Changes are in store for the Dark Knight, and the current issue of Batman brings one of those to light! Time to review Batman #53 from DC Comics!
Artist: Lee Weeks
Colorist: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Published by: DC Comics
Cover price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: “Cold Days” continues! The jury in the Mr. Freeze trial is hopelessly deadlocked because one man won’t vote guilty—and that man is Bruce Wayne. Freeze’s defense is that Batman used excessive force, making his arrest illegal, and Bruce is the one man who actually knows for sure what went down between Batman and his ice-cold nemesis. And if Bruce is right, that means everything he’s devoted himself to as the Caped Crusader is a lie; he is hurting more than helping. With Dick Grayson putting the Batsuit back on to keep Gotham City safe while Bruce is sequestered, could this be the out Bruce needs to discard the cape and cowl forever?
IS BATMAN GOD?
One of the most interesting differences in Tom King’s writing of Batman is that he seems to go more for drama than action or suspense.
For example, the current “Cold Days” storyline has some violence in it, but the vast majority focuses on Bruce Wayne serving on a jury trying to decide if Mister Freeze is guilty or not. He discusses the case with the other jurors about just who Batman is.
The part that gripped me most was when Bruce compares Batman to God. He says, at one point, “God is above us. And he wears a cape.”
Now, I’ve never heard any writer take this road before when it comes to the Dark Knight. What seems to be happening is that Bruce is questioning his wearing the cape and cowl. Maybe this is a result of his recent passing of marrying Selina Kyle. I’d prefer that to be the case since I was disappointed at how that resolved itself.
When we reach the end of the issue, we find out just how Bruce got on the jury, and it had to do with Mr. Wayne using his influence in Gotham. We also see that Batman needs to return to his roots and just what that means. Those of us who have been following the news about the upcoming #1,000 issue of Detective Comics will understand.
The characterization of Bruce and/or Batman is powerful, and Mr. King also fleshes out many of the jurors around him, including a woman who has been attending church for 20 years. It’s really engaging drama, and personally, I was very surprised with the jury’s decision. I do like that about the current scripting in Batman. I just don’t know what’s going to happen next!
ART THAT WORKS WITH THE STORY
Lee Weeks has a dark, craggy style that really suits this storyline very well. His expressions, in particular, are perfect for it. One great example is when Bruce is loudly talking to the jury, and in the next panel, Batman is screaming in a way that closely resembles that. It’s really well done.
I also enjoyed the Batman sequences, including one where the Dark Knight is soaring above Gotham City. I particularly loved that last panel, which will have an impact on the character as he moves forward in the upcoming issues. Very nicely done!
BOTTOM LINE: Batman Versus Bruce Wayne!
It’s such a curious thing to see Bruce reconsider his role as Batman in this way. I never thought of how being the Dark Knight would impact the millionaire. I know that Mr. King is examining Batman as a human being, and it’s something special. As a long-time Bat-fan, it’s great to go where I haven’t gone before!
Batman is one of the most fascinating, engaging comics out today! It now costs $3.99, but it’s definitely worth that extra dollar!