Review: Batman #49

Now it’s up to Catwoman to rescue her one true love. It’s the Cat vs. the Clown in one exciting showdown that sets the stage for our giant anniversary issue-and the biggest union in comics!

If there’s two villains who have really defined Batman, to me it’s the Joker and Catwoman. The former is the mirror image in a way, the chaos to the order and the latter is a spin on Batman himself (depending on the version). And the two in their different ways vie for Batman’s affection. In the lead up to the wedding of Batman and Catwoman, writer Tom King has been diving into how the Joker has been handling it and it’s become clearer and clearer in his own twisted way the Joker loves the Bat and is jealous.

Batman #49 involves the fallout from the last issue with Batman knocked out it’s Catwoman to the rescue. And while you think this is a drag out fight, that aspect is quick and vicious as the two draw blood and begin to bleed out. Much of the comic is just Catwoman and the Joker talking as they both deal with their wounds. Those wounds are so severe neither are able to do much else. This is a talky one with an interesting back and forth between the two characters as they talk about their relationship with Batman as well as with other villains. It’s fascinating and eye opening in many ways giving us a good look at the two. This is a character study in every way and you could easily see this staged in some theater somewhere.

King takes a dive into relationships here and it’s all fantastic. It gets you to think about the relationships of Batman and his rogues and what they mean to them and what role they’ve played in the Bat-verse. Here, we get two of his most intimate villains and much like Batman and Joker are opposite sides of a coin, Catwoman and the Joker are too in a way. What’s clear though is that in King’s version of Batman, the Joker needs Batman and he thinks Batman needs him. We get some motivation and we question some of his actions.

The art by Mikel Janin is solid. The story is really two individuals laying on the ground trying not to bleed to death. There’s not much more than that. Janin uses that to get us to focus on the minute details of the characters’ movements and the rubble surrounding them. Much like King’s work with Mitch Gerads, Janin uses the art to add a bit more to the delivery of dialogue. Again, you can envision this on a stage easily.

The issue is an interesting one that’ll get you to think about the relationship between the Joker and Batman and with its ending, it’ll be interesting to see the impact on both Batman and Catwoman. This is one I’ve been thinking about and the quality is solid. This isn’t a comic you pick up for the action, this is a character study of two of Batman’s greatest villains.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janin
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review