Writer: Tom King/ Artist:Mikel Janin/ DC Comics
Issue #41 of Batman was only slightly below the high standard Tom King and Mikel Janin have set thus far for one simple reason – the unknown.
With a Tarantini-esque cold open, readers were dropped off in a story that felt as if it were already one or two issues deep. This is definitely a good way to get straight to the excitement, but it leaves room for a lot of unanswered questions.
Batman #42 answers them and then some. Why has Poison Ivy essentially conquered the entire known world? How did she? Why hasn’t she used this power to kill Bruce and Selina?
King’s been writing Batman long enough now that he’s earned the right to make callbacks to his own stories. That alone is worth some major praise. In the instance of issue #42, he takes what was originally just an entertaining moment from “The War of Jokes and Riddles” and turns it into a major turning point for Poison Ivy’s character and motivations.
Mikel Janin’s art continues to be top-tier. The very first page of this issue deserves to be singled out as it shows a hypnotized Superman hovering above Wayne Manor, watching and listening to Bruce Wayne and his fiancée Selina. It says a lot about how the most powerful hero on the roster has been reduced to a highly capable watchdog. It reminds you just how much power Superman has, watching and listening to everything we do from above.
This arc felt like it was going to end with this issue as Batman started to piece together the puzzle that is his latest obstacle. Fortunately, though, that’s far from the case.
I’m all for letting this duo play with any characters they want to because their work has raised the stock of many of them already.
Reading Batman? Find BNP’s other coverage of the Dark Knight here.