Mr. H And Alex Discuss: Batman #3 & #4
Hey there folks welcome back to the Batcave for a creature double feature! This week Alex and I tackle Tom King and David Finch‘s latest two issues of their Dark Knight epic. Does it live up to the first two… well read on and see…
Mr. H: So to start off Alex I have to say I enjoyed issue 3 immensely. Sure it could be considered a quieter issue for sure but it was even better than the previous month. We finally peeled back the onion and got to delve into the origins of our new dynamic duo:Gotham and Gotham Girl (Nope the name is still not growing on me, but it is better than Gotham Chick or Gothamette)
Using Bruce’s origin with the death of his parents as a parallel to theirs was fantastic. Finally a happy outcome to that story with Batman saving these children from the same fate. It was nice to see that they are heroes of their own volition almost as a homage to Batman. To see what might have been the life for Bruce had someone like Batman intervened was extremely refreshing.
Really that’s all I ask for when I read comics. I just want a story to transport me from what I’m dealing with in real life and make it engaging and interesting enough that it wasn’t a waste of time on my part. King raises the bar for me here. The quieter stuff gets me sometimes. That’s the softy in me I guess. What did you think?
Alex: I enjoyed it. The series has been getting better and better as it progresses, and I think that Tom King slowing the pace of the story is a great thing. When a writer gets a chance to slow the pace of a story a little it can result in a great pay off down the road; look at Robert Venditti and the first four issues of Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior as a prime recent example – those four issues are solid, but they become so much better when the second arc kicks in (I’m not tell you why, mate, you’ll need to have a gander at them yourself).
Yeah, King’s only had a handful of issues here, but he has – for the most part – done a bang up job on said issues. Batman #4, for example, was brilliant. Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly some bits that I think may not have been ideal…
Mr. H: I feel like Suicide Squad was shoehorned in.
Alex: I don’t disagree; it wasn’t a bad shoehorn, all things considered, but it did feel a bit like a cash in.
Mr. H: Exactly. Like why wouldn’t you think Hugo Strange would betray you?
Alex: But is that poor characterization of Amanda Waller? I’ve read so little about her, so I genuinely don’t know.
Mr. H: Yes a little. Although the team of Psycho Pirate and Hugo Strange is a fantastic idea.
Alex: Psycho Pirate isn’t a new character?
Mr. H: No sir. Psycho Pirate is deep rooted in the DC Universe. He has the power to feed off of and manipulate emotion. With Gotham and Gotham Girl being so fledgling this puts them in a very vulnerable position to his whims. As we see with the result he unleashes the two newbies in a murderous fury.
Still this is a series that keeps getting better and it’s not just rehashing previous story line or events. I give King credit for a lot because he is taking things in a new direction. Time will tell if he is a worthy successor to the great Scott Snyder but him and his creative counterpart David Finch certainly may be in contention when it’s all said and done.
I also like how King taps into Bruce’s detective side more as a lot of books don’t tend to make it a focus. He also has made me happy that he’s not just jumping into throwing Duke Thomas into the sidekick role immediately. Not since the early days of pre New 52 Tim Drake have I seen this approach to one of Batman’s partners. It is refreshing to see.
Alex: Yeah, I agree. It’s a really interesting thing for King to take on some lesser well known villains – Batman has such a rich rogues gallery that isn’t used as much as it should be.
The same is far from true when it come to Duke Thomas. Like you, I’m loving the gradual introduction to the Batman’s newest partner – I love how we haven’t even seen him in costume, yet.
Mr. H: If they play it just right, we shouldn’t have to see him suit up for a while. Duke is filling a role that not many sidekicks do. Hopefully this will transition into him being more of an equal than buddy with a cape.
Plus you can have him be a social justice crusader and Bruce’s avatar for that. I’m really digging the slow burn as long as they stay the course.
Alex: Agreed – it’s a different take on a Batman sidekick than we’ve seen recently. Do we even know his code name yet?
Mr. H: we don’t know the codename for sure but I think it’s Yellowbird or Lark. I would like to see Duke interact with the younger heroes more as mentor role. He seems to be at a different level of maturity. I certainly look forward his interactions with Damian for sure.
Alex: Yeah, that’d be interesting. It’d be fun to see the newest (not) Robin act as a mentor to the others. After all, Duke was an amateur superhero before signing on with Batman, so he has a unique perspective on things.
Before we wrap up, what do you think about the four standard covers we’ve seen so far? #4 is probably one of my favourites, because right from the get go you know you’re going to see the fall of Gotham.
Mr. H: Wow! Mr. Insightful over here, I didn’t even catch that. I think my favorite would be #4 as well. It’s so dynamic where 1-3’s covers seemed very standard. This issue was such a powerful issue of the run so far. While I wish Gotham and GG (that’s what she shall be known here henceforth) got a happy ending, it certainly does make sense in the context of the story.
I’m looking forward to issue #5 where Bruce needs to stop Gotham. It won’t be an easy task especially since he sympathizes with the young hero’s plight. This is where Batman is the best of the best though. He finds the light even through all his dark.
Alex: Ha! Yeah, I enjoy reading into he cover image sometimes. Usually it makes sense after reading a comic, you can see (sometimes) the hints the artist is giving you.
I think we’re going to see King’s version of Batman vs Superman, but with a slightly unhinged hero called Gotham in Clark’s place. I’m looking forward to seeing how that comes about next week.
Any final words before we pick up All-Star Batman, mate?
Mr. H: Just waiting for All Star sir. Road trips, Diner brawls, Supervillains and chainsaws oh my!!!!