One of the goals I have for 2018 is to get back on the Review-writing horse again! So, I thought I’d start with a book that really floored me, Batman #38!
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Travis Moore
Colorist: Giulia Brusco
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Published by: DC Comics
Cover price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: “The Origin of Bruce Wayne!” If Mattie could grow up to be anybody, he’d grow up millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. But what would happen if he was forced to relive the worst tragedy of Bruce’s life and his parents were murdered? Batman’s hunt for the killer puts him face to face with a strange mirror version of his own past.
THE DARK KNIGHT CONTINUES TO SOAR!
When Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo were writing this monthly title, I was in heaven! Each issue had me gripped, and I couldn’t wait for the next!
I knew that couldn’t last forever, so when the change occurred at Rebirth, I was prepared for it. However, I really didn’t care for that initial six-issue storyline with Gotham and Gotham Girl. The part where Batman is riding a plane and not being blown off by the wind truly bothered me, just as that very kind of thing happened when Batman was walking on a flying airplane in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series.
But I kept with the book, and I have to say that King’s writing has really blossomed! This issue was terrific, following a fantastic “War of the Jokes and Riddles” multi-part story.
Once again, the Dark Knight in Batman is flying high!
I’ve long felt that Batman as a detective has faded from view. I don’t mind him being an adventurer, but his brainpower was something I always admired, even as a child growing up. He could figure out puzzles no one else could, and I wanted to be like that!
As the book begins (and even the Tim Sale cover leads us to believe it), Zsasz and Two-Face loom large over what’s going on. And the people who perish have something to do with young Mattie, so we see often him sitting in a chair while talking with Bruce Wayne. Naturally, Bruce wants to help.
There’s a huge reveal that takes place while Bruce is talking with Selena, and I literally gasped when I read it! I LOVE it when a Batman story does that to me! I mean, I’ve been reading the Dark Knight for decades, and to have a curveball of this magnitude and miss it always impresses me.
COMIC ART THAT BREATHES MYSTERY
I loved Moore’s art and Brusco’s choice of colors, both lending a dark and mysterious feel to this issue.
The multiple images of “Master Bruce” in the chair that repeats on several pages were really done well. When people move in and out of them, we feel for the young boy who wants to be like Bruce Wayne.
Then there’s that panel when Bruce figures out what’s going on. I still remember the moment I first read it. Nicely done!
BOTTOM LINE: A Great Issue to Kick Off 2018!
What plans Mr. King and company have for “Master Bruce” are something we’ll just have to keep buying to find out. But I’m hooked!
It is SO TOUGH to add a new character to Batman’s long-lived rogue’s gallery, but I think King may just have put a new adversary of note who will vex the Dark Knight for years to come. At least, I hope so!
It’s a great tale of horror with a personal touch, so I’m looking forward to the next issue and much more from Tom King and Batman this year! And this title still costs only $2.99! Highly recommended!