Pencils Clay Mann
Inks Clay Mann & Seth Mann
Colorist Tomeu Morey
Letterer Clayton Cowles
Cover Tony S. Daniel & Morey
Variant Cover Mann & Morey
What an incredible testament to good writing this issue was. Just as in the last issue, this was a book filled with Batman and Catwoman being together, talking, loving, and reminiscing about their shared history. As far as moving the story arc forward, again, not much happened in this issue, just as in the last. However, as much as I liked the last issue, and I loved it, this one was even better.
Writer Tom King had much going on between Bruce and Selina that resonated with me. At one point I was starting to feel like I may have need to procure my own fainting couch, or perhaps, not take comics quite so seriously. The way Mr. King wove Bat and Cat discussing how they first met into their current troubles, and then had them come to closure and reach a new, even better, understanding of their love and respect for each other was, I have to be honest, intense. By the time I finished reading the book, for a second time, I had that feeling I get after a world upending, possible relationship ending, argument with my wife. An argument that, by the time all is said and done, we’re even stronger than we were before, for having it. What a good job Mr. King is doing, thank you sir!
A story this intense calls for art that won’t buckle under the weight of its writing, thankfully artist Clay Mann was as much up to the task as he was in the last issue. Everything nice I said about his work on the last book is true in this one as well, only better. I took my time to enjoy Mr. Mann’s work, even more so than last time. As I write these words I’ve found myself constantly distracted by what I can only describe as sequential art done by a master. A master who has taken it upon himself to demonstrate what is possible by one with not only talent, but one who has dedicated countless hours to putting in the work necessary to perfecting their craft. Art is subjective, I can understand if you don’t like this man’s style, but only someone without eyes, or a soul, could say this work is the result of middling talent.
There are many panels that are beautiful in this book, all of them are actually, however, there are two I can’t get out of my mind. The first is of Bruce and Selina lying in bed, Bruce leaning over Selina with his weight on his left arm, his right arm over Selina’s belly. Selina has her left arm atop Bruce’s right arm, her hand lightly gripping Bruce as they both look into each other’s eyes. The only words spoken in the panel are, “So beautiful.” Those words couldn’t be more correct in any context you choose to take when seeing this image. The second panel I can’t get out of my mind is a full page showing Batman and Catwoman standing before a full moon, Batman facing us the readers, Catwoman with her back towards us, looking over her shoulder, with the chain of a piece of jewelry dangling from the fist that tightly grasps it. Wow!
Colorist Tomeu Morey’s efforts were satisfying and settled into, and atop, Clay Mann’s pencils like they were there to begin with. I don’t have a fancier way of saying what I felt while reading the book, so I’ll just type it out verbatim: This colorist is so good! Mr. Morey knows how to lock in the mood of a scene or action with his palette choices, while at the same time leaving the art better than it was before he got there. I loved what he added to the scene that took place in the cabana that Batman and Catwoman were living in on the beach, as good as the pencilwork that he was coloring was, his colorwork added the emotion that brought the art to that special place you go to when a books writing and art come together, perfectly. Loved it!
Batman, issues seventy-eight and seventy-nine, were so good that I almost don’t want to ruin them by reading the next Batman, as silly as that sounds. I’m sure the next issues will be fun and very good, but there was something special, to me, about these last two.
After you and your lover are exhausted by carefree days on the beach and long nights that were over much too quickly, take a break with this book and…