King and Finch launch Batman to terrific start
Grab a window seat, strap yourself in and get comfortable because the next great Batman era has begun.
Like he did on Grayson, writer Tom King brings a modern secret agent sensibility to Batman. Mild spoilers ahead. The first issue reads like the pre title sequence of a Bond movie. HIVE agents prepare to unleash a massive terrorist strike on Gotham and only The Dark Knight can prevent a horrifying tragedy.
Not surprisingly, Batman is easily cast as a superspy who happens to be wearing a cape. Alfred and Duke Thomas fit in smoothly in the roles of M and Q with some slight wrinkles.
King’s take on Batman is smart and sensible. King strips away the near super powered aura around Batman. He’s not some unbeatable superhero anymore. Instead, King makes Batman more daring and resourceful.
In the midst of a crazy situation, Batman has Alfred call the Justice League for assistance. It’s a small, but much appreciated touch. Hitting up the Justice League removes the illusion that Batman is so arrogant that he won’t call for help in the most desperate situations. But when Superman and Wonder Woman can’t answer the call, Batman is fully capable of taking care of business.
David Finch seems reinvigorated working with King. His art compliments the script without being showy for the sake of being flashy. Finch has occasionally focused more on spectacular looking panels that overwhelm the story. On Batman, his sense of storytelling has never been better. Finch is on the same page as King in terms of the tone and conveying that adrenaline rush feel of the story. This is some of Finch’s best work in years. I’m really looking forward to the monthly passing of the baton we’ll see with Finch and co-artist Mikel Janin alternating issues of the bi-monthly title.
King tells a tight, old-school style story. The main agenda is introduced and concluded in one issue while he introduces two compelling subplots. One features a possible Punisher style character willing to go darker places than Batman and the other deals with the two new characters revealed on the cover.
My only worry at this stage is how long DC can keep the bi-monthly approach going without fear of burning out its creative teams. But it’s hard to imagine anyone complaining about a double dose of King’s Batman every month.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Image Credit: DC Comics