Writer: Tom King / Artist: David Finch / DC Comics
As of a week from today, Tom King is officially a year into his run on the Batman series. Looking back, it’s been one hell of a ride. It’s expanded the mythos of a variety of characters, built-up to moments that were well-worth the wait and dived further into the gifted, tormented mind of Bruce Wayne. Before we get into issue #24, let’s take a moment to applaud that.
Alright. Now, issue #24. YYYYOOOOOOOOOOO!
I’ve gone on record multiple times in these reviews praising the work King is doing exploring the relationship between Batman/Bruce Wayne and Catwoman/Selina Kyle. While I’ve loved so many of their back and forth spats thus far, the one we get in issue #24 takes the cake. It has the potential to be a moment you look back on whenever you see these characters together in the future.
To avoid spoiling it – it happens towards the end of the book – I’ll move on to the other great pages that came before it.
It’s taken 24 issues, but the saga of Gotham/Gotham girl is finally wrapping up just in time for the next major arc of the series. After everything she’s lived through – the death of her entire family and fighting through a major case of PTSD – she’s ready to get on with her life. But what does that even look like? Will Gotham City have its own flying, super-strong hero to protect it while the sun is out? Or will she settle into living a normal life because the use of her powers will eventually kill her?
To find answers, she turns to Batman, who’s comfortably perched on the top of a skyscraper as she flies circles around him. Bruce has spent so much time caring for Claire that he’s sure to have thought about what kind of future he wants for her. But it’s not his job to tell her because he knows she’d take his word as undeniable truth instead of finding her own.
Their conversation easily transitions from Gotham Girl’s future to Batman’s motivations to an outlook on life that you could steal for yourself. In a perfect world, someone is going to hand this issue to some currently unknown actor in 2035 when he’s getting ready to portray Batman for the 20th time, as a character study.
Breaking News: I’m a writer and I love dialogue. So issue #24 is right up my alley. Not to say that there isn’t any action, though. Because flashes of Batman and Catwoman having one of their patented late-night chases are sandwiched in between pages of this introspective conversation that lead to a shocking surprise full of call-backs that should make any tenured-Batman fan smile.
Reading Batman? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.