Review – Batman #44 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin & Joelle Jones
Colours: June Chung & Jordie Bellaire
Release Date: 4th April 2018

Every now and then, Tom King likes to slow down the arc he is writing and take us off to one side to develop a character or idea that he wants us to focus on.  This issue focuses on Selina Kyle as we take a trip down memory lane, witnessing the Bat and the Cat in various stages of their relationship.

The recurring theme throughout the tale is Catwoman’s duality; never quite a villain, but never a hero either, she tries to fight her attraction to Batman as much as he tries to stop himself from being drawn to her, and yet, they inevitably end up entangled.  King writes Selina as someone who is relentlessly and unapologetically herself, and even when living with one of the world’s richest men she will continue to acquire the things she wants in her own way – even if that means circumventing the law.

It is wonderful to see Batman and Catwoman through the ages dressed in some of their classic costumes, particularly now that the DCU is reconnected with its past.  Janin and Jones do a great job of bringing back those distinctive looks and making them feel authentic, and we really get the feeling that we are having a glimpse into old issues of the series faithfully re-created as flashbacks.

June Chung and Jordie Bellaire do a great job of bringing a sense of authenticity to the colours of each flashback era, and of breathing life into the costumes of the time.  The sequences set in modern day following Catwoman’s solo “adventure” are bathed in dark blues and blacks to signify the night, which helps draw a contrast to her memories of the past.

In a lot of ways this issue signals the end of an era and the beginning of something new. The past is laid bare for us to see and we are reminded that the love between these two characters has always been complicated.

We are on the cusp of witnessing the inevitable conclusion to the cat and mouse relationship we have been watching/reading/playing for many years.  As such, it’s perhaps natural for us to worry that some of the magic may be lost if they finally commit to their heart’s desires. That said, this is uncharted territory and King has yet to let us down since taking the helm of this book.  I’m eagerly looking forward to this change to the status quo and finding what it means not only for Batman and Catwoman, but for all of those around them.

Rating: 5/5.


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

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