Review – Batman #34 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tom King
Art: Joelle Jones
Colours: Jordie Bellaire
Release Date:1st November 2017

Batman has been one of DC’s most consistent books since Rebirth, even after the departure of Snyder and Capullo. We have had some excellent crossovers with the Flash and Superman and now we have Batman getting romantically involved with Catwoman!

Tom King has done a stellar job during his run of pitting Batman and his allies against all manner of foes, but none as deadly as the one he faces this very issue. King has a lot of fun with Bruce and Selina this issue. Some of the dialogue is humorous whilst some of it is a little too saccharine for my tastes but ultimately it all comes across as believable. These two lovers battling their enemies exchange knowing glances and eye-rolling one liners in the same way that new couples do in real life. It’s actually sort of sweet to see Bruce so smitten with Selina. There are also some heart-warming exchanges between Dick and Damian that fans of Morrison’s Batman Inc. run will really appreciate.

Joelle Jones’ unique art style gives the entire story a bold and interesting visual that actually helps amplify the idea that they are no longer in Gotham. Her style is perfect at grounding the series and giving it a real-world appearance while still allowing for some over-the-top action sequences. Bruce and Selina almost seem to be dancing with each other as they battle their foes, every panel serving as another step of some unseen tango which really comes to life with the vertical action slices.

Jordie Bellaire enhances and enriches Jones’ panels with a warm palette befitting of its narrative origins. The sun appears to rise, set and disappear during the course of the story and as the sun lowers in the sky the entire landscape is bathed in a reddish glow. It’s no coincidence that this should happen at the tail end of the issue right as the greatest challenge presents itself, and it’s clear that Bellaire truly understands just how important this sequence is to the story as a whole.

This is a great book and continues to be so which is a delight in itself. Watching Bruce open his heart to a woman he has been in love with for as long as I have been reading comics is a joy, and King and his creative crew understand just how to leverage this. Often when couples get together (Mulder and Scully for example) something is lost and the magic that once was there escapes. Luckily this is not the case with Batman and as long as King can continue to think of smart ways to present this to the reader we should have plenty of interesting adventures ahead.

Ultimately, Batman is an intelligent and fun book to read. The one-liners flow as fast as the action and it all works because King and co. are happy to take chances with the lore. Not everyone will be thrilled with recent events but those willing to give it a try will find an entertaining book that rewards long-time readers.

Rating: 4/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
Dave Tweets from @ShinKagato

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