams, but grittier in the direction of brooding and unhappiness, not in terms of action. (Remember Christian Bale’s depression beard in Dark Knight Rises?) The portrayal of Batman sometimes bursts the fantasy bubble, leading you to ask the question, “Is this supposed to be entertainment?” At the pivotal moments, particularly in issues #50 and #84, it becomes very difficult to interpret what or why the characters are doing what they are doing which can be confusing, aggravating or unsettling. I personally, have found it revealing, and a reminder that our true motivations can often be far out of line with our self-image or other’s perception of them. The characters of Batman live in an extreme world, and Tom King has run in that direction from the point of view of behavior and psychology. He doesn’t often tell you where you are going or where you have been. The fun has been contemplating that. With one or two exceptions, the art-work in this run has been fantastic, drawing on great talent, but styles vary as the bi-weekly release schedule demanded contributions from many artists. In many issues, the dialog is terse, and you have to spend time with each panel discerning the point, but they are good-looking panels. Thanks to all the commenters at The League of Comic Geeks (positive and negative) who have helped with my perception of this fantastic story.

Loved It

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  • Taren

    Great insite. Great review. 

    Reply  ·  5 months ago