Joe: Hey there Gothamites, long time no crime! Welcome to the new and improved Gotham Weekly with Alex and Joe. Here we will give the scoop on all things Dark Knight and Bat- Family related as well as get in a few reviews in each week. So for our re – inagural edition we are discussing the two big Bat- Books that hit the shelves this week: Batman #12 and Nightwing #10.
First things first, I have not been too kind to this I am Sucide Arc so far. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. King and Mr. Finch’s opening look into Gotham but this arc has become some what of a literary travesty. However fear not, all that seems to change in true Harvey Dent fashion this issue, as Tom King delivers his best issue yet.
The entirety of Batman #12 takes place via Bruce’s internal monologue and it’s glorious. King has installed a very human part of Bruce that I enjoy so much. We get that all this is based on a scared little rich boys promise.
Bruce acknowledges that he KNOWS it’s a fools errand and how ridiculous the fact he dresses up in a animal costume perched on gargoyles really is. He understands what it looks like to people not in his particular pain. That was a very refreshing moment for me, because to my knowledge it’s never been done. We are used to the all confident, all knowing “Bat God” that he has been presented as in recent decades. It is so nice to get a glimpse of the emotion underneath the cowl. King has wonderfully used Thomas and Martha Wayne as conduits to this.
We saw way back in Batman # 1 earlier this year that Bruce wondered in what could have been his last moments if his parents would be proud of him? Would they approve of his mission? Now in addition to that we get an idea that his parents would have found his dark appearance quite humorous. Often the Wayne’s are portrayed as saints but here we get a look of them being not quite the always hands on, accessible parents they’ve been often portrayed as. So that fact would make the night of they tragedy even more haunting as it would seem that the particular night in question was even more of a special occasion.
This is the area King thrives at and I would honestly love a stand alone issue or two, just dedicated to young Bruce and his relationship with his parents prior to their death.
I seemed to have flapped my mouth wings long enough here to start, what say you Alex?
Alex: I’ll be honest – I really didn’t want to read this after last issue, but it’s a Rebirth title and there’s the Rebirth Review to think about so while I knew I had to read it, I was far from excited to actually do so. Had I not bothered with it, I’d have missed out on one of
Tom King’s most interesting issues of Batman to date.
The introspective look we get at Bruce’s self awareness is awesome, but it’s the art of Mikel Janin that’s fantastic here. For a comic that’s largely silent aside from the letter penned from Bruce Wayne to Selena Kyle, the flow off the story is fantastic. We get to see just how dangerous Batman is, yet at the same time he’s still just a man (I’m thinking of the few panels at the end where he’s taking a breather to regroup himself).
I Am Suicide hasn’t exactly been my favourite story, and while this issue is a hell of a lot better than the rest of the arc, I worry that Batman #13 will revert back to Batman #11 levels of quality.
Joe: I agree there. I worry that the next issue is going to be like the Boss Battle issue and have no heart to it at all. This has been a very peculiar storyline to say the least. I want Bruce to do what’s right but at the same time I’m sick of Bane so I just want him to beat the shite out of him. Now this was supposed to be about Bruce’s handpicked Suicide Squad team and I’m just not seeing it. I don’t have high hopes for the next ish but at least this one was quite the welcome surprise. Also Janin’s art is a joy.
Alex: Yeah, I agree with you. I feel that this may be the diamond in the rough issue and not a new level of quality to expect going forward. The sheer number of double page spreads that we’re actually done well was awesome (unlike about half being near unreadable last issue). I want the next issue to be better… but I’m cautious with my expectations.
The same can’t be said for the next issue of Nightwing, however. As a jumping on point Nightwing #10 was awesome – this should have been the first issue, to be honest. I’m so happy he’s back in Bludhaven, if only for a short time.
Joe: Oh yes! Onto Nightwing #10. This issue was a joy. I loved seeing Dick back in Bludhaven, It’s where he fits best. Seeing him try to “find himself” again was hilarious. Especially looking at the clock. The art by Marcus To was his usual. Very streamlined and kinetic. I thoroughly enjoyed. Best part for me was the conversation inside Dick’s head for his interview at the outreach center. Classic stuff.
Alex: It was a fantastic issue, and if I’m being honest I think that we’d have been better off just using this as #1 rather than the number it is. I wasn’t overly fond of the earlier issues in the series, but I suspect that they’ll pay off over time.
Joe: I wholeheartedly agree, it felt like a reboot and fresh place to slap a #1. I did not like the earlier issues myself. I want to see much more of this Nightwing, rather than the grim and gritty stuff. Dick Grayson is one of my favorite all time fictional characters. I like to see him as the ray of light instead of a dark anti – hero. Very optimistic for this Nightwing run for sure.
Alex: I’m with you 100% there.
And that about wraps it up for this week’s (late) Gotham Weekly. Next time we’ll be talking about Batman #13 and Nightwing #11. See you in seven(ish) days!