Tag Archives: mikel janin

Preview: Batman #63

Batman #63

(W) Tom King (A/CA) Mikel Janin
In Shops: Jan 23, 2019
SRP: $3.99

There are strange goings-on in the dark alleys of Gotham City, mysteries that will require a different skill set than the Caped Crusader’s if he’s going to stop the whole city from succumbing to the darkness. John Constantine, the Hellblazer, is a person with just those skills-but after the events of “The Witching Hour,” is Constantine in any condition to help the Dark Knight Detective?

Batman #63

Preview: Batman #60

Batman #60

(W) Tom King (A/CA) Mikel Janin
In Shops: Dec 05, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Batman takes on a new partner, and it’s…the Penguin? After rejecting Bane’s crime-boss co-op, Cobblepot finds himself in the crosshairs of some very teed-off villains. The feathered felon turns to his old foe to snitch on Bane’s scheme, but has to prove his intentions to avoid a Bat-beatdown. Along the way, this Gotham odd couple begins to bond-could there be a new bird joining the Bat-Family? Not if Bane has anything to say about it…

Preview: Batman #59

Batman #59

(W) Tom King (A/CA) Mikel Janin
In Shops: Nov 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Caught between Batman and his unseen enemy, the Penguin has to think on his feet to avoid being taken down by either side. If he chooses one way, he goes to jail; if he chooses the other, he ends up dead. Then again, the choice seems obvious. Is Batman ready for a new kind of avian sidekick?

Preview: Batman #58

Batman #58

(W) Tom King (A/CA) Mikel Janin
In Shops: Nov 07, 2018
SRP: $3.99

The Dark Knight waddles into a turf war with the Penguin! Still reeling from the attacks on his Bat-Family and reputation, the Caped Crusader looks to track down the mysterious operator lurking behind the scenes in Gotham City. As the hunt rages on, Batman runs “a fowl” of Oswald Cobblepot. But the Penguin is on Batman’s side for once, and the crime boss sees dangerous things on the horizon. How can he convince the Caped Crusader he’s on the level?

Preview: Batman: Secret Files #1

Batman: Secret Files #1

(W) Tom King, Jodie Bellaire, Ram V., Cheryl Lynn Eaton, Tom Taylor (A) Jorge Fornes, Elena Casagrande, Brad Walker (A/CA) Mikel Janin
In Shops: Oct 31, 2018
SRP: $4.99

Delve into Batman’s case histories and discover brand-new stories by some of comics’ most exciting talents. The BATMAN team of Tom King and Mikel Janin provides a framing sequence, setting up our hand-picked teams of creators to take a look at Bat-mysteries past and present. Featuring a bevy of Batman villains, including a look at how the Scarecrow’s fear toxin affects the common man, and a special story written by Tom Taylor with art by Brad Walker that teams the Dark Knight Detective with Detective Chimp.

Preview: Justice League #8

Justice League #8

(W) James Tynion IV (A/CA) Mikel Janin
In Shops: Sep 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Part two of the “Legion of Doom” storyline focuses on Lex Luthor’s recruiting efforts-and this time around, he’s targeting both Cheetah and Black Manta for membership! Lex knows just what buttons to push to acquire his super-powered muscle, and this issue it’s all about getting revenge on Wonder Woman and Aquaman, respectively. We bet they sign right up as soon as they find out Lex has METAL’s Batman Who Laughs locked up in Doom HQ!

Review: Batman Vol. 6 Bride or Burglar?

It’s Tuesday which means trade paperbacks and graphic novels are hitting book stores today! Out from DC Comics is Batman Vol. 6 Bride or Burglar? collecting issues #38-44.

Batman Vol. 6 Bride or Burglar? is by Tom King, Mikel Janin, Joelle Jones, Travis Moore, Hugo Petrus, June Chung, Jordie Bellaire, Giulua Brusco, and Clayton Cowles.

Get your copy in comic shops and book stores today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: Batman #50 is a Beautiful, Tragic Romance

If you thought that Batman and Catwoman were going to have a happy wedding with the usual supervillain attack to keep things interesting, then you’re pretty naive. On that confrontational, Batman #50 is a climactic moment in Tom King’s run on Batman, and Mikel Janin and June Chung are onboard as well to show all the romance, heartbreak, and kicking Kite-Man on the face. But the real highlight of this issue is the unleashing of some of the best living Batman and Catwoman artists to tell the love story of Bat and Cat all framed in love letters to each other. Beginning with the great Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez showing them swaddled together in a loving embrace and concluding in a pure negative space, movie poster style page from upcoming Batman artist Lee weeks, this is a wonderful encapsulation of Batman and Catwoman’s relationship done in Tom King’s signature tone poem way.

The letters that Batman and Catwoman write to each other in Batman #50 are a form of psychological probing, which makes sense because Batman is the World’s Greatest Detective and Catwoman is a skilled thief and con woman. They read people basically for a living, but are vulnerable and have huge blind spots. Especially Batman. King writes some beautiful lines where Batman and Catwoman both say that each other’s eyes is what led to their initial attraction. Batman was struck by how complex Catwoman’s eyes were, and that she could be more than a one-off animal themed villain while Catwoman realized how simple and childlike Batman’s were: pure blue. These thoughts come during Tim Sale and Paul Pope’s pages showing Catwoman in her 1990s purple costume pursuing and aggressively flirting with Batman like he’s an innocent boy and not a skilled crime fighter drawn in heroic, stealthy poses by Neal Adams and Lee Bermejo. He’s lost control and maybe has a chance to find happiness like the totally adorable page drawn by Amanda Conner of Catwoman and Batman enjoying a date at the zoo, or this issue’s sexiest moment where Mister Miracle’s Mitch Gerads shows them under a cape blanket with all the accoutrements of crime and crime fighting strewn about. Batman and Catwoman have serious chemistry, which has been boosted by King, Gerads, and Janin’s work on the current series, but are they really marriage material?

One person who shares the idea that getting married would make Batman less miserable and lose his edge is Holly Robinson, Catwoman’s long time friend, who she springs out of Arkham for one night to be her maid of honor/witness. This is a bit of a crazy plot point because the last time she appeared, Holly was fleeing the country as Batman was trying to apprehend her for 237 murders that Catwoman tried to take the fall for. The inclusion of Holly in Batman #50 makes the story a little more twist-filled than a simple case of cold feet (Eat your heart out, X-Men Gold #30), especially the final page that puts a new spin on a famous 1990s Batman storyline. As Selina’s friend, who she saved from child prostitution, Holly has been around Batman since Year One when she stabbed a less than intimidating, fake scar sporting Bruce Wayne partially leading him to choose a costume to strike fear in the heart of criminals. (As a sidenote, it’s pretty epic to see Frank Miller’s lumbering Batman on the page when Catwoman talks about how angry and graceful he was during his early crime fighting days.) But is she a pawn or a mastermind in a larger scheme?

Batman #50 seems to be an inciting incident in a larger Tom King story centered around the breaking of Batman’s heart and not his body. Batman is always surrounded by Gothic elements, like secret passages, large empty mansions, and gargoyles, so adding a doomed romance to the mix makes sense. King and Mikel Janin are working in a larger tradition of Batman getting in the way of Bruce’s happiness, and a couple of DOA romances from other mediums come to my mind. (Vicki Vale from 1989’s Batman, Andrea Beaumont in Mask of the Phantasm, Rachel Dawes in the Nolan trilogy) However, this relationship is different because King has consistently written Batman and Catwoman as equal crime fighting partners and shows this through the symmetry in the composition of their letters (Clayton Cowles’ word bubble placement is impeccable. and even similar poses in the final pinups from Greg Capullo and Weeks. Those two crazy kids had some great, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.

Batman #50 definitely will be a fanbase breaking comic book, and the spoiler-y New York Times article didn’t help matters. However, throughout his run and in homage to Batman and Catwoman’s relationship, Tom King has seeded doubts that the Bat and Cat could settle into a quiet marriage. Bruce is as comfortable with as he is in the tuxedo that Alfred said reminds him of his father. Speaking of Alfred, Mikel Janin crushes a silent sequence where Bruce asks him to be his witness, and all dialogue and narration stops for a four panel hug that segues into aforementioned dreamy page from Mitch Gerads. King and Janin pinpoint these little emotional stingers into the narrative, like Holly complimenting Catwoman’s dress or a symmetrical double page spread where Bat and Cat embrace and kiss one, unfortunately last time. The use of symmetry and formalism in the way Batman #50 is constructed hint at a couple that’s on the same page, but that’s sadly not the reality.

In Batman #50, Tom King, Mikel Janin, June Chung, and a talent group of guest artists craft the ultimate, tragic Batman love story and show the chemistry between Bat and Cat while also showing how their marriage ultimately wouldn’t work out. This definitely isn’t a big, guest star heavy special, but an intimate story of a man, who decides to work out his pain and sorrow dressed as a bat instead of finding love and peace with an enigmatic woman, who dresses like a cat.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janín
Guest  Art: David Finch, Joëlle Jones, Mitch Gerads, Rafael Albuquerque, Neal Adams, Andy Kubert, Becky Cloonan, Ty Templeton, José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Frank Miller, Lee Bermejo, Trish Mulvihill, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Tim Sale, José Villarrubia, Paul Pope, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Lee Weeks
Colors: June Chung Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman #50

It’s the wedding you never thought you’d see! The Batrimony is real as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are set to tie the knot in a can’t-miss, extra-length milestone issue that will reshape Gotham City. All their friends (and a few enemies?) will be party to a comic book coupling for the ages.

The build up has been coming for a while now and with Batman #50 writer Tom King answers the question as to whether Batman and Catwoman tie the knot.

The issue is done in an interesting way with what amounts to two page spreads with generally half dedicated to Batman’s preparation for the day and the other half for Catwoman’s. In between these normal panel pages, there’s full page images by some top art talent on top of which we’re presented the two’s thoughts about their meeting and what they’re about to do.

While the “will they or won’t they” has been spoiled the comic is interesting as it delves into the thought process of two individuals who are clearly nervous about tying the knot and if they do what it means.

Catwoman isn’t a hero, she’s a criminal.

Batman is a hero. He’s a hero driven by his pain.

If they were to get married, what does that mean for each of them? Can Batman be happy? These are the types of thoughts that run throughout the comic as the two characters explore their love for each other. And that’s the impressive thing, Tom King convinces you that these two love each other. By the end, you’re convinced there’s no one else for these two.

And that spoiling? Well, not quite. There’s a twist but you’ll have to read the comic yourself and go elsewhere.

The issues with the comic is the hype and a build up that doesn’t pay off. The quality of the narrative is excellent, it all just doesn’t quite live up to the lead up and the end result is rather predictable. A single panel does not make a comic and this one relies heavily on that final panel.

The art duties are mainly handled by Mikel Janin with colors by June Chung and lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art is solid and there’s some fantastic page layouts. The way some of these pages are laid out is impressive with very creative visual storytelling. What’s also interesting is the use of pin-ups to tell the story as well. There was a similar thing done in Action Comics #1000 and here it sort of works. The artwork is fantastic, there’s some talent. But, it breaks up the story a bit and after a while becomes a little tedious. When the big picture comes in to focus, the choice is an interesting one and adds a poetic aspect, somewhat appropriate considering what’s happening.

This is a chapter in King’s larger story. There’s much more to come as things weave together and that final panel indicates we’ve got a hell of a lot of excitement to come. As a single issue, this one has its good and its bad but as a piece of the larger puzzle it fits like a perfectly crafted piece of the larger picture.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janín
Pin-up Art: David Finch, Joëlle Jones, Mitch Gerads, Rafael Albuquerque, Neal Adams, Andy Kubert, Becky Cloonan, Ty Templeton, José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Frank Miller, Lee Bermejo, trish Mulvihill, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Tim Sale, José Villarrubia, Paul Pope, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Lee Weeks
Color: June Chung Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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

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