This Batman article contains spoilers.
We talked to Tom King about his epic Batman run last week, and one of the things that came up was how strong the quiet moments of the run were. Batman, Catwoman, Superman, and Lois Lane on a date at a fair. Bruce Wayne locked in a jury room. The Robins giving Bruce crap about eating his fast food cheeseburger with a knife and fork that he brought from home. This has been a massive story with some amazing action beats, but King’s storytelling really shines during those little character beats that he weaves in.
Of course, the action is no slouch, as you can see from Catwoman’s web zip into FlashBats’ back in the preview pages below. It shouldn’t be any surprise that Batmanhas landed some unbelievably good artists – it’s routinely DC’s best-selling book and the flagship title of at least the Bat-family, if not the whole line – and it’s worth looking back on some of the ridiculous names who have passed through.
It started with David Finch doing the best work of his career, and had Tony S. Daniel later join for some of the best pages I’ve ever seen from him. It had Mitch Gerads, Joelle Jones, Lee Weeks, and John Romita Jr. drawing wildly different stories – Gerads killed a couple of early interlude issues and as part of “Knightmares;” Weeks made 12 Angry Batmen and the Batman/Elmer Fudd stories into amazing comics; Jones turned in some stunning work leading up to the wedding; and Romita was impeccable on “City of Bane.”
The book also turned at least two artists into bonafide superstars. Clay Mann is now whatever the comic art equivalent of destination television is, and that really burst through during the double date. And Jorge Fornes had done some comics work before he joined Batman, but since his first pages in this run, he’s brought it to an entirely new level. And there are definitely more great artists that I’m forgetting.
But the artist who forms the spine of the run is Mikel Janin. He drew the Rebirth issue and laid a massive thirst trap for the internet to fall into (sweaty, shirtless Bruce Wayne doing one armed pull ups, you know what I’m talking about). He drew one of the run’s big climaxes, the War of Jokes and Riddles, and some of the lead up to the wedding. And he’s here at the end, putting Batman and Kite Man at a bar for the last two minutes of a Gotham Knights game.
Even though it’s not really done yet (Batman/Catwomanis on the way), Batman#85 is designed to feel like an end. It’s really, really strong. We’ll have more from King about his run when the issue drops, but for now, here’s what DC has to say about it.
written by TOM KING art by MIKEL JANIN cover by TONY S. DANIEL card stock variant cover by FRANCESCO MATTINA
The stunning conclusion to “City of Bane” is here! How will Flashpoint Batman be vanquished from our dimension? What will become of Gotham Girl now that she’s betrayed all she knows? How will the Bat team cope without Alfred? Will Catwoman stick around? Who will rebuild Gotham City? Is Batman ever going to be Batman again? The event of the summer now closes out the year, setting the stage for a whole new path for the Dark Knight Detective. You don’t dare miss the extra-sized concluding chapter to Tom King’s epic run on Batman—and it all leads to the new Batman and Catwoman series!
And here are the pages. Be sure to check back on Wednesday for more from Tom King about his Batmanrun and what’s next.