Batman, Issue Seventy-Three

Writer Tom King

Artist Mikel Janin

Colorist Jordie Bellaire

Letterer Clayton Cowles

Cover Mikel Janin

Variant Cover Ben Oliver

What an issue that demonstrates the power of a good colorist! Jordie Bellaire might be my favorite colorist, I’ve never been able to choose, it’s between her and Marco Rudy, though I’m not sure Rudy counts in that match-up because I think I’ve only seen him do all the art versus colors only.

Batman has been totally defeated and his spine broken by Bane in last issues events, and this issue opens up with Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’ father, riding a horse across the desert with a comatose Bruce slung across said horse rump. 

In terms of advancing the story not too much happens in this issue, except for the end when it’s revealed that Thomas Wayne is headed towards the Nain Pit in Khadym, which explained why the horse that carried Thomas and Bruce was also towing a coffin by a rope behind it. Who is in the coffin?  I should have guessed myself so I won’t write it here, but considering that Thomas and Bruce Wayne are headed towards a pit that can resurrect the dead with an extremely fancy and expensive looking coffin in tow should have been a big clue for me.  

Look!  I’m a liar, quite a bit did occur in this book.

The pacing in this issue was great, especially after last issue when so much happened.  Most of the issue, besides a brief fight between Thomas and five members of the Death of The Desert, Ra’s Al Ghul’s personal guard, consists of conversation between father and son.

Look!  I’m a liar, again!  Most of the book consisted of Thomas Wayne singing “Home On The Range” to himself as he rode across a beautifully illustrated and colored desert landscape, not a problem at all, for it worked.  There was a lot of revelation between father and son, I didn’t lie about that. 

I’ve only read, so far, about 5 books under Tom King’ pen, but he’s doing this right and I’m happy with his leadership.  After seeing it was King writing Batman now, not Scott Snyder anymore, I was worried that the book wouldn’t be good. Tom King has a different style and take on The Bat than that of Scott Snyder, but it’s good, and I like it.

Colors!  The colorwork in this book, and the others I’ve now read, is tremendous.  It supplemented and highlighted the mood of the book, and added much that wasn’t in the pencilwork, while at the same time bringing the pencils where they needed to be. Jordie Bellaire is  a Goddess of Colors, truly. I would love to be able to talk to her and ask her questions about how she gets the results that she does. Her work always seems to fit whatever book she’s on while making it more than it would have been without her.

I want to write more about her part in this book, but I think I’m going to save it and write something devoted entirely to her art at a future time.

If you made it to the end of this, I think that you know you should…

Read it!

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