Comic Book of the Week: Batman #20

Since DC’s Rebirth launch last summer, the Batman books across the board have been consistently great. James Tynion’s Detective Comics, Scott Snyder’s All-Star Batman, and Tom King’s Batman with artist David Finch are fantastic books. I tend to go back and forth from month-to-month on All-Star Batman or Tom King’s Batman being my favorite Bat book, but this week “The Comic of the Week” has to be Tom King’s Batman #20.

This is the final chapter in the excellent “I Am Bane” story arc and though it wasn’t necessarily the strongest chapter in the series, it was still a satisfying and powerful ending to the arc. I’ve never been a huge fan of David Finch’s art but he’s really winning me over on this book. His work here was phenomenal, especially when it came to the brutal final fight between Batman and Bane. His line work on both of these imposing figures really stood out as well.

It also didn’t  hurt to have a reminder what complete and utter badass Batman is. As illustrated in the pages below:

C’MON! How fucking sick is that?!

King also took some time to emphasize a part of Batman’s psychology that isn’t focused on enough. I think I first noticed this during Grant Morrison’s classic JLA run, where he put forth the idea that Batman only wants people to think he’s driven by vengeance and rage, but it’s a facade. In reality, he does what he does because he doesn’t want to see what happened to him happen to anyone else, ever again. He knows that’s an impossible mission, but he’ll still try to help in anyway he can. That’s what makes him a hero. It’s empathy not anger that drives Batman and Tom King emphasize this really well in his script.

I think there is going to be an epilogue chapter in this story, which is definitely needed to wrap up some of the loose ends of this arc, but I’m really looking forward to the next storyline “The War of Jokes and Riddles”. Which is apparently an epic story taking place shortly after Zero Year where Batman has to contend with a war between The Joker and The Riddler. If King’s work on this book is anything to go by, this should be something to look forward to.

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