Writer: Tom King
Artist: Clay Mann
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Bane has taken over Gotham city with Thomas Wayne being the new Dark Knight. Wrapped up in the year of the villain event, basically the entirety of Batman’s rogues now control Gotham. It is a really interesting concept and one that has been an interesting look into a new status quo for the title. Bruce Wayne has been healing slowly with the help of Selina Kyle, in what looks like some sort of island paradise. This comic focuses solely on the Bat and Cat dynamic rather than the City of Bane.
The story here is simple. The reader sees a newly rejoined Batman and Catwoman as they discuss their failed wedding, and therefore relationship. They spend their time on a tropical paradise kayaking and relaxing on the beach. Really that is all there is to this story. While it is a look into their relationship it is all ground that has been covered in the comic before. Catwoman left Batman because she was afraid he’d give up the cowl for her, and she didn’t want a world without Batman.
I was always on the side of having Batman stay a Bachelor. That was until Tom King really sold the idea of Batman and Catwoman’s romance and made it believable and essential to the character. No longer was it a silly game of cat and mouse played out in cheesy story lines, it now read and felt like real love. The problem with this story is Tom King already sold it, he doesn’t need another issue of Batman and Catwoman fawning over each other. Everything in this issue has already been explained, and therefore it is just plain boring. I don’t need another comic of Batman and Catwoman saying “Bat…..” “Cat…..” longingly at each other. Tom King even had an entire Knightmares arc (which I loved) that really got into Bruce Wayne’s psyche and explained their relationship in a much more creatively fulfilling way. This is a romance comic through and through, and not a good one at that. There is something to be said about beating a dead horse and tiring the reader out, and this comic may have made me careless about their relationship than before. I get that Tom King has a tendency to write characters who are madly in love (Vision and Miracle Man) but he has been far more interesting with playing out these love stories than he has here. Knowing he can do better with this kind of material makes it all the more heartbreaking to read.
Clay Mann loves drawing sexy people and he gets his opportunity to here. This issue is full of pin up after pin up. He also doesn’t shy away from drawing Bruce Wayne as sexually suggestive as he does Selina Kyle, which is far better than his work on Heroes in Crisis. For the material he was given it does work, as it is as cheesecake as the dialogue. There is really nothing wrong with his art here is just doesn’t elevate the story, it just services it.