Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Batman #5 Review



Written by: Tom King
Art by: David Finch, Sandra Hope, Matt Banning, Scott Hanna, Jordie Bellaire and John Workman
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 17, 2016

I have totally fallen in love with Tom King's Batman.  I've also fallen in love with Gotham and Gotham Girl and even when it seemed that some fans and reviewers were yelling for more mindless action, I was so happy to just get to know these new heroes.  Of course, any time that I fall in love with a character, shit goes wrong almost immediately and that's what happened once again.  Psycho Pirate and Hugo Strange showed up to make a mess of it all and last issue ended with Gotham putting Batman in a corner and nobody puts...I think you know the rest.  So, I couldn't wait for this issue to arrive, but I still went into it with some trepidation.  Would this be the end of Gotham and Gotham Girl and could my fragile heart take it?  Let's find out...


The issue opens up with Gotham arriving downtown and Batman calling Alfred. I'd say that the shit has hit the fan, but that isn't big enough for this.  How about a huge shit has hit a really big fan?!?  I'm not the most imaginative person, so that will have to do! Batman needs some time to get to Gotham and calls on Alfred for a little help.  I won't spoil what that help is, but it is one of my favorite things in the whole world and is usually reserved for the Batman '66 television show.

Tom King is one smart cookie.  He surely knows that throwing Jim Werner's favorite thing into this issue would throw off the tone drastically, so he has Alfred go through a little improv monologue that at first fell right in line with the "Alfred is an ass" theme we've seen over the first four issues of this book, but actually, fits in just right.  It's very dark, but has a wry sense of humor to it, while also showing the weariness that Alfred no doubtedly has gone through over the years.  He is still not off the hook, but he is getting closer.  This all leads to a confrontation(s) with Gotham and the thing that keeps coming up is the fact that Batman is just "a man in a mask".




Tom King's idea of what hero Gotham City deserves has come to a head here.  While we all know that Batman is the chosen one, Batman actually thought different.  That, coupled with the knowledge that Gotham was actually a good guy, makes everything that follows all the more heartbreaking.

While Batman begs Gotham to stand down, he throws everything at him (literally) and while Duke and Gotham Girl watch from the Cave, the Dark Knight goes into desperation mode.  It's something that we've never really seen ever and Alfred even questions it.  SHIT JUST GOT REAL!!!

Back in the Batcave, Gotham Girl realized what is actually going to happen and freaks out a bit, but luckily Duke is there for her.  If you have fallen in love with her as much as I have, you surely got choked up here.




Things don't ease up at all as Gotham and Batman say their goodbyes and Gotham shoots his heat vision and...I can't go and spoil it, right?  Remember when I said that Tom King gave me one of my favorite things earlier in the issue?  Well, he has now shown me something a little bit more awesome.  It wasn't my favorite before because I've never seen it, but believe me, it's my favorite now!  It also doesn't seem like enough, which is crazy! Batman turns to Gotham Girl and we find out everything.  EVERYTHING!  That's when the issue turns it up to eleven and blew me away.




Batman pretty much makes himself a target by proxy and I'm sure that some will say he was goading Gotham on, but I think he means everything he says.  In fact, I'm sure that he is quite willing to die for his City and his sins like he should have at the beginning of this arc. I'm not spoiling anything by telling you that Batman doesn't die here, but wait until you see what does happen.  WOW!

Can you tell that I loved this issue?  Well, I did.  I loved it so much.  I loved it while smiling.  I loved it through tears.  It's that good and if anyone says different, I'll slap them in the mouth. Don't test me!  I have been fully onboard this book from the start and this issue just made me feel like I was right the whole time.  It was about the journey and the destination and I can't wait to see where Tom King takes us next.

David Finch has willingly taken a back seat to let the story have the limelight and he continues that here, but don't let that fool you.  His art is fantastic and fits the emotion and grittiness of this story so well.  Hopefully, him and the art team are allowed to come out of the shadows a bit going forward because as great as the book has looked, I know he can do even better!

Bits and Pieces:

This is my favorite issue of Rebirth so far.  It's also one of my favorite issues period and one of the best payoffs to an arc that I've ever read.  It's that good...trust me!  Highly Recommended.


10/10
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20 comments:

  1. Jim, I don't care if everyone else hates this book and this run on Batman, and up until this point most people have, because this is AMAZING!!! The pay off was worth it. The story built perfectly and it revealed just enough to keep you curious and wanting more. And now we get it. The amount of character growth and development that Tom King gave us over 5 issues was awesome! You understand Gotham and how he got to this point...Gotham girl jumped from the least interesting character in this story to the most...I didn't hate Alfred...what more can you ask for?! I don't want to get caught up in hyperbole and overstating how good this book is. I may be overly sensitive to this because I read that piece of crap Justice League book before this. But this book and arc have been really great and I can't wait to see where Tom King takes this series.

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    1. I am with you...I LOVE IT!!! What are these other people reading?

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    2. Apparently the Cult of Snyder doesn't allow you to enjoy anything that is not written by their leader, no matter how amazing it is.

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  2. I'm kind of confused now but so completely intrigued on where it goes. It definitely seems like King is playing the long game with his stories and I'm so up for it.

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    1. He's designed issues 1-6 aka 'I Am Gotham' to be the first part of a Trilogy issue 9-? Aka 'I Am Suicide' will be part 2 and a third part which he said in a interview he couldn't reveal the name because it would spoil it I'm so excited

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    2. I'm going to assume it's something like "I Am Death" or similar that leads to the death of Batman that Gotham Girl is talking about? Or maybe that's what the suicide is and the third part is what's next?

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    3. I'm with you Nicholas, I am so excited!!!

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  3. This was a beautiful comic book and two weeks seems forever to wait for more ... the whole arc builds on each cliff hanger from the last issue so I'm not overly worried I didn't understand where the narration at the end right but I think Gotham Girl stole my heart today

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  4. I agree that this issue was amazing. The DC sub reddit apparently hated it though and I don't understand them.

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    1. I don't get it. How can someone not like what Tom King is doing?

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    2. The DC Sub Reddit seems to hate us as well! For a "friendly community" they are more miserable than Eric when he doesn't get his sharkleberry fin kool-aid

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    3. Do they? Well that stinks and it makes me like the place a lot less.

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    4. Do they Jim? I pretty active on the DC sub and I don't see a lot of negativity towards you guys. If I did I would defend you guys but I just don't see it a lot.

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    5. actually, most of the hate was from when we started the site...one mod in particular was pretty harsh and tried hard to get us banned from Reddit (and actually told us he was doing it because he didn't like us and "that's all the world needs, another shitty dc comics site") so I have pretty much stayed away. We have met some cool people from the channel, but it only takes one mean person for me to go home crying! Thanks for offering to defend us though, maybe I will sneak back in under cover.

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  5. 10 out of 10?!? 10 out of freaking 10???!!! Seriously?!???

    I agree. 10/10 awesomeness.

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  6. And shit got REALLY real when got a fist right THROUGH the stomach. Damn.

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  7. Hey did anybody see that variant cover. Holy shit Batman has got a nice pair of balloons.

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  8. I'm just happy Alfred didn't seem like a dick and I'd add an extra 2 points just for that

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  9. Jim, I totally agree with you here. Tom King Batman has been great. And I have found myself really liking Gotham and Gotham Girl. This is a great run so far. As an aside, I love when Duke says "At some point he is going to run out of Batmobiles" That was so funny. The issue was intense. A great mix of action and dialogue.

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