Review – Batman #55 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tom King
Pencils: Tony S Daniel
Inks: Tony S. Daniel & Danny Miki
Colours: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 19th September 2018

In the latest issue of Tom King’s Batman, Nightwing continues to stay by Bruce’s side, supporting him and trying to make him laugh. Together they take on a brand-new villain and begin an investigation, only for disaster to strike.

Tom King really changes the tone this issue with the final few panels becoming something of a show stopper. The last couple of issues have focused more on Bruce’s heartbreak and grief following his well-publicised jilting by the love of his life. It has clearly affected him in many ways as we previously witnessed with his brutal takedown of Mr Freeze, and Dick Grayson has been there for his friend, really trying to push Bruce into opening up and letting him know he has support.

This issue starts off with some serious foreshadowing with what appears to be a hitman, and sets up for the issue’s conclusion, making you question whether they’re planning to go after Batman or Nightwing and what the repercussions for their actions are likely to be? I would recommend everyone read the issue a second time as the seemingly random events make way more sense after the discussion between the dynamic duo and Gordon.

Tony S Daniel picks up the pencils this issue and as expected his work is absolutely sublime. The detail on each of the main players is immaculate. Daniel always impresses with his ability to maintain a high level of detail during even the fastest action sequences and this issue is filled with numerous examples. Also worthy of note is the particularly disturbing sequence featuring a man literally being choked to death which showcases the use of very subtle changes to really animate the sequence.

Tomeu Morey is on colours again this issue and really helps to augment and amplify Daniel’s work. Most of the book is set at night and the colours used to illuminate Gotham and the severe weather they seem to be experiencing really adds to the uneasy feeling generated by King’s narrative.

Your enjoyment of this issue is likely to stem on how attached you are to a certain character, but to be fair, I can’t think of a single reader who would be pleased by the result. I do mean this in a positive way, but you can definitely dislike an event but still love reading it’s build up and fallout, and I am finding myself firmly in this camp. Tom King has really put Batman through the wringer since taking over as writer of the series and this might actually be the biggest challenge yet. Honestly, it might even break him!

I can’t recommend this series enough right now. I have no idea how the events of this issue will impact the status quo of the other  Bat family books but it would feel strange for it not to touch every single one of them in some way. By now many of you will already know what I am talking about thanks to spoilers being dropped by a few “news” sites, but for those who have managed to avoid them to this point, prepare to be heartbroken!

Rating: 4/5.


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

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