After a hiatus due to a wedding and work, I’ve finally had time to sit down and actually read my comics. Thankfully there has been some truly great stuff being published recently, with one series in particular definitely standing out from the rest of the pack.
I have been somewhat critical of Tom King’s BATMAN run during the course of the series. I often felt that there was a clash of styles at work, with the artists often being more suited for a slick superhero book, as opposed to the introspective and more cerebral tales that King has been telling. The book felt a little uneven at times, with the more quirky aspects of the writing sticking out amidst all the OTT action and bombast.
However, the past six months have seen the book even out, with the tone becoming more consistent, and the comic has soared to the top of my reading list. I can safely say that this is the best run on BATMAN since the legendary Doug Moench and Kelley Jones, and that King is producing easily the best Batman comics in a decade.
BATMAN closed out 2017 on an exceptionally high note, with two late contenders for comic of the year. BATMAN Annual 2 and Batman (Vol 3) 36-38, have been all-time great stories, harking back to the more thoughtful and character-based work of O’Neill, Grant and Loeb. The jack-booted thug of the NU52 has been replaced by the character who stalked the streets of Gotham post-Crisis until 2011.
BATMAN now feels like the comic it used to be, featuring smart storytelling, a hero who uses his brains as well as his fists, thoughtful stand-alone issues and most of all, a writer who prefers substance over bombast and “cool” splash pages. These are beautiful, thoughtful and engaging comics.
Once again I love BATMAN, between this and MISTER MIRACLE, Tom King has firmly established himself as the thinking man’s superhero writer, and if he keeps this up, we may be looking at Alan Moore levels of excellence.
BATMAN has found its footing, and that is where it should always be, at the very top of your reading list.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Gorman.
Craig Tweets from @Gorminator1979