Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Batman #72 Review and *SPOILERS*

Last Time on Batman…

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Mikel Janin, Jorge Fornes, Jordie Bellaire
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 5, 2019

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

My first issue with the Batman series was not what I had hoped. The previous issue gave us a lot of back and forth between two different timelines that had a tendency to confuse rather than intrigue. There were issues with continuity in it and frankly, it just wasn’t very good. That being said, King really impressed me when this book first started and while we have been in a bit of a slump lately, I choose to hold out hope that he can bring this unruly beast back and have us singing its’ praises once more. However, I still harbor fears that we will continue to trudge through this book with no answers, little progression, and a lack of continuity. I can only hope that those fears and unfounded. So, with that all being said, let’s just jump into this issue and see where it takes us.

So, normally, I type out several paragraphs that detail everything that happens in the issue. This way, I am thorough in explaining exactly what happened so that our readers can get a sense of how the story is progressing and the overall quality of the book. However, in this book, there will only be one paragraph of recap due to the fact that NOTHING HAPPENS IN THIS BOOK! The book is separated into two different sections. The first is a long fight scene between Batman and Bane which follows the events of the previous issue. The second is large double-page art pieces that show events from previous storylines in King’s run. 

All of these scenes are accompanied by a long monologue that lasts the length of the issue. The voice goes through the entire story up to this point and how Bane has planned for it all along. His original loss to Batman, Batman, and Catwoman getting together, Booster Gold’s Gift, The War of Jokes and Riddles, etc. The monologue even pontificates about the future and what Bane will do with it. As we get to the end, we see in the fight scene that Bane has beaten Batman once again with the back-breaker. Standing by watching is Thomas Wayne and I assume this was meant to suggest that he is the one monologuing. This is where the issue leaves us.

So first, I want to apologize for not giving you, the reader, more about what happens in this book but honestly, that is because there is nothing else that happens in this book. It’s just a long monologue with some really nice art in the book. So let me start with the positives. The art in this book is really fantastic. That has never been the issue with this book at all. I’ll even give some praise to King because the monologue itself is very well written. However, this is where the praise ends. First off, we were left with a pretty big cliffhanger at the end of the previous issue and we did nothing with it. No story progression at all. Then, we decide to make the entire issue a long monologue. Not the worst choice in the world. It definitely could have been done right but it wasn’t in this case. We needed actual character moments and story progression. This feels like padding. 

There are even continuity issues within this book as apparently, King doesn’t remember that Batman did not go to the alternate universe with Booster in the Gift. However, the thing that I dislike the most about this issue is that it does nothing but recap the past 70 issues of Batman and doesn’t even give us a new perspective. We already knew about everything in this issue. If this monologue really is Thomas Wayne then maybe give us some insight as to why he is really here. Instead, he looks at Bane’s accomplishments up to this point and then asks how he can help. Save your money, readers.

Bits and Pieces

What a complete waste of my time. This book manages to impress with some of its monologue writing and beautiful art. However, it also fails spectacularly when it comes to story progression. If you’ve been reading this book, then you are completely able to skip this issue and when you pick up issue #73 in 2 weeks, you will not have missed a single thing. We continue to have our questions unanswered, there is no story progression, no character development. This issue and its monologue are literally a long recap of the past 70 issues of Batman and add absolutely nothing to this story at all. If it wasn’t for some amazing art and a slight appreciation for the wordsmanship in this book, my score would be MUCH lower.


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