Review: BATMAN #14

BATMAN #14
Written by Tom King
Art by Mitch Gerads
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: January 4, 2017

Damn. THIS is the issue that could have both Batman and Catwoman fans talking for weeks to come. We’ve witnessed “I Am Gotham”, survived “I Am Suicide” and before we land on “I Am Bane” King gives us “Rooftops” and it’s a special look at what’s sure to be the most talked about night of the year.

Immediately following the last arc’s finale, Batman and Catwoman get some alone time away from the Squad and away from everyone else for that matter. A nine grid panel starts the issue off with levels that are both intimate and intricate in design. Each panel adding something to the Bat and Cat’s ongoing conversation, their body language inching closer and closer towards a minimalist splash page of the pair under the moonlight and Gerads absolutely owns the moment. The rest of the issue is dedicated to the one night in time between the two and coming off of the revelations of “I Am Suicide” King delves into where exactly these two polarizing figures stand with one another.

Given the long standing between Bruce and Selina, the two play off of each other like exes (which they are) that just can’t seem to let go of one another no matter the circumstances or what appears to be the case. The secret of whether Selina really did kill the 237 people is still ongoing and will continue to be explored. Bat and Cat dialogue reads like an episode from Batman: The Animated Series with both of them exclaiming their plans for the other and yet ending up not changing their status quo anyway because their is something there just beyond their reach.

Under King’s writing we’re continually getting a Batman that’s more personal and willing to retreat to moments that have the sense of humbling about them. From throwing himself into the line of sight of death, to opening up about the “wrinkle” in his origin story, King’s Batman isn’t withholding the aspects of himself back,  but rather letting them emerge in bursts.

Speaking of bursts, the night of the Bat and Cat isn’t anything without some people to make the night go by faster. That’s where the hilariously strange Rogues Gallery for Batman gets even more so with the assortment of beat-em up panels that populate the book. Trust me, the team has spared no expense on who was included and it doubly proves that Batman really has villains from A to F-listers waiting in the wings.

It’s only after the punching of villains ends that Selina makes one of her quickest heists ever and it leads to developments that’ll no doubt make this issue and the following must reads for any and all invested in how the Bat and Cat’s relationship moves forward.

The real star of the issue is Gerads in his own man assault with handling all the art duties. His approach to detailing characters and the facial cues are illuminating all their own. His Batman has shimmering eyes through the cowl and keeps his stoic presence never changes, especially when drenched in the background’s shadows throughout.

The colors all work to the sections that suit them best. The parts seeped in blue all shine and even twinkle under the starry sky and all of the punches and action oriented explode with red backdrops. Gerads has given us a stylized romantic adventure in the world of the Bat, “Rooftops” continues to analyze where the relationship of two longtime characters can go and gives us a more loving and “under the microscope” interlude before the reckoning that will be known as “I Am Bane”.

Do yourselves a favor and witness the next step in the Bat and Cat relationship that includes a last page that will certainly have everyone talking.

The Verdict: 10/10

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