Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Batman' #1 by Tom King, David Finch, and Jordie Bellaire


★★★★☆ (4/5)

It's never easy following one of the most acclaimed duos in Batman comics history but Tom King (The Sheriff of Babylon, The Omega Men) and David Finch (Wonder Woman) are up to the task. There's no topping Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo who made the iconic Dark Knight an extension of Gotham City itself in eloquent and literary ways. King goes back to basics and propels the next era of Batman with an all-out action extravaganza.

No time for apologies, recaps, or flowery descriptions of the caped crusader, Batman is a man of action after all and he's got an impossible task ahead of him. With the Justice League M.I.A. it's up to him, Alfred and Duke Thomas to try and save a jetliner from crashing into downtown Gotham. It's been hit with a missile by a mysterious assailant and it's a race against time and physics to set it down safely. 

As implausible as that may sound, King sells the premise with an urgency and a confidence that will make you a believer. Batman has shaken off his moody exterior and is way more collaborative. He takes Commissioner Gordon's intel and enlists Alfred's guidance and dry wit with the technical expertise of Thomas. The rest is a high-flying pulse-pounding adventure that sees Batman at his most heroic and surprisingly his most vulnerable. 

We've known Bats to be aloof, distant, brooding, and simply a jerk at times. King so far has shown him to be more trusting of others and even able to recognize his own mortality. The man with a plan and counter-plan for everything and everyone admits he's flesh and blood. He risks it all for justice, for saving others, yet gadgets will only get you so far. It's an interesting admission for a hero capable of taking down some of the most powerful villains (and heroes) the world has ever known. In King's first issue Bats life already hangs in the balance making the new series instantly addictive. 

David Finch does a stunning job with the array of cityscapes he has to create from various angles with extraordinary detail. Matt Banning's inking adds depth through precise shadowing. And superstar colorist Jordie Bellaire emphasizes the glow of downtown with bold yellows and oranges that match the fiery trail of flames from a falling airplane. The new costume takes some getting used to but looks good overall. The orange outline of the bat and the purple cape are interesting changes but not sure they were necessary. 

'Batman' under the new creative team usher in a new era of a more relatable Dark Knight thrust into action with large-scale heroics we're not used to seeing. It's an accessible entry point for new readers that won't disappoint long-time fans either. Following a legendary creative team isn't easy but King, Finch, and Bellaire are off to a great start with big action, mystery, and a major cliffhanger. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PREVIEW: 'Tet' #4 by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker

We've seen Eugene's story. But during his last day's in Vietnam, he finally learns how Ha survived the war. She's always been much stronger than him; and much stronger than he's given her credit for. With all their secrets gone, Ha and Eugene must decide how to move forward.

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #3 by Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins, and Atilio Rojo

The story of Aphrodite is the focus of 'Cyber Force' #3. This compelling chapter continues to build the new world of Top Cow's reimagined original title. Corporate greed leads to murder and coercion until one doctor's obsession results in a powerful revelation.


CYBER FORCE #3 
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: May 30, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Marc Silvestri released 'Cyber Force' twenty-six years ago and this second reboot of the former flagship series rests in the hands of writers Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins. It was only a matter of time before we'd get the whereabouts of the sentient android Aphrodite. Hill and Hawkins dedicate this issue to her story, and it's probably the best in the series so far. We get very little Carin and Morgan in order to give what is essentially an unnerving scientific horror story. 
Cyber Data is the or…

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #2 by Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill, and Atilio Rojo

As Carin becomes accustomed to her new abilities, Stryker is determined to keep her out of the line of fire. He knows these "gifts" come at a price. Meanwhile, The Accuser recruits a dangerous ally.


CYBER FORCE #2  
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Edited by Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: April 25, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill set the foundation in issue one with the explosive and destructive arrival of The Accuser. In her wake was the shattered body of Stryker, who along with his paraplegic daughter, get an extraordinary chance to become not only whole again but enhanced. Carin has taken to her powerful working legs with enthusiasm and joy. Stryker not so much because he knows they're being used by C.O.I.It's an uneasy arrangement but origin stories are rarely simple and carefree. Whether one's powers are considered a gift or a curse, there is a price to pay i…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

REVIEW: 'Slots' #1 by Dan Panosian

Created, written, and drawn by Dan Panosian, 'Slots' #1 is his baby and he has a story to tell at his own damn pace. This beautifully illustrated story is centered squarely on former boxer Stanley Dance and his attempt to find redemption despite being someone without many redeeming qualities.


SLOTS #1 
Writer: Dan Panosian Artist: Dan Panosian Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: October 4, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Slots' is more of a character study than a rip-roaring crime caper but Panosian's protagonist is a charming cad, full of confidence, capable of swindling you out of a restaurant bill with a devilish grin on his face. He's headed back to Vegas to fulfill a favor he owes. He returns to his old haunts where everyone knows him and knows he must be playing some kind of angle. 'Slots' succeeds because Stanley is so magnetic even when he's a jerk he's interesting. So following him around town meeting up with old friends is…