Batman and Catwoman are surrounded by Talia’s tongueless army. They have to fight them before they can reach the villainess. Will they make it alive or will petty jealousy over the ex split them before they can defeat their opponents?
Tom King’s work on Batman has been exemplary. Having read far in the future allows me to review this issue in a different light. King is methodically exploring how everyone in Batman’s environment, be they villains, friends, fellow Justice Leaguers, and so on react to him marrying Catwoman. In a sense, King is employing an old ploy from Gerry Conway where he pits every character against another one to see how sparks are created. Meanwhile, he covers his tracks with curt dialogues and setups such as the one we see in this issue with Talia’s goons. It’s a simple formula but is works and has probably given him a lot of accolades by now.
Neil Gaiman once commented in an interview whose source I cannot locate that he could easily write the same Sandman story and over again but that he would not. King is indulging in this literary sin that Gaiman refused to play with. Take that for what it’s worth.
Watch how Joëlle Jones draws lines and movement in this comic. The goons’ gestures and drapery are like sinews and muscle all arching on one direction opposing the forces and counterweights of Batman and Catwoman. But once that segment of the story is over, Jones converts to a more intimate illustration style with less movement and more power given to the inks. A master is at work.