What am I talking about this time: Batman #42
Art by: Mikel Janin
Cover by: Mikel Janin
Variant cover by: Olivier Coipel
Written by: Tom King
4 out of 5 Ivies
Is it worth $2.99? F yeah!
Spoiler Free Review:
When DC first announced that Batman and Catwoman were getting engaged, I rolled my eyes so hard they heard it all the way over at io9. I complained and moaned about it. Claimed it was a crappy, cash grab stunt and ranted on and on to anyone who would listen.
I was wrong, damnit. This Bat/Cat stuff works! Their dynamic has made these issues shoot to the top of my reading list. Hell, when they double-dated with Lois and Superman I even went out and bought hard copies. (That’s right, I LIKE digital! Wanna fight ‘bout it?!) Batman 42 is no exception to this trend. The dialogue works, the story is solid, and, so far, every issue has left me ecstatic. DC has pulled this cash grab off really well. Batman and Catwoman’s banter is superb, funny, in character, and revealing. It’s like watching the best parts of This Is Us, you know, sans the Kevin storyline. (Yeah, I know he was Green Arrow on Smallville, but it doesn’t mean I have to like him in everything.)
Selina is written so well she almost outshines Bruce in his own book. She might not be as trained, or strategic as Bats, but she is just as smart, calculating, and also funny as hell. In my opinion, her vague morality and natural instincts make her more clever than Bats. In this particular case, Tom King has taken what could have been a boring old “Batman Vs Ivy” scenario and made it special. The art is great with lots of close-ups letting the facial expressions resonate, especially during the fight scenes.
My only hesitation in this story is that it is a tad predictable in places.
Read on and I’ll explain more.
Spoiler Filled Review:
Previously on Batman 41: Bruce and Selina wake up to a world ruled by Poison Ivy. Bats injects himself and Selina with the antidote, but, uh oh… the ingredients are super rare and they find themselves the only people in the world not in love with Pamela Isley, including… the Justice League.
Dun, Dun, Daaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!
Batman 42: The world is at peace. No war, no hunger, the environment is healing and everyone loves Pamela Isley (and have green glowing eyes). Everyone, that is, except Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle.
So far, it seems that Poison Ivy is letting them run around and do whatever they want; drive around, get burgers, visit a missing friend- all while Superman tails them. Ivy seems to have less of a mass love potion thing going on, and more of a hive mind control deal on the population, as she talks and hears through others. Also, she knows Batman’s secret identity, but because everyone is under her control, I guess it doesn’t matter.
Batman does some detective work, as he is wont to do. Then he drops Superman out of the sky with a loud whistle. Sounds dumb, but it’s cool.
Catwoman drops the Flashes when they show up with some regular kicks and punches because that’s how you defeat The Flash and Wally West(s), I guess. Eventually, the Justice League tie Batman and Catwoman up and hang them upside down from a building because, ummm… Anyway, Batman deduces that Poison Ivy took control through the world’s food supply from his trip to the burger joint. Apparently, there is some dude named Johnny, who can’t eat plants, so she couldn’t control him. He’s missing. Or dead.
Bats taunts Poison Ivy, and Ivy, through Superman’s fists, busts Bats’ face up.
Batman dies. Or doesn’t.
He wakes up in a hospital being tended to by, none-other-than, Harley Quinn.
His plan all along… I think.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue has my second favorite scene of Batman getting a burger.
I wonder if they are gonna “kill” Poison Ivy at the end of this story arc. Usually, when a villain finds out a hero’s secret identity they have to die at the end, at least for a little while.
I like the look of this Batmobile. It’s a mix of the original 1950’s comic Batmobile, with the animated series Batmobile front grill on the face. Save for when Janin draws it with the cockpit open, then it looks like a Tonka toy. It’s accurate, I guess, but clunky looking.
It’s really unsettling when Poison Ivy calls Batman, “Bruce.” I hate it. I love it. I hate that I love it.
Poison Ivy is covered, dressed neck-to-toe, and looks great! I love that not every outfit has to be form fitting or show a lot of skin to be sexy. Even when I was thirteen I never liked the mostly unbuttoned button down or leaf bikini costumes.