The Clarion

Batman #40 controversy

Matt Withers, Arts Editor

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“Batman” is many things, the worlds greatest detective, the dark knight, the pinnacle of what the human race is capable of, and right now he is the star of one of my least liked comic books coming out of “DC Comics.”

Author Tom King has been working on “Batman” since the launch of DC Rebirth back in 2016, and now 40 issues in he continues to be an extremely devisive writer. Many fans cheer the changes he’s brought to the Bat, like how King portrays him as painfully human as well as his current engagement to longtime lover/enemy Selnia Kyle aka Catwoman. While others are feel that the many plot holes he leaves in his stories, as well as his robotic repetitive dialogue makes the issues feel stale and anticlimactic.

I tend to fall into the latter in this case. I see and appreciate the change that is happening to Batman as well as the growth for this character, but to get to the good stuff, you have to wade through a lot of bad.

“Batman” issue number 40 is one of the best examples of the highs and lows of Kings interruption of the dark knight.

This issue continues the story of issue 39 where Batman and Wonder Woman are stuck fighting in a alternate dimension. The two heroes agreed to take the place of an ancient warrior, named The Gentleman, who fights an endless battle so that he could take a break and visit his wife. What The Gentleman didn’t tell Bats and Diana is that every hour passes on Earth is a decade in the unnamed realm.

The last issue ended with Batman and Wonder Woman talking about if they will ever come home to their significant others as they lean in for a kiss. This sparked outrage online with critics shaming King on his poor dialogue for Wonder Woman, even prompting him to make a public apology online the day the issue came out.

This issue opens up with the two laughing about how they could never cheat on their loved ones and the rest of the book focus on the two fighting every day for about 40 years in a world where they do not age and this is where King’s strengths shine. The conversations between two friends fighting the endless hordes as well as boredom and exhaustion is spectacular.

They flow from making fun of Superman, to talking about how they miss their pets. It feels natural and beautiful and they finally touch on the whole point of their team up, Batman’s engagement to Catwoman. Dianna tells Bruce that she is proud of him for finally letting himself be happy.

Where this book falls short is in the details, it leaves you with countless questions that King either doesn’t want to answer or just doesn’t know. Who is The Gentleman, Why didn’t Batman and Wonder Woman ask any questions before taking this job, how come when they get back they act like they didn’t just live out 50 years together. It’s frustrating and only serves to hurt the overall story.

“Batman” Issue 40 is a fifty/fifty split between the bad and the good of Tom King. I would suggest you pick it up along with 39, and I hope King moves forward with the best aspects of his writing.

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Batman #40 controversy