Review: BATMAN (Vol. 3) #37
AUTHOR: John Bierly (Follow @JOHNBIERLY)
DATE: December 19, 2017

SYNOPSIS: “SUPERFRIENDS” part two! The stunning conclusion to the two-part story. Torn apart by betrayal, Batman and Superman try to find a way back to friendship, to trust. Both understand that the future of the DCU depends on this relationship; both understand that without the help of the other, their lives will fall apart. And yet, one is still the spoiled rich boy, and the other is still the naive farm boy. Men from two worlds confront each other and try to see the hope behind the madness.

Tom King hits another home run with BATMAN #37, which sends Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent on a double date to the Gotham County Fair with their lovely ladies, Selina Kyle and Lois Lane. (See issue #7 of Superman's REBIRTH title for the Kents' trip to the same fair with their super-son, Jon.) But upon arrival, they discover that it's superhero night: No costume, no admission.

Bruce wants to go someplace else.

When Lois and Selina make the observation that this particular group has costumes abound, Clark wonders aloud that it's not a terrible idea.

Bruce...still wants to go someplace else.

But The Caped Crusader caves, and file into the fair they do... with a twist. Bruce is Superman, Clark is Batman, Lois is Catwoman, and Selina is ace reporter Lois Lane. Many fun conversations follow, from how many tree kicks (in a nod to BATMAN: YEAR ONE) it takes to work off the calories from a corn dog to the science of who'd win in a batting cage and why. The rivalry between Clark and Bruce is as hilarious as the growing bond between Lois and Selina is sweet; I love the silent smile Lois gives Selina when Selina answers Lois's "Why Bruce?" question with, "When I fall, he catches me. It know. It's stupid. Does that make any sense at all?"

Will any action erupt on what's supposed to be a fun little date night? Will "Bat"-man accept the Man of Steel's challenge and live up to his name? Tom King has a blast answering those questions, and his art team is having just as much fun. Clay Mann's pencils and inks are as handsome as Jordie Bellaire's robust colors, which gorgeously pit the costumes (and the purple hues of Lois's dress) against the lights and prizes of the fair at night. Bellaire and Mann manage to make panel after panel of characters eating ice cream interesting; though the faces are repeated, letterer Clayton Cowles reframes each instance with King's words in an energetic way that freshens the flow from page to page. How long can all of this romance and happiness last? Hopefully Selina will be around for a long time, as King continues to humanize Bruce Wayne in fun and original ways without ever compromising the power of Batman. So curl up with this comic (and maybe a corn dog) and enjoy yet another incredible issue in what's already one of the greatest Batman runs of all time. - John Bierly

GRADE: A+

John Bierly still can't believe he
gets to write for BOF.
Check out JOHNBIERLY.COM to read about the other things he writes about.


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