Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Batman/Catwoman #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Tom King Being His Most Tom King

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Clay Mann, Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 1, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

HE’S BAAAACK! A few months since Tom King left the Batman book to James Tynion IV, he has now returned with a Black Label series focused upon the Cat and Bat. Now, I’m a bit torn on this whole series for a couple reasons. First off, I would actually consider myself to be a fan of Tom King’s. Some of his stories are legitimately some of my favorite in comics (Vision comes to mind). That being said, when his run with Batman finally came to a close, I stated that I felt it was time for the run to come to an end. There had been plenty of talk about him reaching 100 issues with the character but especially after a few very bad story arcs, I was ready for something else and it seemed to me like a lot of people felt similarly. However, for those that did love his run, he promised this series to finish his story. So now that I’m reading this I’m torn because I don’t know which Tom King I am going to get. Am I going to get the Tom King that I love? The guy who began the Batman Rebirth title with such a great story? Or will I get the Tom King that I grew tired of? The guy who I felt relief when he finally left the title? I’m unsure, but I’m here to find out. Let’s jump into the new series.

This story jumps between the past, present, and future quite a bit so please forgive me if this recap feels a bit chaotic. We begin with an elderly Selina Kyle driving in a tropical location and then we transition to Christmas where Batman is meeting with a red-haired woman. All this time, the lyrics to Silent Night are seen on the panels. The woman is revealed to be Andrea Beaumont, who Batman fans will know as The Phantasm. During their conversation, Bruce reveals to her Alfred’s passing, and then we transition to the past where Alfred enters Bruce’s room to provide him breakfast only to find him and Selina making love. We cut to the elderly Selina once again as she searches through a trailer park and eventually knocks on one door and an elderly man opens up and recognizes her. We cut to the present where Batman reveals to Selina that Andrea is in Gotham to find her son who has run away from home. Considering her background, Batman believes Selina will be able to help find him. We then cut to a scene that I believe is from the past and shows Batman and Catwoman wrapped in each other’s arms just before Batman leaves to fight another villain.

We return to the future where Selina looks around the home of the elderly man. The two talk about their children and grandchildren and their lives and the result of their chosen professions, hinting that this old man was another who used to prowl Gotham at night. We cut to the present where Catwoman has taken Batman to a man known as Sewer King to try and find the boy. The Sewer King sics his crocodiles on the two instead of answering their inquiries and we get a small fight scene. We cut to what I believe is the past as we see Selina repelling down from the ceiling to steal some jewelry from a sleeping man but she is interrupted by none other than The Joker. She finds the man is already dead and during this exchange, Joker confronts her about sleeping with Batman. We cut to the future where we see the cat Selina brought with her pawing at the welcome mat and we see blood underneath it. We cut to the present where Selina captures a local thief and grills him for information about the missing boy. The thief reveals that the boy is in town looking for his father and shares his last known location.

We cut to the past where Joker and Selina are finishing up their conversation about Batman. They both seem to be alright going forward and even though it seems that they will be at odds in the future, they are very cordial in the present. In the future, Selina informs the man about Bruce Wayne’s passing. The man mourns. We cut to the present where we find Andrea’s son in a tent. He is dead and from the looks of it, Joker Toxin is to blame. We cut to a quick scene of Bruce and Selina in the bedroom together before getting down to it. We cut to the future where Selina and the man embrace mourn together and eventually embrace. Selina then reveals that with Bruce gone, she now will kill the man. He begins to laugh and he pulls off his glasses and wig and is revealed to be none other than The Joker himself. In our final pages, we see the grave of Victoria Beaumont being dug up and inside is the Mask of the Phantasm. We see Andrea in an apartment with the costume she used to dawn and the issue leaves us there.

Man, this is a doozy to read! Let me warn the reader now before we go any further. If you do not like Tom King, this is not a series for you, by a long shot. If you are on the fence about this writer, I’m not sure this is the book for you either. This seems like Tom King has been let off any kind of leash he had before and is running loose. The classic song that plays over the entire issue, the multiple storylines all interweaving together throughout the issue. It’s all classic Tom King and if you don’t like that, then you will definitely not like this book. As somewhat a fan of Tom King, it honestly feels like a bit much to me. The different storylines on occasion felt somewhat strange and a couple times I had to turn back a few pages to realize that this was the past or present (the future timeline is pretty obvious). Now, if you can get past the Tom King of it all, the rest of the issue is pretty alright. We have a past story that follows Selina as she falls for Bruce in the beginning and seeing her peers in the villain community (particularly Joker) reject her choices. In the present, we have Bruce and Selina following a missing boy to ultimately find him dead which reignites Andrea Beaumont to dawn the Mask of the Phantasm once again (super cool to see this character being used again. Call me a sap, I love Mask of the Phantasm). In the future, we follow a grieving Selina Kyle after the death of Bruce Wayne as she has hunted down The Joker once again to kill him this time. The stories themselves are very interesting to me and I’m looking forward to more. I just wish they were executed a bit more distinctly as Tom King’s style when unchecked seems to get pretty crazy, and not in the way I like.

Bits and Pieces

This book is really only for people who already like Tom King. If you don’t, this book will drive you through the roof! I cannot recommend this book if you disliked Tom King or were on the fence about him. I like Tom King, and even I think this issue is a bit much. However, despite its sloppy execution, the actual stories in this book are very interesting to me. Each of the three interwoven stories are intriguing. I just wish they were a bit more concise.



  1. Once again, my thanks to the reviewers of Weird Science DC for actually doing HONEST reviews! I'm not a big fan of Tom King and I truly appreciate the warning that this one probably won't be for me. Other review sites seem to be advertising comics instead of reviewing them and have nothing but praise for ANY comic Tom King writes. It sort of reminds me of the pervasive idol worship that used to be showered upon Grant Morrison.

  2. Yep! Difference between fan sites and review sites. I actually asked Dan to review it because he is a much bigger Tom King fan then I am and figured if I didn't like it, it would be dismissed as just hate. Funny thing is, my score is slightly higher than Dan's!