Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mikel Janín
Colours: June Chung
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 4th July 2018
So it’s come to this. Wedding bells for Bat and Cat. Has it been worth the wait? Well, before I answer that, let’s look at the context.
I’ve been a bit worried about the DCU lately. I feel like there’s an awful lot of power creep going on, what with Dark Nights and Dark Gods and Darkstars (there’s a pattern here), fundamental energies of the universe (Mystery, Wonder, Wisdom and Entropy), fundamental forces (Strength and Sage, to go with Speed, or possibly Sausages), never mind a new all-powerful Ultra-Violet part of the Ring Spectrum.
It’s all just a bit much. Some are more successful than others, and of course you need to present “credible” threats, but yeah, it’s all a bit much, and is leaving Doomsday Clock and Mr Oz lost and forgotten.
However, in amongst this, Tom King is writing the most understated, stylish comic of a generation. This is the guy who made Kite Man credible again, remember? No wonder the issue starts with him, at Finger Tower, no less, a conceit that happily continues.
Structurally, the issue is shot through with artist splash pages. It’s impossible to pick one as they are all so impressive. Actually that’s a lie – Rafael Alberquerque’s wins out for me, because there’s a touch of whimsy there too, but Tim Sale’s page comes a very close second.
The writing is deceptively simple, skirts the edge of contrived, and genuinely brought tears to my eyes – and no, I’m not referring to the ending. No spoilers here.
Besides, you know how this ends. Even without a web of spoilers. Even without me telling you.
But like every truly great, truly timeless story, it’s not about the ending. It’s about the journey, and the writer’s craft that bears us along.
Now go buy the book. No excuses, just do it. Because it’s beautiful and brilliant, and above all, it’s Batman.