Friday, February 2, 2018

Tom King's Batman...some early thoughts

SYSTEM: Any

Early for me, of course. I've been reading the comic for all of four issues; I hadn't read much of Morrison's run, nor any of Snyder's run, for financial reasons. But there was all this buzz about the Superman/Batman issues, and I'm in a slightly better state (enough that I can plunk down $10 Canadian a month for comics), so I got myself a subscription. Now I've read issues 36-39, and three of those are titled as the same story arc ("Superfriends").

So these are early impressions about what might be an atypical quartet of issues...and maybe some connections to superhero roleplaying.

And yeah, there are spoilers here. I'm not trying to avoid them.

First of all, though fights happen in every issue, they're incidental to the story. Actually fighting with Double-X takes up, what, four panels? There's a fair amount of beating-people-up in issues 36 and 39, but there's no suspense about how it's going to turn out. If Batman gets in a fight, the bad guys lose. Heck, he even competes against Superman in issue 37, (although in that case, there's some doubt as to who will win).

I feel kind of odd about that. I yearned for it to happen in a superhero comic, and now I feel kind of conflicted that it has happened. (Actually, Astro City at least got there first. But this is Batman, and it's not what I expect from Batman, or expect only, say, 10% of the time.)

The current issue (with Wonder Woman, continuing the Super-Friends storyline) certainly also sees a lot of fighting and it's necessary to the setting but the story being told involves them winning the fight. (Well, "winning" is probably the wrong word.)

(Actually, the mechanics of it confuse me. The fighting dimension is the gateway to our world, but it can only be opened from our world. So why not leave it to the bad guys? It's possible to open from that side but we don't know how? It might be possible, and if they take over the dimension, they'll have a long, long time to figure it out? Not quite sure.)

So far, though, it's an interesting enough ride to keep on. The single issue story ("The Origin of Bruce Wayne") was creepy enough and certainly plays on all the, well, creepy parts of the Batman mythology, as well as reflecting on Bruce Wayne's part of the story. To me it seems clear that Batman and Bruce are equal parts of the character here, even though we haven't officially seen much Bruce stuff.

Interesting reads, anyway. I'll stick with it until the Annual, anyway. We'll see if the marriage actually happens.