Review: Batman #36

Batman and Superman. For so many years they’ve fought together for justice. Sometimes, they’ve even fought each other. Now, from the creators who broke your heart in “The Ballad of Kite Man” comes a look at how the flaws of each frightens the other and how the hope in each inspires the other. Don’t miss this two-part event that everyone will be talking about as the relationship between these two men is forever changed.

Superman and Batman have been colleagues in Rebirth and you’ve gotten the sense that’s there’s mutual admiration but not what I’d call a real friendship. Batman #36 addresses that in a lot of ways. Writer Tom King gives us a parallel story as Superman discusses with Lois and Batman with Catwoman about the relationship between the Dark Knight and Man of Steel.

It’s a fantastically written story that dances around the concept of the toxic masculinity that makes it difficult for men to call each other and say congratulations or in general just talk about their feelings. The issue is really about the fact that Batman doesn’t want to call Superman to tell him he’s engaged and Superman is waiting for Batman to call him to say that he is. It’s the masculine ego and stubbornness on full display. King gives us both perspectives makes sure that while we can understand both we can also agree with neither instead seeing that in reality they should be calling each other.

But, all of this also plays out during a case that brings the two heroes and their significant others together as well resulting in a final moment that’ll bring a smile on your face.

Artist Clay Mann nails it when it comes to art delivering a style that’s perfect for both Batman and Superman, something that’s impressive. If Mann were the Batman or Superman artist going forward for years, I’d be more than satisfied. Just solid use of panels to tell the dual narrative and the characters themselves look fantastic.

Just when you think Tom King’s stories can’t get better, he outshines himself. Combo that with Mann’s art and you’ve got an issue that’s entertaining, gets you to think, and will put a smile on your face when it’s all over. The first of a two-parter, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Story: Tom King Art: Clay Mann
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review