Review: Batman #39

Batman and Wonder Woman fight together in an epic battle that will define and then redefine their relationship. What bonds these two pillars of the DCU together? What tears them apart? Find out as Batman continues on his quest for the one thing he’s never had, happiness.

The last two issues of Batman have focused on the relationship between Batman and Superman and the important women in their lives, Catwoman and Lois Lane. Writer Tom King shifts focus to another member of DC’s Trinity, Wonder Woman in a follow up story that pairs her with Batman. And, much like the last two-part story, it also involves relationships.

Batman and Wonder Woman must team up to give a warrior a day off and defend Earth from ravenous hordes. There’s lots of jokes made at Batman’s expense and it’s an interesting concept. What if you were trapped in a place for what seems like decades with an individual? What attractions might happen? Batman faces that test here, which is one of the problems with the issue.

Unlike the previous two issues, this one falls flat in that it reduces Wonder Woman to her attraction in a way. It basically says Batman and Wonder Woman can’t work side by side no matter the time frame, a relationship must form. Or, we’re at least teased this at the end. But, if it goes where that last panel hints, it also sets up Batman as weak when it comes to his emotions, something he’s shown to have control of time and time again. There’s also Wonder Woman’s dialogue which comes off as stilted. Writer Tom King attempts to show her foreign roots but it’s not something we see in other takes on her currently, so it comes off as just odd.

The art by Joëlle Jones is entertaining delivering a mix of action with the quieter moments of Catwoman and her guest exploring Earth. Batman’s design as a warrior is interesting and there’s some good jokes at his expense there. It’s a style that looks familiar in some ways to other iterations that mix his regular costume and armor.

The last two issues have been some of the best of Tom King’s run but this issue falls flat with weird dialogue and an odd take on Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman. This is an attempt to continue the focus on Batman’s relationship with other heroes as well as with Selina Kyle but what’s presented is just bumpy. There’s some solid stuff there, especially Selina’s aspect of the story, but the rest is off. Maybe the next part will save this one, but what’s presented just doesn’t work.

Story: Tom King Art: Joëlle Jones Cover Art: Mikel Janin
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.65 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review