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Batman #23 Review

Batman 23 cover

Written by Tom King

Art by Mitch Gerads

Letters by Clayton Cowles

Review by Jason Kahler

The internet is singing the praises of Batman #23. I will, too, and in fact, I will make a bold prediction.

Brace yourselves.

Batman #23 will win an Eisner Award for Best Single Issue.

This book is a delight of story and art, full of surprises from beginning to end that never feel shocking or cheap.

This issue moves away from the abstract time travel Speed Force shenanigans that were so integral to the book’s chapters of “The Button” and grounds itself in a noir-esque murder mystery.

And it doesn’t get more “grounded” than the issue’s mossy guest star, Swamp Thing.

Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing is one wise plant.

Batman and Swamp Thing make a wonderful duo. Each is comfortable with the other to the point that the two of them taking tea in Wayne Manor seems almost normal.

The art is gorgeous throughout. It feels new and retro, classic and groundbreaking, all at once.

Most importantly, though, is the snazzy cameo from everyone’s favorite member of Batman’s Rogues Gallery:

Kite Man
Kite Man!

This book manages to balance the goofiness of Kite Man and the juxtaposition of Swamp Thing hangin’ with Batman with the earnestness of Swamp Thing’s philosophy and the straight-jaw of Batman himself. A recipe well more than the sum of its parts.

Batman #23 is just a yummy little nugget of perfection. In the midst of Secret Empires and Buttons, this book is a breath of fresh (if somewhat boggy) air.


Buy it. Enjoy it. Set it aside and have the creators sign your copy at a comic book convention. It’s an award-winner.

You heard it here first.

Jason Kahler is a writer and scholar who lives in Michigan. His latest work is forthcoming in the book "How to Read and Analyze Comics" from SequArt. His poem, "After National Geographic," will soon appear in an issue of Analog…

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