Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
To say the very least Batman and Catwoman have a long and complicated relationship. It depends on what era you came to the Batman comic to the level of this relationship but in the modern era the sexual tension between the two can be cut with a knife. With the New 52 there was some controversy with the sexual relationship between the two in the pages of Catwoman but with Rebirth the status quo on their relationship is a little murky, that is until Batman #14.
Tom King’s run on Batman has been somewhat divisive amongst Batman fans, especially those who came to the book due to the Snyder & Capullo run. But I feel that King finally found Batman’s voice with the ‘I am Suicide’ arc that wrapped in Batman #13 and there is a lot of promise going forward. The crux of ‘I am Suicide’ was Batman constructed his own Suicide Squad to kidnap Psycho Pirate from Bane. Amongst his team was Catwoman, who would participate as long as her death sentence was commuted to life. I honestly was lost as to why Catwoman was on death row but it’s not necessary to follow the story. As Batman #14 opens we find out that Batman is a man of his word and Catwoman is no longer on Death Row and will serve a life sentence without a possibility of parole. She has one night left before Batman must turn her over to the authorities. So what do you do with a final night? Date night of course. What does a date night mean in Batman’s universe? Taking down costumed criminals of course.
Batman #14 was a lot of fun. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the issue since it is such a dark book and I was expecting a dark tale. But Batman #14 anything but a dark tale, it is actually a lighthearted romp as Batman and Catwoman try to have some alone time, but it’s Gotham so they are continually answering the Bat Signal. It’s a simple premise but King writes an entertaining tale yet a lot of the pacing and humor lies in the artwork of Mitch Gerads. This was a dark tale and by that I mean it takes place on a beautiful Gotham night with a star filled sky and the colors are mixture of black, blue, and grays but it works wonderfully with the theme of the issue. Mitch Gerads does every bit of the art on this issue (Pencils, Inks, & Colors) and knocks it out of the ballpark. I have not seen a lot of his art before but I can comfortably say he was born to draw Batman. His work is dark yet expressive. Moody but dynamic and Gerads is an artist who can do so much with a facial expression, freeing the writer from overwriting. The King & Gerads combination is a wonderful duo and I even purchased the Sheriff of Babylon to see more of it. I’m glad that this is a two part tale as I look forward to the second part and see how this night concludes.
Verdict: Buy! If you jumped off of Batman when King took over jump back on as the book is really starting to find its stride again. The last arc, I am Suicide, was very enjoyable and Batman #14 continues the quality. Tom King is doing a nice job crafting the Dark Knight’s tales and Mitch Gerads art works perfectly with this issue and hopefully he has a return engagement booked for Batman as I would like to see his art grace Batman again.