Title: Batman (2016-) #33
Words: Tom King
Art: Joelle Jones
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: Following his marriage proposal to Catwoman, Batman leaves Gotham City on a quest of renewal and redemption. As he travels and fights, he encounters members of his family—each disturbed by Batman’s journey, each ready to stand in his way, each ready to push back against Batman’s stubborn determination to evolve into something better than a superhero.
Now that Batman and Catwoman are engaged and tentatively scheduled to get married, expect for the forces that be to slowly begin driving them apart. Or at the very least, make it difficult for them to get to the “I do’s.” This issue gets off to a slow start with Bat and Cat traveling through the desert, on a horse with no name (it felt good to be out of the rain), and winds up ending on a high note that provides the issue some weight.
Tom King begins the new “Rules of Engagement” arc with a slow start that, thanks to an exciting ending, promises to be great. King does a fantastic job scripting the interactions between both Batman and Catwoman and the rest of the Bat Family. With that being said, King really gets the whole Bat Family dynamic, and in this issue, he does a solid job with creating natural exchanges between the members of the family.
Joelle Jones’ artwork is, for the most part, fantastic in Batman #33. I especially like the way that Jones drew Batman in his desert get-up, which, might I say, is reminiscent of the Nightmare scene in the Batman vs. Superman film. Jones’ linework is clean and expressive, but something—and I’m not sure what—went a bit awry in the Wayne Manor scenes. Aside from Duke, of course, it was almost difficult to tell the Damian, Jason, and Dick apart from one another; the members of the bat family looked very similar and it was as though they were all of the same age.
The Bottom Line:
With the War of Jokes and Riddles over, and Batman and Catwoman engaged, Batman #33 begins the Rules of Engagement arc. This issue is slower than I like, but this is typical King’s work. Despite some minor problems, Batman #33 is a solid read.