Batman Annual #2
One of Tom King’s big agendas in his Batman run is to provide an actual foundation for the Batman/Catwoman relationship. They’ve always had a flirty relationship, but King has put in a lot of work to flesh that out both in the present day and through various flashback stories.
In Batman Annual #2, King further explores the unique bond back in the early careers of Batman and Catwoman. King has a clever way of writing Catwoman where she’s always one step ahead of everyone. Cops and regular folk are easy, but staying in front of Batman requires a little more guile and taking advantage of his attraction. This time, Catwoman has a more altruistic purpose while constantly thwarting Batman’s security systems in a smart game of cat and mouse. And King taps into more of Batman’s detective skills as well.
Then to shake things up further, King goes far into the future. If nothing else, King is very committed to Batman and Catwoman forever being linked. So long as he’s handling it, this relationship could become the end-all relationship for Batman like Lois is for Clark; Mera is for Aquaman and Black Canary is for Green Arrow.
Lee Weeks covers the bulk of the art and this story is a perfect fit for his cinematic style. From perspectives to expressive faces, Weeks delivers the goods here. The color work by Elizabeth Breitweiser is also top notch. Michael Lark wraps the back end as the story goes to a more subdued direction. Lark’s art is just as impressive.
By the end of the issue, we’re treated to one of the more emotional and beautifully told Batman stories in years. This is not your typical annual and despite the sea of Batman books out currently, is definitely not one to miss.
Rating: 10 out of 10