Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Batman' #2 by Tom King, David Finch, Matt Banning, Danny Miki, and Jordie Bellaire


★★★☆☆ (3/5)

'Batman' #2 opens with Gotham City's newest dynamic duo trying to contain a very pissed off Solomon Grundy. Try as they might, Gotham and Gotham Girl still have some learning to do as Batman tames the not-so-gentle giant. It's a new era for the Dark Knight as Tom King and David Finch try to build off their cleanly executed first issue but face some growing pains in their second effort. 

While I've enjoyed the first two issues so far, Batman has a different voice, a less-than-confident tenor that is hard to pinpoint. I recognized in my review of issue #1 that taking over for Scott Snyder after an epic run is a mighty task for anyone but King has the talent to make the series his own. He's still finding his footing, using familiar story beats and situations to help find his way. It's not necessarily bad, far from it, but we are witnessing what any writer would be like taking over an iconic staple like Batman comics, a shaky but efficient narrative. 

Batman is far more trusting now bringing the Gotham duo into the fold rather quickly appreciating their superpowers and what that means for the safety of all Gothamites. He's embraced these "supermen" with little vetting. The same could be said for King who hasn't developed the mysterious couple or revealed their true identities yet they're getting introduced to Commissioner Gordon. They seem earnest in their desire to protect the city and learn from Batman. Batman is equally invested in showing them the ropes so they can do what he can't. Bats ponders his fate, his mortality, in ways I haven't seen before. He's much more cognizant of his limitations. 

Meanwhile, Gordon gets an unexpected visitor with a dire warning. A warning that makes a lot more sense when part of it is revealed at the end, welcoming back a familiar old villain in a new context. This is more set-up to what could become some great storylines that harken back to old battles in Batman history. 

The art is very sharp and dense with great detail and thick lines. Finch draws an overwrought Gordon but overall the layouts are smooth and engaging. Matt Banning and Danny Miki provide a heavy dose of inking that is prominent throughout the issue creating some bold depth and design to each panel. Jordie Bellaire is Jordie Bellaire which means the colors are fantastic.The tone is warm with plenty of deep hues from orange to yellow to green. The world-building is dark but not dreary, more of a cigar lounge aesthetic than a damp dungeon. 

'Batman' continues to evolve under King who probably needs to get through an arc to find his groove. The set-up in the first two issues appears promising with some interesting twists. It still needs more character development but I'm optimistic there are great things to come given time. Still worth picking up and readers should be rewarded. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

REVIEW: 'Bonehead' #2 by Bryan Edward Hill, Rhoald Marcellius, and Sakti Yuwono

Bryan Hill pumps the brakes a little in the follow up to the fast-paced debut of 'Bonehead' with more great world building. The mystery surrounding Bonehead 56 deepens but we at least get some backstory and details about what his arrival means for a pair of brothers with opposing viewpoints.


BONEHEAD #2   
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill Artist: Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono Letterer: Jaka Ady Graphics: Comolo Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 31, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score:★★★★☆ (4/5)
After a thrilling video game-like first issue, issue two gives way to the brothers Kray. Aleph is a tech scientist examining the unconscious "56" and marveling at his abilities. He reminds him when his brother Hideki roamed the city as the vigilante Blackdeath. Hideki is a Gladiator (cop) now and he questions Aleph's methods with 56 and its legalities. Nonetheless, they need 56 to be free on the streets for now so they can monitor him. The brothers c…

REVIEW: 'Hit-Girl' #1 by Mark Millar and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

Hit-Girl is most certainly back and as deadly and crazy as ever. She's gone international looking to fight injustice and find a worthy sidekick. Mark Millar is in top form with help from artists Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Sunny Gho. The heart of the Kick-Ass legacy lives on as bloody and as thrilling as you remember.


HIT-GIRL #1
Writer: Mark Millar Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Sunny Gho Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: February 21, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★★ (5/5)
The retirement of Dave Lizewki as the original Kick-Ass has left a void in Mindy's crime-fighting life. Trying to recruit his replacement has been challenging to say the least. She's going to go it alone and taking her skills global as a cry for help leads her to Colombia.

Millar hits the floor running with a wild prison break, Mindy parting ways with an unworthy partner, and a grieving mother looking for justice. The sudden blitz back to the world of Kick-Ass is like comfort food for comic book fans. …

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY: Notable Releases 2/7/18

What a week in comics! There are so many great books out this week that I couldn't include them all on this list. Take a look at this killer's row of shiny new comics.



(W) Sean Murphy (A/CA) Sean Murphy
Jack's mind and body begin to betray him as he prepares for an inevitable showdown with Batman, and Bruce himself struggles to keep his team united. As the game gets tougher, Batman seeks counsel from a shocking source-and after Wayne Manor is infiltrated, a car chase for the ages aims to curb Napier's supercriminal crew once and for all.


(W) Paul Dini, James Robinson, Jeff Lemire, Steve Orlando, Mark Russell, Kyle Higgins, Alisa Kwitney, Phil Hester (A) Guillem March, Frazer Irving (A/CA) Kelley Jones
It's hard being a monster... and even harder being a monster in love. Sparks will fly and hearts will be broken when the ghouls and ghosts of the DC Universe assemble to bring you the Valentine's Day Special that no one saw coming!


(W) Tom King, Len Wein (A) Kell…

ADVANCE PREVIEW: 'BLACK [AF]: America's Sweetheart' by Kwanza Osajyefo and Jennifer Johnson

Can a black woman be America's first superhero?


Eli Franklin is a 15-year-old girl living in rural Montana--and she just happens to be the most powerful person on the planet.

In the aftermath of the world learning that only black people have superpowers, Eli makes her debut as the superhero Good Girl, on a mission to help people and quell the fear of empowered blacks.

When a super-terrorist threatens to take away everything Eli has worked toward, will donning a patriotic costume be enough for her to find acceptance?

America's Sweetheart expands BLACK into a universe of heroes.

BLACK [AF]: America's Sweetheart
Written by Kwanza Osajyefo (BLACK) and illustrated by next breakout artist Jennifer Johnson. With a gorgeous cover by Sho Murase. Letterer: David Sharpe
Designer: Tim Smith 3
Editor: Sarah Litt
Published by Black Mask Studios

Based on characters created by Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 from the world established in BLACK, the breakout comic book series by Osajyefo and Smith, …