Writer: Tom King
Publisher: DC Comics
This book covers the first 16 issues of Tom Kings run on Batman. I had read this book while the floppies came out but as I just finished the Scott Snyder run on Batman, I wanted to give this another read also. Even though I own this in floppies, I checked this out from my local library on Hoopla as an easier way to be able to read it and not need to pull all the floppies out and find them in my collection that is all over the place. This collection is broken up into 4 main stories and the first issue of Rebirth.
“Batman Rebirth #1”, Written by Tom King and Scott Snyder, art by Mikel Janin. When the new fifty two was over and they started running the Rebirth line, each comic come out with a one shot to showcase an origin or start to the new DC relaunch known as Rebirth. This story deals with Bruce’s relationship with Duke and what he wants to plan with him. This is the soft hand off for Snyder to give Batman to King. It deals with Calendar Man and the relationship Bruce wants to start with Duke. While this seem like a shadowing of what is to come, knowing what I know about this run I think the Duke and Bruce’s relationship is highlighted a little bit more in the Rebirth Detective Comics run. As these were mainly just a glimpse into what the title should hold I’d give this a 3.5/5 as it doesn’t really sell the book unless you are interested in a relationship that the book mostly doesn’t cover.
The first arc King had was “I am Gotham” which has art by David Finch. This arc starts off with Batman trying to save the city from a crashing plane. This starts to lay out the thoughts of what will happen if Batman is no longer around. I remember when I first read this I assumed this was going to become a Duke book very fast, but Gotham and Gotham Girl show up just in time to save the day. They are both Superman-like heroes, with powers like flying, super strength, and improved vision to name a few, who were born in Gotham. Batman decided to teach them and bring them on to his team, as they can help Gotham in a way he is unable to. Without getting too much into the story the villains in this book are Hugo Strange, Psycho Pirate, and Kiteman. While Kiteman isn’t huge in this story he is one of the fan favorites from Kings run so it’s worth a mention. My first read through of this, I remember wanting a little bit more out of this arc. However on the second read, I found it a lot more enjoyable, because I know what the future holds and how the story grows from this. I’d give “I Am Gotham” a ⅘ as it’s a new story showing new characters into the DC world, and I think seeing the full story King has written this means a lot more on a second read.
The next Arc is a crossover called “Night of the Monster Men”. This is actually written by Steve Orlando with Art from Riley Rossmo with King helping Orlando on the script. This covers the next two issues (7 and 8), in the book and can be slightly confusing as this is part 1 and part 4 of a six part story. This was I think the first crossover in Rebirth with issues from Detective Comics, Nightwing and Batman. While you can gather some of what this story is meant to be, in this collection it is kind of off setting, and there is just enough that needs to be known in here to move forward. I would say overall this is a good written story but in this collection it is awkward. The art by Rossmo is fantastic and is worth it alone to read. I love looking at the capes from all the Bat family in the rain as they are fighting through this. While I think “Night of the Monster Men” is a good story, in what you get in this collection I would rate it a 2.5/5 as it’s good, but not complete. I also did a review for issue 7 when it first came out.
The third arc is “I Am Suicide” which has art by Mikel Janin. This is a five issue, and the next large arc. The concept of this book is awesome, it starts with Amanda Waller giving Batman the keys to set up his own Suicide Squad to go after Bane and Psycho Pirate after what happened at the end of “I Am Gotham”. After assembling the team they head off to find Bane and recover Psycho Pirate. I think the best part is seeing how tactical Batman is and how he plans to do this. He even is willing to “break his own back” just to help someone else. The art on these issues are just dark and gritty enough to really get into it, and I think the naked Bane really helps add the creepy feel to this story. On my first read I Am Suicide was when I really started getting into the run itself as “Night of the Monster Men” felt like it’s own thing. On second reading I enjoyed being able to see some of the things I missed the first time around but also get to experience what happened on this arc for a second time. I’d give “I Am Suicide” a ⅘ as the art and story really start moving the story for what King is building.
The fourth and final arc of this book is “Rooftops” with art by Mitch Gerards. This is a two issue arc, that showcases a single night between Batman and Catwoman, and leads up to the relationship between these two. This book is a lot of back and forth poking fun at the origins of when they met and they were referring to each other as Bat or Cat the whole time. This art by Gerards is great, and there are a lot of nine panel pages that the two of them have done in other books like Mister Miracle and Heroes in Crisis. This team works together very well and it really shows in this story. “Rooftops” is a 5/5 for me, I love seeing the relationship start to build and it’s really what builds and drives the whole run King does on Batman.
WILL THIS BE ADDED TO THE PULL LIST: While this is no longer pullable, I pulled all of these issues. I think no matter how bad( and I am not saying this book is bad), Batman will always be on the pull list.
SHOULD I READ THIS: Yes, This is the start of a great Batman. While this has some odd spots, and is really building up the story, it will at least let you know if you would like what Tom King has to offer writing Batman. One of my favorite parts about this book was just the want to keep reading the next issue even on a second reading.
Dates Read: December 11th to 12th
Platform Read On: Hoopla App on my Kindle Fire HD
If you haven’t already add my facebook page to find more updates on what I’m reading and reviews. Over the next few months I should hopefully review the whole Tom King run along with a lot of other books coming out. Anything you think I should be looking out for?