Writer: Tom King
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Klaus Johnson
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Clayton Cowles
The Bat and Cat have returned to Gotham, and they are stronger together. Tom King’s 80 issues thus far have been an emotional roller coaster. His story so far has beaten Batman mentally, physically, emotionally and has tested him in every way possible. Bruce is back with a renewed sense of purpose, and the desire to save his city and family from Bane and his father Thomas.
Some people will be tempted to call #80 a filler issue, but there’s plenty going on here if you know what to look for. King follows two threads in this book. Bruce and Selina fighting their way through Gotham and what Thomas Wayne is up to. King shows us that Batman is no longer weak and beaten down, but instead confident and ready to do what needs to be done. King also fills us in on what the current condition of Gotham Girl is. I really appreciated the pacing of this issue. It read like one fluid motion that plainly laid out what the stakes are. Pay close attention to what Thomas Wayne is saying when he’s talking to Gotham Girl. I have a feeling that’s going to payoff later.
Bruce clearly doesn’t know about Alfred yet (I think it’s clayface, and refuse to accept anything else), because if he did we would’ve seen a very different sort of justice in these pages. Tom King has a knack for including amazing artists on his books and he struck gold with his latest addition. I’m of course referring to the legendary John Romita Jr. I grew up with his Spider-Man and art and was thrilled to see him on this book. His signature style is full of energy and tons of details. I encourage you to go back and review this book panel by panel. You will notice that every panel has a more detailed background than you would’ve noticed in your first passing. Romita Jr. was the perfect choice for this issue. No one does rain better than him. The scene between Batman and Hush was absolute perfection.
Speaking of perfection, I need to make sure that Tomeu Morrey receives credit for his amazing colors. The background of that same Batman/Hush scene was incredible in large part due to Morrey’s blend of colors. Tom King and team did a great job from start to finish. The stage has been set and we have five issues left after this one to see how it all ends. If I had to guess…Bane is going to have a bad time.