Batman/Catwoman #1: A Review
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann
Colors by: Tomeu Morey
Lettering by: Clayton Cowles
Tom King makes his return to Batman with his new limited series Batman/Catwoman. Tom King who wrote 85 issues of the 2016 Batman run reunites with artist Clay Mann. The two previously worked on the limited series Heroes in Crisis.
Who knows how exactly Tom King would have actually ended his 100 issue run, but this is as close as we’re going to get to finding out. His Batman run was a bit divisive with audiences. The storytelling was different and unconventional with his Batman, and the mishandling of Batman and Catwoman’s marriage rubbed some people the wrong way(myself included). In retrospect it was probably an editorial decision. I look back at his run with mixed emotions, when the highs were there they were amazing, but the lows often found me frustrated.
I think most of my frustration lies with how amazing of a writer Tom King is. I can honestly recommend all of his mini-series. Especially his two ongoings Rorschach and Strange Adventures. Mister Miracle was bomb too.
Now if you’re still with me(and I hope that you are) I have to say that I loved this issue. To me it show how good Tom King is when he’s firing on all cylinders. The art and writing give off the vibe of an epic when told. It’s too early to tell but when this is all said and done I hope that I can look back and put it with my other Tom King favorites.
The first chapter “Silent Night” takes place over three different timelines. We have one in the future following an older Catwoman, one in the present where Batman and Catwoman search for a missing child, and one in the past at the beginning of their relationship. This book seems to be centered upon four major players: Batman, Catwoman, The Joker, and a surprising appearance of Andrea Beaumont.
Don’t know who that is? That’s fair. I won’t go on a rant about how you should immediately go watch Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, but you should really watch Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
The 1993 animated film tells the tale of Bruce Wayne’s first love, the first woman who almost made him hang up the cowl. Before they can get married she disappears leaving Bruce even sadder than he already is. Years later she reappears alongside a mysterious villain, The Phantasm. The Phantasm goes on a rampage killing mobsters and eventually has their eyes set on The Joker. It’s revealed that The Phantasm is actually Andrea out for revenge over her dead father. Things happen and it seems like Joker and Andrea kill each other. No bodies were found, but she’s assumed dead.
Seriously go watch the movie, it’s so good. Back to the comic.
So Andrea Beaumont hasn’t been seen in comics, like ever(at least to my knowledge), so if you want to know her backstory I recommend watching the film. But yeah, she returns to Wayne Manor in the current timeline seeking Bruce’s help. Her son is missing, he went to Gotham looking for his father(unnamed), and she hasn’t heard from him since.
Batman he agrees to look. So Batman and Catwoman shake up the underworld in search of him.
The two other timelines don’t really focus on Batman. They center on the other two players. Catwoman and Joker. In the past it seems that a calmer Joker and Catwoman are almost friends? Acquaintances? Unclear, but they have a conversation on their mutual love, that being Batman. The scenes with these two have amazing dialogue, and features The Joker’s flyest outfit ever.
Like seriously he should wear it all the time.
In the future timeline Selina catches up with an old friend. Let’s just leave it at that.
Without giving too much away the issue ends on a sense of foreboding. The end of each timeline hints at a consequence that I can’t wait to see the payoff for.
I haven’t mentioned it much but Clay Mann is so so so fucking good. His art is incredible. His expressions and motion are incredible. I want him to draw everything. He helps keep a wonderful pace in the story.
I highly recommend this issue. It needs a re-read to wrap your head around it, but I loved it. Add it to your pull-list. I can’t wait to see how this story plays out.
If you want to hear more of our thoughts, in a sillier manner check out our most recent episode.