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Batman Vol.1: I Am Gotham

Batman Vol.1: I Am Gotham

Batman Vol.1: I Am Gotham | DC | Published 1/17/17
Written By Tom King | Illustrated by David Finch and Mike Janin

Following up Scott Snyder and his New 52 Batman, Tom King had some pretty big shoes to fill when it came time to write his own Batman; whether or not he will be deemed successful will come in time. Right now, we have before us, the first volume of King’s Batman that is part of the DC Rebirth. Batman Vol.1: I Am Gotham collects Batman: Rebirth #1 and Batman issues 1-6.

With Tom King now in the driver’s seat, it is clear that there will be some awesome (and terrible) things in store for Gotham’s defender. Also, the first several issues of the Batman Rebirth re-launch serve as a giant high-five to fans, as they remind us exactly who Batman is and why we adore him. King’s reasoning here is: to re-define Batman and to challenge the image that fans have formed over years of reading his comics, King must first remind us who the Dark Knight is, or more specifically, who we think he is, before adding depth to our already in-depth understanding. This way, when King decides to bring something new to the table it will be more impressive and will have more impact on long-time readers. To explain this simply, think about Horror flicks. The ‘gotcha’ scenes always follow an eerie silence, right? Batman Vol.1: I Am Gotham is the eerie silence…and the ‘gotcha,’ well, it’s on the way.

Spoilers Ahead

One of the main issues that I have with this collection of comics is that the newest threats to Gotham rise as heroes and fall as villains in the blink of an eye. Gotham and Gotham Girl aren’t nearly as developed as I would have liked, and unfortunately, this is a major let-down because I believe that there was some major potential with Gotham. Because of this, and some other plot points that go underdeveloped, Vol.1 reads more like a prologue to a great story than a great story. I feel this way, perhaps, because I am current with the series and know what’s coming, so take what I just wrote as you wish.

The ominous, ‘The Monster Men Are Coming’ echoes throughout the tale and incites interest, and perhaps fear, in what King has in store for Gotham City. Terror is on its way.

David Finch and Mike Janin both do a great job illustrating throughout the volume. Again, I prefer Janin’s work in the issues to come, but the art here fits well with the writing, and thus, is a success.

Score: 7 out of 10

Overall, this is a solid volume and I recommend reading it. There were some areas that weren’t explored as much as I would have liked – some points that went undeveloped – but it was good nonetheless. Batman Vol.1: I Am Gotham sets up future volumes well, and does so in a way that is entertaining. Pick it up.

Batman (2017) #15

Batman | Issue #15| DC| Published 01/18/17
Written by Tom King | Art by Mitch Gerards

Did Batman just say that he loves Catwoman?

Batman #15, offers a fitting and satisfying conclusion to the ‘Rooftops’ story arc. After ‘I Am Suicide,’ ‘Rooftops’ comes as a nice change of pace, and the unexpected ending that rounds out the issue whisks us off of the love-filled rooftop and drops us back onto the cold streets of Gotham.

In what is perhaps the most satisfying moment of this two-part arc, Batman turns to Catwoman and mutters, “I love you Cat.” Catwoman, of course, confesses her love first, but hearing Batman say this to Ms. Selina Kyle feels so damn good. Yes we’ve known all along, but c’mon man, seeing it on the page is magic. Better yet, once their night of kicking ass and making love is over, it’s back to business as usual. Without warning, Catwoman takes off and yet again, Batman finds himself chasing after her.

Back on the case, Batman tracks down a woman by the name of Holly Robinson who is somehow connected to Selina Kyle. Following up on the lead, Batman no only learns the truth about Catwoman’s murder spree, but he also ends up in some pretty rough shape.

Tom King is perhaps the comic king – pun intended – of minimalist writing. The story is there and in full focus despite a lack of dialogue. And in this issue especially, much like Issue #12, Mitch Gerards’ artwork shines thanks to King’s unobtrusive writing. For several panels, Gerards even mimics the style of Batman artists from days gone by, and it is absolutely brilliant.

Now with ‘Rooftops’ being over, the focus is going to shift back to Bane. Here we go…

Score: 8.5 out of 10

If you’re a long time fan of the Batman/Catwoman dynamic, or if you enjoyed Issue #14, be sure to pick this one up. Tom King does a great job crafting a worthwhile tale with minimal dialogue, and Mitch Gerards’ artwork (as usual) speaks volumes. Those who aren’t keen on the Bat & Cat lovefest, well, this is the second and final part of the ‘Rooftops’ arc, next issue we’ll be back to Bane…

Batman (2016) #14 Review

Batman #14

Batman | Issue #14 | Published 01/04/17 | DC |
Written by Tom King | Art by Mitch Gerards

Bat and Cat Got. It. On! In what quite possibly could be Catwoman’s last night as a free feline, she and the Dark Knight stoke their sexual appetite by fighting crime, and then, once the night’s work is done, the two, on a diamond covered rooftop, elect to [Insert Freddie Mercury here] Get Down. Get Down. Get Down, Make Love.

The issue starts with Batman explaining to Catwoman that the necessary strings have been pulled and that the death penalty has thus been taken off of the table. For killing 237 people, Catwoman will serve life without parole in Blackgate (not Arkham). Hearing this news, Catwoman proclaims that ‘they’ can have the rest of her life, but she wants tonight. Speaking directly to Batman, Catwoman says that she wants, “One night. You Me. And the rooftops.” Batman gives in to her request, but only after spending the majority of the night kicking ass taking on villains such as Film Freak and Zebraman. Oh, Batman and Catwoman also stage a jewel ‘heist’ too…

​Issue #14 is—despite giving fans exactly what they want—terribly sad. Tom King, with the help of Mitch Gerards, carefully crafts an emotional chapter in the Batman/Catwoman love story that is as satisfying as it is unsettling. Yet again, Tom King uses almost no dialogue to get the job done, and while Mitch Gerards’ style is quite an obvious change from that of Mike Janin, King and Gerards respective styles work very well together here. King and Gerards really bring the passion.

Aside from my obvious affection for Batman himself, I love Gotham and all of the creeps, freaks, and heroes that call it home.  So far, Batman (the current series) has been relatively inconsistent in terms of quality and depth of story, but much like Issue#12, Issue #14 reminds me of why I love reading Batman comics. I’m confident that Part Two of the ‘Rooftops’ story arc will be just as good as this one.

The Bottom Line:

Bat and Cat got it on, and it was glorious! The Batman/Catwoman dynamic has, and always will be one of the most interesting relationships in all of comics. This issue is exactly what Batman/Catwoman fans want to read when it comes to the star-crossed duo. From reading this issue, it is apparent that Tom King and Mitch Gerards NEED to get together more often. Issue #14 is an absolute must-read; trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Score: 9 out of 10
General-DC Comics

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