Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Batman #38 Review and *SPOILERS*

Master Bruce

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Travis Moore, Giulia Brusco, Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 3, 2018

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It's time for a one-shot where we look at Bruce Wayne and think whether or not he actually came away from his parents deaths unscathed....... Yeah, yeah, I know, he's a damn psychopath in a bat costume, talking about saving Gotham, but besides for the obvious is what I'm talking about.  Anyway, with this being a one-shot there really isn't a lot to say going into this, so let's just get to it shall we?  

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with the murders of a man who worked on the Wayne Enterprises board and his wife and because of that, their young son came to Bruce Wayne to talk to him about it because of how similar their experiences are to one another.  Really though, we have a nine panel layout, where we see this creepy kid talking about what's going on with him as the issue progresses, while the rest of the story is Batman getting to the bottom of the murder, which then escalates once it looks like Victor Zsasz is the killer........Which is odd as hell because he's locked up and even though Batman doesn't believe that Zsasz actually committed the murders, he still cuts himself as if he did........ odd.

So yeah, at first we have a murder that looks like Zsasz is the culprit, then we have another two murders, who ever the parents of Zsasz and then we just have a random murder that makes it look like Two-Face is the killer, which leads Batman to figure that something is off, especially with the clues left behind, which then lead our Caped Crusader to the apartment of the young boy's butler, who confesses to killing the boy's "Mathew" parents.  

In the end, something still seems off to Batman, who then goes back to terrorize the butler and discovers that Mathew is deeply disturbed and is the one behind is parents deaths because he desperately wanted to be Bruce Wayne....... kind of like Tommy Eliot "Hush" and we end our issue with Bruce being deeply disturbed by these events.

That's it for this issue of Batman and while I initially was getting into this story because it seemed like we actually had a decent detective issue with respectable clues throughout, the more I read the more I saw holes starting in the story.  Like, I have no idea why the murders continued after Mathew's parents were killed or why they were trying to push for it to look like Zsasz twice and then Two-Face...... or even why they pointed out the Butler as the killer, who didn't initially rat out Mathew as well....... or why the Butler lived somewhere else than Mathew even though he seemed to be his caretaker now.  Even with that though, this beginning was at least intriguing, even though Zsasz cutting himself doesn't make any sense and the ending was pretty impactful for what King was going for, but the middle just made most of this story fall apart if you looked at its pieces.  The art in this issue was decent and there's nothing really wrong with any of it, but all in all, this was an issue that didn't seem necessary.

Bits and Pieces:

While this issue starts out feeling like a really cool detective story, the pieces quickly fall apart as things start making less and less sense just to get us to the big reveal at the end.  The art in this issue was decent, but overall, this story is pretty damn thin.



  1. Your end blurb really says it all.

  2. Spot on review. I saw the twist coming a mile away and Batman seemed very out of character. Especially when he took jabs at Zsasz, which seemed out of pure spite. I'm checking out once again on Tom Kings Batman run. R.I.P. I Am Gotham

  3. I was in it until the culprit starts changing making the story make no sense ... so this kid killed everyone? Or he had the Butler kill everyone? ... to be honest I didn't see it as being the kid because wouldn't at least one of the two adults just throw a kid across the room before being stabbed to death? Maybe im dumb or maybe Tom King just just focus and give us a coherent arc for once

    1. To get any sort of enjoyment out of this story, I will suspend my disbelief to a point. And that point is I will pretend that "Matthew" paid his butler to kill people. But where it all falls apart for me, is that "Matthew" seems to be aware of the fact that Bruce's trauma caused him to become a vigilante. And so "Matthew" now wants other people to die so he can become a villain. I don't know. I gave a 6.5 because I just appreciated the art that much. But 5.5 is certainly appropriate.

  4. Started out decent, then fell apart at the end. 5.5 sounds right to me.
    Good review, Eric; you are easily one of the top ten reviewers on this site!

  5. 5.5 seems like a low score for how much I enjoyed the issue, but I did have the same problem with the pieces of the puzzle not fitting in the end (particularly Mr. Zsasz's role in all of it - a lot of the rest can be explained away by Batman's "childish" comment, if necessary). And even though I enjoyed it, those problems really do bring the whole thing down simply because this is supposed to be a mystery story, and I guess I just expect mysteries to be tighter. That's part of what makes a good mystery so satisfying. Oh well...

    1. That and I can't get over the fact that this same type of story is being told better right now in Batman Creature of the Night and it's pretty much a ripoff of Tommy Elliot/Hush

    2. Maybe this IS the kid from Creature of the Night, and it was his monster that killed them??? Hahaha