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Batman #42 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on March 07, 2018

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Mikel Janin

Colourist: June Chung

Letterer: Clayton Cowles

 

This issue is, frankly, very nonsensical and extremely devoid of any solid direction or genuine thought. Tom King's Batman has never been my cup of tea but he somehow hits a new low with this issue. The previous issue interested me enough but here the story simply falls flat. King plays with some interesting ideas, namely having a Poison Ivy-controlled Superman follow Batman and Catwoman around the city as they do their thing. However, it just isn't enough. We don't have a cohesive, natural narrative.

 

This issue baffled me at multiple points. Firstly, and I will be delving into slight spoiler talk just to get my point across, Batman and Catwoman grab some food at Batburger. Later on, someone on the radio makes mention of the sound of rustling leaves being the number one song on the charts… for three weeks in a row. Are you kidding me? Are you telling me that Batman and Catwoman have been doing nothing for three weeks straight? While Ivy has control over literally the entire world? King throws a little bit of a curveball towards the end but it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and I doubt it will be explained in the next issue, being the final issue of the arc.

 

As seen on the cover, Batman and Catwoman are involved in some sort of altercation featuring the Justice League. I have to say that the advertising is not entirely honest, as some of the characters on the cover do not even appear in the issue despite being mentioned. You can see the Flash on the cover. This is a slight spoiler. Catwoman… singlehandedly defeats Barry Allen, Wally West, and Kid Flash in a row. There simply isn't any way to explain it. I'm sure King would say something along the lines of Ivy not being able to fully tap into their speed, but that's nonsense given what she makes a certain character do near the end of the issue, which would only be possible if Ivy was able to fully tap into said character's power.

 

Mikel Janin's art is pretty nice. He has a hard time drawing distinguishable faces, as Bruce Wayne and Superman look very much alike, as do Catwoman and Ivy. Other than that, it can be very expressive and June Chung's colouring simply adds this weird layer to the art that just brings it to life since Janin's style could look a little stiff if not properly coloured.

 

This may be one of the worst Batman issues of the last seven or eight years. The plotting is simply incompetent, the dialogue is stiff and uninspired, and whatever questions we have of the story will most definitely not be answered since we have one issue left in this mess of a story. Speak with your wallet, people. Drop this book. Stop talking about it. We need a writer change and sales are the deciding factor. Despite what you may think, you can make a difference.

Our Score:

3/10

A Look Inside