Review – Batman #41 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tom King
Artwork: Mikel Janin
Release Date: 21st February 2018

Tom King’s BATMAN run has not been at its eclectic best the past couple of issues.  The ill-advised Wonder Woman arc left some with the feeling of salaciousness for the sake of it, with a ‘will they, won’t they?’ cliff-hanger proving to be a bit much. Thankfully, King, and by extension the book is back on an even keel once more.  Aided and abetted by the fabulous Mikel Janin, “Everyone Loves Ivy,” brings Poison Ivy back into the limelight.

This issue wastes no time by delving straight into the action, with Poison Ivy discovering that her powers have mutated to the point where she has control over the free will of everyone on the planet. King manages to set up the narrative as only he can, playing with both perception and the passage of time in an entertaining, and inventive manner.

The main strength of this issue is the way that Ivy, after years of being ignored, is now presented as a credible threat.  There are no Joel Schumacher inspired capers here, and the villain is used to tremendous effect.

If anything, this issue serves to highlight just how lacking and tame Ivy has been in recent years.  It’s only really Greg Rucka who has written Ivy as well as King, and that was almost two decades ago in the pages of DETECTIVE.

I would be remiss not to point out how strong the art is in this issue. Once again Janin presents the story clearly, with each character having their own distinct presence and physicality.  Yes, Bruce and Selina are pretty much the main draw every fortnight, but Ivy has an amazing presence, perhaps the best since Tim Sale’s THE LONG HALLOWEEN.

The Dark Knight is back to his best in the best book that DC is currently putting out.  King has steadied the ship, and as we race toward issue 50, things are surely going to get more interesting in Gotham.  Highly recommended.

Rating: 4/5.

[Click to Enlarge]

The writer of this piece was: Craig Gorman.
Craig Tweets from @Gorminator1979

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