SYNOPSIS: “Aftermath”! Gotham City is at peace…but a war is coming. Armed with the terrifying knowledge gained from the mysterious button, Batman prepares for the coming storm by making a proposition to one of his enemies—one that will change everything for the Dark Knight and his allies!
BATMAN #24 is a great, great, great issue.
Writer Tom King and an on-fire art team alternate between a daytime Batman/Gotham Girl rumination on being a hero (drawn by Clay & Seth Mann) and a nighttime Catwoman/Batman pursuit (by David Finch) that culminates in a way that might have felt gimmicky in any other story. But if you've been reading King's run from the start, I hope it feels as earned to you as it does to me.
"Rebirth" BATMAN has been one of the most consistently beautiful books on the market regardless of who's doing the art, and this issue really benefits from the two-artist approach. I love the daytime stuff by Mann & Mann, especially; colorist Jordie Bellaire blasts a magnificent sun through the detailed spires of a radio tower bristling with dishes, aerials, and antennae, and I love the subtle glow that soaks the buildings below. Even the grays and blues of Gotham Girl's costume, set beneath her shock of sandy blonde hair, look bright against Bellaire's much darker Batman. It's as if not even the sun can find him, and the inks do a perfect job of making him seem weathered against her vigor and verve.
Danny Miki inks Finch's nighttime scenes, which Bellaire brings alive with neon signs around the edges and alleys. But for the big finale, Bellaire turns the lights down, and the result is absolute perfection. Batman looks so rightfully wrong during the day, but he always looks right at night, and there's a reaction shot Finch draws of Selina that's particularly superb.
King's script is as big a winner as the artwork. I love seeing Bruce this loose; it's especially apparent in his long talk with Gotham Girl. He's honest with her. He's honest with himself. And he's really, really, really honest with Selina.
The only problem with this issue is that it won't be continued for a while; #25 kicks off eight issues of "The War of Jokes and Riddles," which occurs in the past anyway. At least it'll give King time to figure out how to resolve the whammy he closes this one out with. - John Bierly
John Bierly still can't believe he gets to write for BOF.
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