Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Batman: Killing Time #4 Review

One Breakout Character and Countless Time Jumps

Written by: Tom King
Art by: David Marquez
Colors by: Alejandro Sánchez
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Cover art by: David Marquez, Alejandro Sánchez
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: June 7, 2022

Batman: Killing Time #4 flits here, there, and everywhere as Batman and The Help's paths cross for a second time with a very different outcome. Meanwhile, Riddler meets his buyer and returns to Ancient Greece.

Was It Good?

The high points are the jaw-droppingly gorgeous art from Marquez, Sánchez, Cowles, and (almost) everything related to the breakout character, the Help.

The art practically sings in this issue with hyper-detailed linework, rich textures, complex coloring, and exquisite panel layouts and composition. This book is gorgeous, and the quality of the visuals hasn't dropped in the least since the first issue.

Secondly, the Help is the series' breakout character with good reason. King puts the Help in a series of mundane situations to get what he wants, and it's obvious he doesn't suffer foolishness. The minor drawback to the Help's character in this issue is his unwillingness or unfamiliarity with modern technology. For a character to come along, one who might be the world's deadliest assassin, who doesn't own a smartphone and doesn't understand its value, seems wildly out of place. King has added a character flaw that doesn't make sense for the character, and that flaw detracts away from maybe the best thing to come out of this series.

Listen to us discuss Batman: Killing Time #4 & more on Ep 429 of our DC Comics Podcast

There are two down points in this issue which are the same down points since the beginning, almost as if time is repeating itself.

First, the random jumping back-and-forth in time is back and just as cumbersome as ever. Some (most) of the jumps are unnecessary and seem designed to make the reading experience as ponderous as possible. Whatever motivated King's thought process to write this way, it isn't paying off.

Second, we take several lengthy flashbacks to Ancient Greece with no apparent tie to anything in the present, either by the characters or the object everyone is seeking. There's no tie, hint, clue, or overlap as to what the Ancient Greece story has to do with the present dilemma, and frankly, the Ancient Greece bits aren't fascinating. It feels as if King is telling a different story without purpose. So, whatever motivated King's creative choices, it's not working. 

About The Reviewer: 

Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Batman: Killing Time #4 contains the most jaw-dropping art of any DC title on the shelf. Unfortunately, the best art in DC pairs with some of the most mind-boggling creative decisions that turn what can be an engaging mystery into a tedious, ponderous reading experience.


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