Batman #56 Review

Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Tony S. Daniel and Danny Miki
Colors by Tomeu Morey

Last issue Tony Daniel triumphantly returned to Batman and waved his wand with great aplomb to deliver a stunningly beautiful issue and thankfully issue #56 is no different. His pencil work is so purposeful and so detailed, it’s distractingly good to the point where you can become completely aloof to the story. The art highlights from this issue are a couple of splash pages when Bruce is in the Batcave with Alfred and later on when Bruce is trudging through the snow at night, but the rest sets a pretty high bar too.

Daniel is ably assisted by Danny Miki and Tomeu Morey on inks and colors respectively, just as they did last issue, and that continuity of style allows you to get comfortable very quickly. Daniel and Miki’s inks are crisp and purposeful with just the right amount of outline. Morey, one of DC’s most experienced colorists, delivers a lovely set of moods throughout the issue as we jump from the warm tones of an illuminated Batcave to the cool blue streets, back to the warm tones of KGBeast’s father’s mountain shack and then back again to the frigid blue and grey snowy mountains of remote Russia.

It must be said that during the entire Batman Rebirth run there never seems to be any need for a debate about the quality of the art because it’s always so good. As you have surely already surmised, this is still the case with the current arc. Daniel’s last issue next fortnight will be bittersweet, but hopefully he will back very soon to do yet another stint in the near future.

The most interesting part of Tom King’s story this issue is the exchanges between KGBeast and his father during which they discuss his upbringing and what he has taken away from Batman to make up for the loss of his arm. During these exchanges King allows the reader to explore their complex father and son dynamic and the strained relationship that inexplicably still exists given that KGBeast killed his own mother and siblings. These fleeting moments are not enough however to give the story any weight, but perhaps an exploration of Batman and KGBeast’s recent past in the next issue as they threaten to square off will reprieve this arc in some small way. Doubtful.

The sage advice ahead of next issue is to remain mildly pessimistic, that way if there is disappointment, the sting is nothing more than a nuisance. As long as there is great art, almost any flaws can be overlooked.

6.5 out of 10

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