Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Batman #70 Review

How About a Little Punch, Scarecrow

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Mikel Janin and Jorge Fornes, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 1, 2019

Hey everyone, the Knightmares are over and that is enough reason to rejoice, right?  Of course, I am joking a bit since not everyone has been down on this book as I have been and really, in this crazy fandom we love, nobody is right or wrong.  So, here we go with my opinion of this issue.  Does it get me back on the trolley that I jumped off of about 50 issues ago?  Let's find out...

We open with some more prose and while some may argue this is deep and meaningful, it feels off with who is saying it again and only reminds me of a teenager passing off song lyrics as their own to maybe get a date or pass an assignment.  Hey, I did it myself...who knew that Sweet Child o' Mine was going to hit that Summer?!?  Here, though, it just feels like Tom King going back to the well once again and what once felt pretentious now feels lazy and boring.

We do see Batman breaking out of the Knightmares which was cool and being greeted by the Riddler.  I guess he is standing guard, but he is armed with a riddle and Batman pretty much crunches in his face and moves on.  Moves on to beat the crap out of everyone in his way.  The riddle was okay, but after pushing the narrative that Bane was manipulating Batman into extreme violence with Freeze, KGBeast and Gordon, giving us an issue where Batman literally walks through Arkham (which may still be a Mental Health institution???) punching faces feels like a huge step back.  A step back in a book that has barely gone forward since the (non) wedding...I wouldn't have thought it possible.

Just an aside about Arkham.  I know that we rarely see it as a place of healing but after the debacle of Heroes in Crisis, Batman feels a bit over the top here.  He wakes up and with only the evidence from his dreams, goes half-cocked on everyone he comes across.  I know it's supposed to be a wow moment with Batman fighting some classic villains, but for all he knows, these guys are there as prisoners of Bane and need someone to help them, not hurt them.  Batman just monologues as he punches and some of the villains don't say a word, let alone fight back!

Again, the argument for it is this is just classic Batman stuff, but when it comes to Freeze, I think Tom King steps over the line.  He just recently beat Freeze to a pulp after Bane set them both up and now he is punching him all over again?  Fans of King keep telling me this is a more human Batman and I guess they are right since most of us keep making the same mistakes over and over.  But Batman?!?!

I will throw all that nonsense aside for a second to bring up the fact that Batman punches Hush and Man-Bat as well.  Man-Bat?  The guy currently in the Justice League Dark???  Hush who was thrown into another dimension in the Bachelor Party prelude to the (non) wedding you want us all to forget???  Hey, it's okay to write your own stories, but please know what's going on in the Universe you write them in!!!!!  I'm sure there will be a "clever" tweet explaining it all or better yet, an issue down the line dedicated to fixing all of this.  Those are becoming as much a signature of this run as "Hell Yea" by now!

After some pretty good back and forth with Batman and Two-Face, the issue ends with Batman leaving Arkham with the promise to go rest up and come back with an army to face Bane.  I hope he also has some time to adjust his fantasy lineups, play some Fortnite and go watch Endgame!  Also, eat a nice don't want to face Bane on an empty stomach you know!  Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if we see that Bane isn't even the big bad he's supposed to be by the end and is in fact, just a lazy guy with some anger issues and a fetish for breaking backs.  Now that would be hilarious!!!

This was a paper-thin version of Knightfall or was it the reverse of I am Bane which was the reverse of Knightfall?!?  What I am getting at is this is the mirror image of issue #19 of this run.  I am sure that some people will find that clever or use it as proof of the meticulous planning that went into this run, but without any symbolism to match, I will look at it for what it is...smoke and mirrors and lazy storytelling.  No matter how you slice it, there is nothing here but the standard "I am Batman" dialogue, punching and then more punching.  The whole story progression is Batman leaving Arkham and that was silly anyway.  I usually end up saying that people who love King will love whatever he gives them, but this really feels like he may be pushing it a bit even with his fans.  I guess they will say they love the punching everyone Batman as much as they love the Batman who doesn't punch everyone and again, this whole run and the love it gets is really starting to confuse me!

Bits and Pieces:

The Knightmares are over, but if you're looking for story progression, you may have to wait a little bit longer.  We do get Batman talking at a lot of villains and then punching them.  If that's your thing, have at it.  This is not my thing.  On a positive note, I liked the art.



  1. Once again, I salute you for your honest reviews, Mr. Werner! I don't know if the staff here at Weird Science hears it often enough, but you truly provide a fine service by cutting through all the nonsense and telling comic fans the truth. I pay good money for comics and I want to know what I'm getting, not some sort of politically-correct idol worship. Thanks again!

  2. Ah yes, another half-assed hit job on a Tom King book from Werner. He wouldn't know a good book if it bit him in the ass. His little vendetta or whatever it is against King in particular is so sad and one of the most childish things I've ever seen. Werner doesn't have a single ounce of writing talent, so instead he decides to tear down the work of others in some small-minded attempt to make himself feel a little better about his sad little life. And he calls King "pretentious and boring." HA! As if your reviews are ANYTHING else.

    1. Really? Yep, I guess everyone who doesn't like the book (and the sales show it is a lot of people) are doing it for me too. Plus, my writing talent (which I never claimed to have) got you to read something and yet you are just a pathetic loser who has to make anonymous comments because you are just that...anonymous!

    2. Plus, I wish instead of your nonsense, you would tell me why I am wrong. Tell me what you liked about the issue.

    3. Good fucking grief. You're so full of shit that it's coming out your ears. "Sales show it's a lot of people." Yeah, that's why King's Batman has held 2 of the top 5 sales spots the last two months. But hey, why use facts when you can pull shit out of your ass to support your garbage opinion.

      I liked the issue. I loved the use of Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell as a framing device for the whole issue. The slight inversion of the standard 'fights his way into Arkham' trope was great, the art was phenomenal and it really felt like Batman finally broke out of the funk he's been in since issue 50. I'm excited to read the rest of the run. Sorry you're too busy actively hating the book to enjoy anything, but that seems like your schtick. Sounds like a pretty fucking miserable way to live to me.

    4. 83k is what its selling down from 110k pre wedding! Why bother coming to the site? The Blake framing device has been done over and over in this run and it's getting stale. Getting out of his funk? Why, because he one-punches rogues??? Three of which shouldn't really be there! Plus, it just makes the villains and Bane seem like less of a threat and really, Bane letting Batman leave to rest up and get his army is just ridiculous.

      The fight into Arkham is was done in this run by Bane so again, it's an inversion of something we've seen and even then, it was just a take on the reverse Knightfall.

      I don't know what you think is going on here. The only reason I am back reviewing this book (which I bailed on for almost a year of reviews) is because I can't find one single person who will take it! The last time I gave it up was start of Jokes and Riddles because I had been liking it and started not to. NOBODY WANTS TO REVIEW IT!!!

      Please, go to a site that agrees with what you think about it and leave me alone. If my life is miserable you would certainly make good company since all your doing is being an anonymous troll who comments on other people's sites.

      And yea, that's my schtick. It's also my schtick to spend over 5 hours each day doing it. Please, go and do your own thing and let's see how popular that becomes.

    5. And one of the last two months was Joshua Williams writing the book...which actually did increase the sales.

  3. Thanks for your review, Jim. I completely agree with you. Although I try to keep an open mind, I remain mystified by the critical acclaim for Tom King's work. I think his run on 'Batman' has been far more miss than hit -- in addition to being pretentious, nearly every issue has massive plot holes that strain credulity. In this issue, for example, why would the villains place themselves in sequential order so Batman could take them out (with virtually no effort) one by one? Simply because it suits King's narrative. Time and time again, he sacrifices plausibility for dramatic effect.

    Ignore the trolls. Thanks again for your review.

    1. Yep...I know its comics, but he doesnt follow his own reality or rules in his own stories. I said on podcast, did bane line them up and make them wait for batman?

  4. Uh-Oh. . .there's a little hero worship going on in the comment section. I guess AnonymAss doesn't like to see the truth that King is circling the airport in a pretentious "Maybe if I use some deep literature quotes nobody will notice that there's really not much going on here. . .God, what am I gonna DO?" holding pattern while he tries to figure out how to deliver on Flashpoint Batman in a way that won't expose him for a glorified fan-fiction writer. And HERE'S the REAL disappointment: Tom King will be writing Batman for almost three more goddamn years. F*ck me, but I still pay good money for it because it's basically become slightly annoying comedy that I want to see what happens next, even though I know it won't be good. Like I said. . .F*ck me.

  5. Tom King got nominated for an Eisner for this "continuing series". Clearly your hatred is wrong.

    (Its a shame my utter sarcasm / disdain for this book won't come through in text.)

    I was set to love this book until I read the final page of the "wedding" issue. Now I'm a hater who's gonna hate.

    1. I gave issue #5 a 10/10. Long ways away, but I think he has been on the book too long

    2. Don't know if you will see this Ben (not sure if you get a notification), but what did you think of the series from this point to the end?