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Prepare to be spoiled.




I felt that.

Head.  Gut.  Heart.

A heaviness.

“Do what you can do.”

Tom King–with help from David Finch, a trio of inkers, and the ubiquitous Jordie Bellaire–did what he can do–did what he does better than anybody else: he crushed me under the weight of a twenty-two page comic book.

He’s got a knack for that, what with The Sheriff of Babylon and The Vision.  But this–this is Batman.  It’s different.  The expectations are different.  The investment is different.

Well, I got my two hundred and ninety-nine pennies worth with the first five pages, during which King delivers a dynamic duo of harrowing and hilarious as Alfred–in full Batman regalia–does what he can do to stall for time, to keep Gotham–the hero-come-Pirated villain who wants to destroy the  city that inspired his name–occupied until Batman can do what he can do to get to ground zero.  You know how Al rolls: he crashes the Batmobile into Gotham and then  confronts him like Sugar-Substitute Ray Leonard, and high-capes it outta there once Batman lets him know he’s arrived on scene.

Too effing much!

Important to the sequence as a whole is Alfred’s sentimental soliloquy, in which the brave-ass butler recalls promising Thomas Wayne that he’d care for Bruce if the need arose–and that it’d be “more a pleasure than a chore” because of how simple life would be for the boy.  Powerful stuff, Alfred’s fulfilling that promise in this instance: standing up for Bruce the man–the Batman.

Felt that.

Turned the page.

Felt the Batboot and soon the “BDDOOOM”; felt the plane and then the Justice Out-of-Their-League.

Felt the futility of it all.

Felt the fragility of Duke and Claire.  Felt the damsel’s distress as she pulled back the curtain to reveal Gotham as god with a short fuse; felt her find the courage to be the hero–the courage to do what she can do–knowing full well she’d lose for winning.

Felt funny as I tried to figure out whether or not Batman ordered Gotham’s murder–whether or not I wanted him to have ordered Gotham’s murder: “Fine.  Fine.  Do it, then.  Kill Gotham.”

Reread it over and over again.

Felt funnier each time.

Felt this before, for sure: a slice Of Mice and Men.

Sounded a hell of a lot like George’s “Gonna do it soon.”

Ended the same way.


I felt that.

Head.  Gut.  Heart.

A heaviness.

That is what Tom King can do–and, man,  I can’t wait for him to do it again.

Feel me?

Turning pages,