Batman #36 Review
Adult friendships are a mysterious equation in the world of superheroes. We readers take for granted the mundanity that yes, Batman and Superman are actually, at this point, lifelong friends and that minor bit of biography has only been a side note to their adventures in a majority of their tales. Writer Tom King explodes this notion in Batman #36.
In part one of “Superfriends” a semi-realistic discussion between two of DC’s power couples, Bat/Cat & Lois/Clark, King offers up in mirror formation, a near rom-com. The mystery villain and action scenes really don’t matter in this comic. King is exploring how Batman and Superman might react to Bruce Wayne’s proposal to Selina Kyle and the (kinda) funny idea of which hero should call who to talk about what it all means.
Of course the two better halves, Selina and Lois, try to understand why the two heroes are so proud and why they haven’t yet discussed the big Bat life event. Superman thinks Bruce should call him to talk. The opposite is true on the Gotham side of the coin. Ultimately the two women try to talk some sense into their two dumb men. Batman evades the questioning hilariously claiming that Superman isn’t even one of his close friends and that Jim Gordon somehow is closer to him, despite not even knowing his name is Bruce Wayne. Superman also sort of dodges Lois. Batman and Superman try to keep focused on the case they’re working while Selina and Lois continue to try to break their stubborn men.
The final pages have an excellently paced, 8 panel layout, where the two couples go over why the opposing hero shouldn’t even care what the other thinks all during a supposed meet up with the villains (what would normally be the big action). Bruce describes Superman in idealized terminology from his Kryptonian roots to his true hopeful humanity and essential goodness. Superman tells Lois how Bruce should be, but somehow isn’t exactly, a psychotic wreck having had his parents and their love ripped away from him so cruelly. The writing and art during sequence sold me on this book. Simply wonderful.
As the duos reach their final destination (turns out it’s the same place – ha ha ha!), Superman concludes that since Batman didn’t call him to discuss his engagement that really must mean they are not true friends and that Bruce doesn’t need him in his life. Batman concludes that Superman is a God who doesn’t even need him around. Awkward hallway encounter ensues with Lois breaking the ice, before POW! WHAM! heroic take down of bad guys without breaking sweats…Superman has the last line…I wont ruin it here, but this is a TV script right?? Yucks & chuckles…a pinch of heart & emotion and what ya have is a really great read.
Again, Tom King’s Batman isn’t exactly for everyone and I haven’t liked most of this run so far, but this issue is pretty great. Clay Mann’s art is superb throughout, the colors look perfect and the whole ride is written with sweet intelligence. I’m shocked that post-engagement Batman has been such a pleasure to read, but here we are…