Writer: Tom King / Artist: Mikel Janín /DC Comics
Talk about a cold open.Batman #41 starts a new arc after “Superfriends” and jumps right into action as Bruce is in bed with Selina and wakes up in a panic. He barrels his way through Wayne Manor, knocks Alfred out cold, and makes his way to the Batcave. Only to avoid being attacked by his new fiancée.
It turns out Poison Ivy, for undisclosed reasons, has swung for the fences and taken over the minds of the entire world. The only two that escaped her grasp are Bruce and Selina. Which means that everyone else on the planet, from Alfred, to the Justice League, and every civilian, is under her control. [There’s a Flash moment that may bring you to tears of laughter.] If that weren’t already the most awesome advantage to have, she also has the knowledge that Bruce Wayne and Batman are one in the same and can easily target him.
I’ve said it on multiple occasions and I guess I won’t be stopping anytime soon, but King knows what it takes to bring the best out of characters. Villains like Bane, the Riddler and Poison Ivy are second-tier among Batman’s rogue’s gallery, if not a little lower in a couple of instances. But, like a coach in a high school sports movie, King’s been able to pinpoint their strongest skills and brings them to the forefront for the greater good of the team.
Meanwhile, Mikel Janín’s style shines in this book. Drawing a character like Poison Ivy in this overpowering moment probably made him excited because he knew he’d get to utilize an entire spectrum of colors not regularly used in Batman comics. And he ran with it. There are some spreads in this comic that you could probably talk about for half an hour alone.
For the only major drawback of this issue, and I have absolutely zero doubts that it’ll payoff in a big way as “Everybody Loves Ivy” goes on, the lack of knowledge stands out. While the notion of being dropped right into the action in this issue is entertaining, it’s a bit frustrating when you realize you’ll have to wait two weeks just to know how the hell we even got here.
Reading Batman? Find BNP’s other coverage of the Dark Knight here.