Writer: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann, Tomeu Morrey, and Clayton Cowles, Travis Charest, Scott Williams, an Jim Lee
Publisher: DC COMICS
Release Date: December 1st, 2020
Finally, Tom King resurrects the saga of Batman and Catwoman. Reverberating plot themes from King’s unique BATMAN run, this comprehensive tale is explained across three timelines and encompasses their daughter Helena as Batwoman in the process. The story opens with Bruce Wayne dead and Selina Kyle ready to finalize an old debt. Let’s dive into BATMAN/ CATWOMAN #1 by Tom King and Clay Mann while become reacquainted with Bruce, Selena, and some old flames like Andrea Beaumont.
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Normally, reviewers begin by addressing the story. Why? Well, it’s the element of a comic that gets the most talk, most attention, and top billing. However, I’m going to shoot out of the gate with BATMAN/ CATWOMAN #1 by addressing the most important element of a Tom King comic, and that’s the art. Whether be Clay Mann, Mitch Gerard, or Joëlle Jones, King knows good art. Frankly, it’s the overwhelming attraction most people have to a Tom King story. And, it’s my opinion as to why so many people loved King’s BATMAN ( or I should say BAT- CAT run).
Clay Mann is outstanding and draws one heck of a Batman, Catwoman, and Joker. The detail he brings to people, their interactions, and even their features and gestures are so realistic. Readers, it’s some of the very best in all of comics. Additionally, the way he blends King’s jumpy and almost frantic stories from different timelines is masterful. It’s because of Clay Mann that this story makes any sense at all. You see, King goes for shock and awe when writing a story but it’s Mann that brings it to life. And, the reason people love the BAT-CAT story so much is because of the romance and beauty Mann exudes through this issue, as well as King’s BATMAN run. Take Clay Mann out of King’s run and replace him with any other merely average artist and I’ll bet you dollars to donuts fans wouldn’t love this BAT-CAT storyline as much as they do.
How do I know? Easy. Look at this plot. What exactly is it? King throws random characters into his narrative with no build-up or reason other than pomp and circumstance. Little explanation, song lyrics, and simple conversation fill word balloons leaving readers to piece together empty plot threads, which clutter this inaugural installment. This should come as no surprise since this was King’s forte during his BATMAN run. But what exactly did we learn from this issue? Nothing. Can anyone really say what the plot is yet or the direction it might be going? Will there be a veggie tray? Darkseid is…
King’s story is choppy and it takes Clay Mann everything he has to piece this story together. Sprinkled between random romantic moments, King attempts to intertwine a story by throwing fan service moments at his readers. Comic fans, this is merely a bad story masked with some of the best art around and fluffed up with bells and whistles. But, there is no story here. Just a ton of fanfare for BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and the BAT-CAT relationship groomed so well in King’s own BATMAN run. But how does any of this connect to continuity? Since it’s DC BLACK LABEL and essentially a sequel to his own run, does it stand to reason that King’s entire run is NOT in continuity? If so, all of this, as well as his run, is a much better pill to swallow. Simply put: if you’re a Tom King fan, this is in your wheelhouse. If you’re specifically a BAT-CAT fan, this is totally in your apartment complex. Heck, if you’re a BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES fan, this also may be right up your back alley. Otherwise, you may want to steer clear of this. Personally, my score hangs its merit solely on the outstanding work of Clay Mann! Come on over to Marvel buddy. I think we can find you some work.
If you’re interested in BATMAN/ CATWOMAN #1, click HERE to get a copy! If you’re really interested in this upcoming run, click HERE for more back issues and trades of Tom King’s BATMAN run which leads right into this. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.
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