Script: Tom King
Pencils/Inks: Joëlle Jones
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Batman #33 begins a new arc after King’s “War of Jokes and Riddles.” With it comes a new artist on the book, Joëlle Jones. “The Rules of Engagement” storyline follows Catwoman and Batman to the country Khadym. The two arrive via horse and aren’t very welcome. Meanwhile, back at Wayne Manor, the Robins and Duke have a little get together while Bruce is out of town. Ace the Bat-Hound fits right in with the family dynamic and Alfred looks pleased to see them all together. It’s full of fun moments, especially when Alfred brings up the proposal. Everyone in the room looks completely astounded by the revelation because it’s not what they expected.
Here’s the thing, though. Have we, the readers, expected the majority of things that King has done in his time on Batman? Probably not. At least I surely haven’t. Bruce actually settling down with Selina seems nearly impossible. Sure, he’s built up quite the team of Robins, but could King take this to a place where Bruce gives up his mantle as Batman? It feels like the options are limitless with King at the helm at this point.
Bringing it back to Jones, she does a stellar job on the pencils and inks. Her work blended with Jordie Bellaire makes for one good looking comic. The tones fit the scenes so well. Plus, it never hurts to have a dog in your comics, either. Jones draws Ace as a playful dog and he’s really only obedient to certain people. The desert scenes with Cat and Bat thrive with powerful images and the orange tone consistent throughout, which makes you feel the heat . Batman boasts a solid run up through this point and it looks like this arc just plans to keep it going.
Verdict: Buy. This one is a no-brainer for me. King is clearly having fun with this run and this new arc shows that he plans on keeping it up. Plus, there’s a nice little bit of information we get at the end that gives you a little something extra to look forward to in the coming issues.