Title: Batman (2016-) #53
Script: Tom King
Pencils: Lee Weeks
Colors: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Publication Date: August 15, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: The Eisner Award-nominated team of Tom King and Lee Weeks reexamine the relationship between hero and foe, as Batman relives not just that one violent night when he took down the King of Cold, but every time the two have come to blows.
“And there he is. Every shadow is met. Every horror put down. As citizens of Gotham, we watch as he beats back the bullies. We see our brothers rescued, our sisters returned. A man with a bat on his chest keeps us safe.”
In the latest case of Gotham v. Mr. Freeze, the members of the jury continue deliberating while Bruce Wayne continues to make a point: Batman is more man than bat. Here, in Batman #53, we find Bruce Wayne comparing his Dark Knight alter ego to God, and talking of faith and loss and life and sharing far more than he should with a room of strangers.
Batman #53 serves great food for thought for longtime bat-fans and, in doing so, inspires readers to evaluate their relationship with Gotham City’s cowl donning vigilante while Bruce Wayne evaluates his. Regardless of whether the biblical references that are made throughout the issue work for all readers, or allow for all readers to feel grounded in Bruce’s reasoning, it is easy to see that Tom King is examining Batman’s transcendence through Bruce Wayne.
In doing this, King brings Batman to life, to our world, and puts readers in Bruce Wayne’s shoes and allows them to ask the question: What does Batman mean to me?
“If you define God as…the infallible, the responsible…the one who determines life and death. Then yes. That is my argument. I thought he was God.”
Batman has consistently defied the odds and will continue to do for as long as Batman comics are in print, but it is important to remember, as King points out, that even though Batman transcends, Batman is still a man.
Batman #53 is a well-crafted comic book that comes to an end that, thanks to King and Weeks, will leave readers eager to read what promises to be an exciting new chapter in the life and times of Batman.
The Bottom Line:
Powerful and thought-provoking; Tom King continues his examination of the Dark Knight in Batman #53 and does so in a way that resonates with readers. Here begins a new chapter in the life and times of the Dark Knight.