By Hervé St-Louis
June 10, 2017 - 14:21
Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Tom King
Penciller(s): David Finch, Clay Mann
Inker(s): Dan Miki, Seth Mann
Colourist(s): Jordie Bellaire
Letterer(s): Deron Bennett
Cover Artist(s): David Finch, Dan Miki, Jordie Bellaire; Tim Sale, Brennan Wagner
Batman discusses Gotham Girl’s future and they both ponder about their lives, and its meaning, happiness and sorrow.
I wanted to review this comic on the day it came out but I was too busy with school work. Let’s just say that any sense of urgency left me after I saw that many had already spoiled the ending of this comic online. One wonders why online reviewers would do such things. Why spoil something you’ve been trusted with before the day the comic is released? Well in any case, I believe that now, four days later, I can discuss this comic freely, having missed the window of opportunity afforded by being the first to cover an interesting development. Still, there are no spoilers in this review.
Most reviews and people who have spoiled this comic have focused on the revelation at the end of the comic and ignored what led to this. The journey is way more fun than a simple questions asked between two long-time friends. Asking Batman about what she should be doing with the rest of her life, Gotham Girl ends up querying the cape crusader about what he should be doing in his own life.
Tom King is subtle. He could have but he did not remind readers that the changes happening in Bruce Wayne’s heart may have to do with the advice he received from his father while hopping through time and alternate realities. A lesser writer would have made sure that readers cannot connect the dots themselves. And it is this quality of subtlety that King brings to the discussion between Gotham Girl and Batman.
I like how he toys with the girl’s own sense of invincibility and mortality as she playfully uses the very powers that will end her life to casually float and chat with Batman. Iit is this quality that consumes the entire story. Batman does not tell her what to do when she asks for advice. And this is reflected in how he lets her use her powers when she should not, casually just because.
But juxtaposed to this is how Catwoman, who is very mortal, just jumps around rooftops casually even though any misreading, any error could kill her. Neither Gotham Girl, Batman, nor Catwoman fear their mortality and their futures in these moments. Instead, they enjoy the sun or the night as much as they can as if it were their last day on Earth.
David Finch, and Clay Mann are not the artists that I would have chosen for this story, not because they do not excel. They do. But for such a quiet story their work seems overkill and one expects a fight, an explosion lurking in the next page to jump at readers. But none does, so we are left with a complex story and intricate designs to convey emotions. Finch, and Miki do not convey emotion through facial expressions well so it is the placement of the characters in the page; their use of space that informs us of the subtlety in this story. It is one approach that is very sober, and removes the melodrama and leaves us with cerebral decision-making and very few emotions coming from the characters. This seems to be the Batman that King wants to write.
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