Batman, Issue Seventy-Four

Writer Tom King

Artist Mikel Janin

Colorist Jordie Bellaire

Letterer Clayton Cowles

Cover Mikel Janin

Variant Cover Juan Gimenez

Bruce and Thomas Wayne have arrived at the Nain Pit! The majority of this book consists of Father and Son talking about Bruce’s obsession with a book as a boy about animals being trapped in a pit and eating each other. If you can think of a more Batman-y topic of discussion than your a smarter person than Tom King and I.

The Death in the Dessert members from last issue have been defeated and their leader, Shaddad The Unbroken, lies unconscious, slung over the rump of Batman’s horse, ostensibly to be traded in the Nain Pit for the resurrection of Bruce’s mother. The Nain Pit requires a life for a life in the fashion of all things too good to be true. 

If you’d have told me before reading this that a book full of creepy conversation about cute animals tricking each other so as to be eaten all while climbing down a hole would be a good time I’d have agreed politely and in my mind thought the assertion was crazy and the person who’d said it pretentious or stupid.  It turns out I may be the stupid and pretentious one because this book was good and I can’t wait for the next.

Tom King did a good job of creating some tension in me while reading this, I kept asking myself if Batman would really let his ‘pops kill someone to bring back his mom. Intellectually I knew DC wouldn’t let King break a rule that big, but it was done so well I really felt like maybe things were going to get crazy and a big line crossed.

When the inevitable fight between Bruce and Thomas started I actually wasn’t sure who I wanted to win, I’m still not, we were left with a cliffhanger about the result of the fight. On the one hand I want Batman to stay true to his principles, but on the other, I’d like his mom to be alive and Bruce to have his family back. Couldn’t he be happier in his personal life and still be the Dark Knight? Bruce Wayne has suffered, tremendously so, for the people of Gotham and the world at large, can’t he have some happiness? Probably not. I’m excited to see how King breaks Bruce’ heart, and my own.

The colorwork in this book!  Good lord! Ms. Bellaire is killing me with her talents. She has to be one of the best at what she does in the world right now. When I look at the art and I see how much she adds to it that the penciler didn’t put there I’m totally blown away every time.  Each separate part of the story line has its own color-scheme. While the Wayne’s are traveling to the pit its predominantly orange and yellow, when they’re climbing down into the pit it’s a moody blue, and when they reach the bottom it’s a dangerous and violent looking red. Fantastic! I’ve written this before, but I’d love to talk with her about her process and how she gets to where she’s headed.

Next issue can’t come soon enough, in the meantime, quit trying to keep your father from resurrecting your mother and go…

Read It!

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