Batman #49 Review - by Robbie Rowe
4 out of 5
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mikel Janin
Batman #49 Review
When it comes to relationships between Batman and his villains, there are a great many that’re important, or significant. The relationships get explored again and again, in animated shows, videogames, films and, of course, comics. Whether it’s Batman and Mr Freeze, or the Caped Crusader and Ra’s Al Ghul. Batman and Penguin, or Batman and the Riddler.
With the Dark Knight and Penguin, it’s like it’s him facing a scarier, more grotesque version of himself. Who he could’ve been if not for Alfred Pennyworth, or the right temperament, the right decisions made. Mr Freeze shares a lot of similarities with him in that they’re both men of tragedy, trying to do the right thing by someone else, but often hurting a number of people in the process.
One hero/villain relationships that I’d say is most often explored would be between Batman and the Joker. It’s been explored by Justice League writer Scott Snyder, by The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan and at length in the 90s and 00s with Batman: The Animated Series. This issue, though, there’s a major difference.
Instead of Batman fighting the Joker, or the two of them talking, arguing, for most of the issue, it’s Batman’s fiancée Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Joker. Early on, it’s more of a fight, but for the rest and indeed most of the issue, it’s just the two of them talking.
Talking about their relationship with Batman, why Catwoman didn’t laugh over the years, fighting Batman, unlike someone like Joker. Selina telling Joker a really funny alphabet joke that’s well worth a read J They talk about Penguin, Two-Face, a lot of them. There’s even a darkly funny exchange about one of them trying to kill the other.
The art and indeed writing might not be to everyone’s taste, but I really liked it. Catwoman was beautiful, the Joker was creepy. I also felt there was a lot of expressiveness to Joker’s face and Catwoman’s, as well as a lot of vibrancy to the surroundings and more.
The issue made me laugh, feel sad, scared and surprised. By the end of the issue, I was confused, surprised and disturbed. I’d personally be delighted to see writer Tom King continue to write the Joker, especially with how well he’s written him here, last issue and in the recent DC Nation #0.
I highly recommend the issue, especially if you want more to do with Bruce Wayne, Selina, or Joker before the Bat/Cat wedding next issue, or if you’re interested in a very, very different issue of Batman.