Batman #36 Review

Posted December 6, 2017 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Tom King

Art By: Clay Mann & Seth Mann

Published By: DC

I’ve gone on record numerous times as someone who does not like Batman. The character is more angsty and depressed than an old Linkin Park album, and he’s typically so far up his own ass that he’s seeing out his throat. However, the last few issues have been…well, really, really fun. Tom King has grabbed Batman by the shoulders and given him a vigorous shake, and it’s done the character a world of good. Married Batman is so much better than lonely Batman!

We’re finally allowed to have some damn fun.

Issue #36 is a big ol’ character piece about how men don’t know how to show their emotions or do anything sensible. Batman hasn’t called Superman; Superman hasn’t called Batman, and the two argue with their significant others as they fight crime. It’s wonderful and silly, weaving in just the right amount of super hero action without going overboard. The action isn’t actually interesting in the slightest, but it’s how the characters act while fighting crime that is.

Superman having a conversation with Lois while he’s stopping a derailed train and going “Well I can’t call him I’m busy!” is the kind of whimsy I want in my super hero comic books that aren’t Black Hammer.

The whole book is this back-and-forth banter as husbands argue with spouses, miss the point, and act as foils to each other. Tom King is really using this moment to not only add to these characters but compare them in a way that’s just as fun as it is effective. You get a sense for how a superhero can feel inferior to another superhero. It’s not something I tend to see in DC books, though admittedly I don’t read that many of them anymore. I’m a hater, remember?

There is this smokescreen veneer to both Batman and Superman as they’re acting tough yet feeling vulnerable. It’s largely more prominent with Batman, but this is his story and him showing vulnerability is a lot more interesting than Superman doing so.

All the while, the book is silly. Batman quips with Catwoman while Lois chides Superman. It all feels very natural though, not the focus-tested humor employed by Marvel but real characters talking and joking to ease the awkwardness of being human.

If there’s one flaw it’s we get a very brief overview of both character’s origin story, and I tend to check out every time I’m reminded Batman’s parents are dead. The origins are put to good use, but still. I neither needed nor wanted it.

On the art front, it looks quite good. There’s a lot of personality shown in the way these characters move and emote to each other, and I like some of the panel layouts. You can tell we’re supposed to be comparing these characters with each other in more than just writing. To be honest, I wish I had more to say. The book looks good and yeah, there you go.

Batman #36 is what I want out of a Batman comic. It has some action, it has some serious, but most of all, it has some comedy. It has characters acting like real people and showing vulnerabilities in very interesting and subtle ways. It’s fun. It’s what I wish the first like 30 issues had been.

About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.