Batman Killing Time #4
Killing Time has largely not lived up to its title. Writer Tom King has kept the largely more convoluted than necessary story engaging. This marked the first issue where it felt like King was stalling and slowing down the pace with little good reason.
King continues the distracting shifting of time periods jumping back and forth hours, minutes and even decades in telling the story.
A new player, Nuri Esponiza, gets introduced to the tale and King enjoys to have her cursing like a teenager using the words for the first time.
The 2,500 years ago storyline takes up more space this issue and is more distracting and frustrating than previously. This is a situation where King is so sold on an idea even when it’s not working.
King is starting to fall into some bad traps of some mediocre DC writers that write lines they think are cute. In one panel, King has the narrator state Batman is fighting tigers followed by Batman saying “I’m fighting tigers.” It’s the kind of weird dialogue that feels like it’s written to be funny instead of just being naturally funny.
The Help remains an intriguing character despite having a uninspired name. King adds another layer to The Help’s backstory, which further sets him up to potentially be a player in modern Batman books.
David Marquez’s artwork is spectacular. There’s not a weak panel or page in the issue. His layouts are always smartly laid out making the action sequences easy to comprehend. Character expressions are another highlight.
Alejandro Sanchez’s gorgeous colors complement Marquez’s style wonderfully.
Killing Time has two more issues left. The shorter issue count is working in King’s favor even as some cracks are starting to show in the overall narrative. Hopefully King can successfully nail the final act and make this a worthy Batman mini-series worth a second read.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10