BATMAN ANNUAL #2
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Michael Lark & Lee Weeks
Colored by: Elizabeth Breitweiser & June Chung
I’m not crying, you’re crying. The sentimental tear-jerker of a Batman/Catwoman romance novel of a comic is here in the form of Batman Annual #2. Written by Tom King in the middle of his Bat-Cat engagement tale, this annual tells the complete story of two masked loners falling in love.
I should start with the fact that even as predictable as this love story is, it has lots of heart and tons of charm. Alfred is particularly funny throughout this issue. The art by Lee Weeks and Michael Lark, Weeks especially, is noir-ish and kinetic. The lines have the feel of old time Batman and captures an era of the Bat’s early Catwoman chasings. Opening with Catwoman stealing the batmobile and crashing it into Porky Pig’s bar is a hilarious callback to the Batman/Elmer Fudd comic from earlier this year which was also produced by the team of King/Weeks.
From there the story unfolds in a sequence of Catwoman breaking into Wayne Manor two times, teasing Bruce, leaving mice behind, and ultimately besting him. Now I’m not sure this is how it would go down in my mind, but the reveal of the true reason these two love each is touching, it all comes down to their lonely & lost childhoods…of course it does. Anyway, as Catwoman continues to test Batman the two wind up in loving embraces and word bubbles. Catwoman wants Batman to be “better” so she is challenging his heart.
The conclusion of this story is the part where sentimental sappy ol’ me can’t keep it together. Lovers into old age, Batman and Catwoman share the twilight years as death creeps up on Bruce Wayne. The dialog does garner a smirk or two when Bruce tells Selina to have Barry (aka the Flash) bring her a strong, healthy Batman from another area of the multiverse. The final page brings us back to the batmobile. Batman has passed, but with one last final word for his soul mate Selina Kyle…cue the big Hollywood music and end credits. Clear your throats and dry your eyes! So, this Batman comic will not be for anyone who wants bloody fights, action, adventure, or killer crocs, but it has a lovely Tom King version of Bat/Cat romance that will be enjoyed by a certain type of reader.