Writer: Tom King
Pencils + Ink: David Finch
Colors: Jordan Bellaire
Letters: David Finch, Jordan Bellaire, Danny Miki
Batman #16 will make you laugh and scream as Tom King starts a new chapter for Gotham’s favorite son.
After suffering a backbreaking loss at the hands of the Dark Knight on his own home turf, Bane is coming to Gotham with malicious intent. He’s coming for vengeance, he’s coming for blood, and he’s coming for the Psycho Pirate. For the second arc in a row, this emotion manipulating McGuffin is front and center as Bane needs him to ease the pain of his Venom withdrawals while Batman has to play keep-away for five days in order to properly reverse the damage done to Gotham Girl back in the first arc. That, and Bat-family has a hilariously jarring trip to Bat-Burger.
I could start off by talking about how well King is at plotting. I could talk about how I love the tension that stems from the five day set-up of the arc, the shocking final page, or how well King interweaves all the on-going plot threads he established into an epically intricate tapestry. All of that’s here but instead, I’m going to talk about Bat-Burger.
You’ve probably seen the panels posted all over the place about ole’ Bat-ears spending a day with three-fourths of the Robins at Gotham’s version of McDonalds but that doesn’t make it any less glorious. You got Dick being the big brother, Jason and Damian are fighting over the Happy Meal toy, Duke’s flabbergasted at what he’s seeing, and Bruce’s is eating the burger with a fork and knife. It’s phenomenal. And there’s jokerized fries. I’ve spent the better part of my life following the exploits of the Dark Knight and this GOAT material.
Hilarious, unforgettable, and poignant, these scenes are not only entertaining but go a long in upping the tension for the story and makes the final page all the more climatic. That’s a key strength that King has brought to all of his Batman stories so far. There are few writers today that can manipulate the audience with script the way King does. I was laughing the whole time as King was laying down his exposition and finding just the right angle to punch you in the throat. It’s phenomenal and I can’t wait for the next issue.
David Finch is on the pencils and inks and proves once again how well-versed of a storyteller he is. The opening sequence is rife with visual cues and tension and rereading the Bat-Burger scene will yield new jokes each time. He’s the perfect match for King’s script and while the issue was exposition heavy, he still finds a way to make people just talking exciting and engaging. It’s the mark of a true pro.
Batman goes to McDonalds with most of the Robins. This issue is going to be a collector’s item someday. Make sure you buy extra copies.