This weeks captivating cover celebrates an astonishing 800 issues of Batman! For those not especially versed in comic-book lore, allow me to elucidate that even though this magnificent milestone in the Caped Crusader’s long and tumultuous history as Gotham’s very own grim guardian is a significant landmark, he has actually been the titular star of its sister comic “Detective” for an even more astounding 942 issues, since his first appearance in the May 1939 issue of Detective Comics #27!
Batman Rebirth #35 is the lucky recipient of the honour of the 800 issues award, and finds the two most significant women in the Dark Knight’s life duelling for his affections, as Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman, and the daughter of the demon – Talia Al Ghul face off in a splendidly savage sword fight.
As a background for why these two classic characters would be crossing blades for the intimate endearment of the pointy eared vigilante, their actual romantic entanglement with Batman spans many, many decades in the comics.
Bruce Wayne and Talia (daughter of Batsy’s nemeses – R’as Al Ghul) produced a son together (Damian Wayne, the current holder of the title of The Boy Wonder – Robin) and have a long and convoluted fervid history. Though, even their lengthy and tumultuous relations is eclipsed by Bruce and Selina’s even more protractedly intimate involvement. As a testament to the Bat and the Cat’s everlasting dalliance, Bruce recently proposed to Selina, and the two costumed creations are now seemingly on a one way trip to marital bliss (and most probably, considering this is the world of The Baman – conflict and contention.)
“Part three of “Dream Of Me” finds the Dark Knight past the point of no return. It turns out he’s definitely going to need a little help from his friends, but this help comes with a significant downside: Batman’s true intentions will ultimately be exposed!”
Writer Tom King once again proves his worth as one of DC’s greatest current creators with yet another fantastic issue, he is a sensational scribe of almost unparalleled level, and I for one would be more than happy if he continued to write Batman’s ongoing quest for revenge and redemption forevermore! Interior art by Joelle Jones is also great, with the sword fight between Selina and Talia being a particular highlight, flowing beautifully with King’s concurrent dialogue.
Batman Rebirth #35 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now.
Tom King is without a doubt the most fitting writer currently working in comics today to take on the legend that is Mister Miracle, not just because he’s a scribe of almost unparalleled talent, but his surname ably pairs him with Miracle’s genius creator – Jack ‘The King’ Kirby!
To honour the the 100th anniversary since Jack Kirby’s birth, DC Comics along with aforementioned writer Tom King, and artist Mitch Gerads are reuniting us with one of Kirby’s most beloved and successful creations – super escape artist Mister Miracle, in a 12 part maxi-series that also features The New Gods from DC’s Fourth World Saga – which is widely hailed as being one of the sources that classic sci-fi movie Star Wars was inspired by.
Jack Kirby was an American comic book artist and writer who is one of the most influential and innovative personalities in the medium. Aside from Mister Miracle and The New Gods for DC Comics, Kirby also created such iconic characters as – Silver Surfer, The Avengers, Fantastic Four, Captain America, X Men and many, many other too numerous to mention.
Kirby initially was a Marvel stalwart, creating, illustrating and writing a myriad of storylines for the publishing giant, his titles always had high sales and even higher praise, but behind the scenes a different picture was being painted. Kirby felt he was being unfairly treated by Marvel, his perception was that he was seen more as a writer/artist for hire by the company as opposed to one of it’s foremost creators and innovators, and in response in 1970, he left Marvel and joined its arch-rival DC Comics.
Signing a three year contract with DC Comics Kirby created some of his most memorable characters, from The New Gods, Etrigan and The Forever People, through DC’s big bad – Darkseid and of course – Scott Free (the perfect moniker, let’s be honest) better known as Mister Miracle, the super escape artist whose creation could almost be seen as the perfect allegory for Kirby’s flight from Marvel to DC, breaking the shackles of previous employment to forge new horizons.
Miracle has been a popular character for DC since his inception, with a slew of ongoing and mini-series, and was an exceedingly welcome addition to the ranks of The Justice League (alongside his wife – Big Barda, which is a whole other post we can’t wait to get to!), during the excellent Keith Giffen and J.M DeMatteis late eighties entry of the World’s Greatest Superhero team-up.
The much anticipated return of Scott Free is, thankfully, not only been worth the torturous wait but manages to exceed all expectations with a fantastically written tale that gives us a very much grounded portrait of a Superhero, a quirky yet flawed individual who is ultimately struggling to find his raison d’etre.
As fantastic as the writing is, the art by Gerads is definitely no slouch in comparison, in fact it’s superb! Gerads is an extremely flexible penciller which shines through in his art in this first issue, which at times evokes an almost pitch perfect Kirby-esque feel in the art style.
Mister Miracle #1 is a must buy, featuring one of Jack Kirby’s (definitely my favourite) greatest creations,and a first rate creative team who bring us a powerfully emotional tale that entices you in and holds you entranced until the final page… dammit why isn’t issue 2 out yet!?
The Bat, The Cat… And Wedding Bells!
Where exactly do Superheroes get married anyway?… mmmmmm, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, and this week our splendiferous spotlight of excellence falls upon Batman Rebirth #24. This illustriously illustrated issue is brought to you by those ceaseless composers of comic-book craft – Tom King, Danny Miki and David Finch.
Writer Tom King sure knows how to weave a compelling tale or two, it has to be said, his run on the the Rebirth Batman title has been nothing less than astonishing. His prodigious writing talents run the gamut of horror, thriller, good old fashioned heroics and comedy… narrative-wise, he really is the King (pun most definitely intended!)
Batman #24 is an emotionally charged issue from beginning through to emotive end, the Bat, the Cat and wedding bells? it’s certainly a possibility as Gotham’s grim guardian sensationally gets down on one knee to propose to the feisty feline felon known as Catwoman. So will this mean a happy denouement to the trials and tribulations of the dark and scary one’s overtly complicated and melancholic life? Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold your breath, this is the Batman we’re talking about here, when has his life ever involved anything more than tragedy and vicissitude.
“Aftermath!” Gotham City is at peace… but a war is coming. Armed with the terrifying knowledge gained from the mysterious button, Batman must prepare for the coming storm by making a proposition to one of his enemies… one that may change everything for the Dark Knight and his allies.”
Batman #24 is available at your local comic book emporium right now.