Week Opinions: Batman #12
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mikel Janin
Tom King’s time on Batman so far has been very interesting to say the least. In his first arc “I Am Gotham” he created a Superman style sibling team: one he killed and the other he incapacitated. He followed this up with “Night of the Monster Men”, a crossover with Detective Comics and Nightwing in which the bat family fought and bested grotesque kaiju created by Hugo Strange. Now, in “I Am Suicide”, Batman has created his own Suicide Squad of Catwoman, The Ventriloquist, and a few lesser known villains to infiltrate Santa Prisca, the fortress of Bane. What landed Catwoman in Arkham to enable her to be on a Suicide Squad? According to King, SHE KILLED 237 PEOPLE! In an earlier issue, a letter from Catwoman to Batman explaining herself was used as the narration of the story. Issue 12 gives us Batman’s response, in which King adds a major detail to Bruce’s origin that is sure to divide readers. With all of the challenging creative choices King has made with this book, this can be a difficult series for classic Batman fans and newcomers alike.
Regardless of your thoughts on the story, Janin’s art is breathtaking. Except for Batman’s letter, the entire story is told through incredibly detailed double page spreads. From a top down shot of Batman scaling the exterior of the fortress to a progressive spread of him punching a path through passageways choked with henchmen, there is a grace and fluidity to the art that leads the eye and lays out a compelling step forward to the arc without a word of dialogue to push it along. Janin uses a master’s touch in this issue that deserves to be seen whether you’re interested in this tale or not.