Written by: Tom King
Art by: David Finch, Danny Miki, Jordie Bellaire and John Workman
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 20, 2016
I think that most people have gotten the wrong idea about what I think about Tom King's Rebirth Batman. Let me set things straight...It is good, but I keep waiting for great. I like it while I want to love it. That being said, if I was a betting man, I would lay down Eric's next check that this book will eventually be great and make me fall in love with it. Tom King is just too damn good and I am a huge fanboy. However, It's time to time for me to put my fanboy card away and review this week's Batman. Is this a step in the direction we all know this book is heading? Let's find out...
The issue starts with a flashback and some narration that may tell the reader that Gotham City has it's ups and downs, but pretty much shows the downs...as in a family being held at gunpoint in an alleyway after a movie bad. It's a very familiar scene with a couple of hints that it isn't THE scene, but this one has a happier ending thanks to Batman showing up. With the bad guy taken down, Batman leaves the young boy in the scene with some advice about overcoming fear.
I really liked this opener. I'm pretty sure that King was not trying to fool us into thinking we were seeing the same old origin because as things open up, we suddenly realize that we are seeing a totally new origin...Gotham and Gotham Girl's origin! Holy shit!!!
I don't know why, but this got me so damn pumped up! Actually, I know why...it's because King has given us such little information about Gotham and Gotham Girl that I was starving for anything and instead of table scraps, King gave us all a steak dinner!
Basically, after the thwarted robbery, Hank (Gotham) became obsessed with Batman and his sister Claire (Gotham Girl) went along for the ride. They became the ultimate of good samaritans which lead them from the soup kitchens of Gotham to providing aid overseas. That's where things get a little hazy and even their parents aren't sure of the details. There was a big money transfer and then Gotham and Gotham Girl appeared in Gotham, flying around like it was nobodies business! We get all this from their parents, but the best part is who they are telling it too.
The book then turns back to the horrors of living in Gotham as Alfred alerts Batman of a suicide bomber (another Monster Men warning) and after an awesome car-to-motorcycle transformation, he joins Gotham and Gotham Girl at the scene. After further proof that the two are in fact who we were lead to believe they were, Batman heads off to follow some leads, leaving the two to watch the city. In the best part of the issue, Batman drops the hint that he knows who Hank is and Gotham Girl is giddy that Batman let them see him leave. I agree with GG...that is huge!
The issue ends with proof that I am always right as Gotham and Gotham Girl come face to face with who look to be the real villains of the series so far. The Monster Men are coming? It looks like they are already here!
Okay, this was a great issue for anyone who wanted more information on Gotham and Gotham Girl. Tom King doesn't just give us an awesome origin story, but the interactions between the two during this comic were just plain fun. FUN!!! That's something that the Batman book has been void of for a while and also what I've been looking for in what seems like forever and a day. Of course, the fun looks like it's coming to an end (at least for now) by the end of the issue, but it also looks like it will lead to some cool action. There we go...I am all in now!
David Finch's art was good in this issue. but I am really still waiting to be knocked out of my socks. Like my thoughts of Tim King, I know it's going to happen and I can't wait until it does. Until then, Finch seems to be hanging in the background a bit, letting the story get some breathing room.
Bits and Pieces:
After this issue, I am all in. All it took was some real solid information on Gotham and Gotham Girl and the surprise revelation that they are actually fun characters. David Finch's art is good, but the best part is he never smothers the story which is becoming really, really good. I know it's a cliche thing to say, but two weeks is going to feel like an eternity.