Tom King tends to write longer Batman arcs that manage to avoid feeling like they’re being written for a trade. With Batman #38, King shows he’s just as skilled in writing an amazing standalone story.
Batman encounters a familiar scenario as a young body returns home and finds his parents dead. Shattered and broken, the boy goes to the one person who can most easily relate in Gotham — Bruce Wayne.
For fans of all the various aspects of Batman, King hasn’t touched on his detective skills that much so this made for a great showcase of his investigative prowess. I really enjoyed how King showed Batman’s obsessive nature in trying to crack the case whether in bed with Selina or chatting over dinner with Alfred. That’s a personality trait King hasn’t focused on a lot and I hope King incorporates more detective/investigative angles to future Batman stories.
Artist Travis Moore has a style reminiscent of Kurt Busiek’s Astro City artist partner Brent Anderson. Moore’s panel work is clean and he sets the story up so smoothly the payoff pages have more impact. With this kind of story, it’s better to have an artist who understands the need to slowly lead the reader along and shock them when necessary and Moore does a tremendous job here. Giulia Brusco colorist complements the simple style nicely. Big, splashy colors wouldn’t work here and this was a nice fit.
By the end of this issue, King offers yet another layer to his already impressive Batman resume and introduces a potentially dangerous new Rogue.
It’s crazy to say this considering the consistent quality of the title, but Batman is on an absolutely can’t miss roll. King is delivering some of the best work in comics right now by devoting just as much time to the man behind the cowl as the crime fighting vigilante protecting Gotham. –Jeffrey Lyles
Rating: 10 out of 10