Batman #37 Review

Posted December 21, 2017 by Alexander Handziuk in Comic Books

Written By: Tom King

Art By: Clay Mann

Published By: DC

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a comic book, but after finishing Batman #37 I couldn’t help but leave my review-free bunker and share my thoughts on this wonderful book. The issues premise is simple: a double date between Catwoman, Batman, Superman and Lois Lane. And yes it’s as wonderful as it sounds.

The backdrop of the date is a carnival, a dress-up as a superhero night, and this environment is used effectively for some great humour. I won’t go into details here as this issue is worth experiencing as spoiler free as possible, but I will say that the deep and storied mythos behind Batman’s costume is explored/revealed. Also on the humour front, Lois Lane and Selina Kyle (Catwoman) serve as much needed parallels to the super serious (and super silly) Batman and their conversations about the absurd things that their significant others do is a joy to read. Writer Tom King very much shows that he’s not afraid to have fun with these characters and the oftentimes absurd nature of superheroes.

Similarly, this issue continues the pattern of focusing on Batman and Catwoman’s relationship, shifting the focus from feats of superheroics to the people behind them. In doing so, King manages to celebrate what makes these characters great while also showing a side of them that is often lost in the world of mega brawls and villainous schemes.

As much as I love one-liners, it’s refreshing to see superheroes talking like regular people. King manages to create a real emotional center, that helps each character stand on their own and one that elevates the reader’s connection with them. This differentiation is classified nicely in the two relationships, as Lois and Clark feel very much like high school sweethearts whereas Selina and Bruce give off a much more reckless and sexually driven vibe.

A large reason why the character work lands so strongly is the art by Clay Mann. He manages to bring King’s script to life in a beautiful way and his page layouts are full of energy. From a colourful ride on a Ferris wheel and a front row seat to a whimsical batting cage to nine-panel grids with strong facial work, Mann delivers an issue that is both grounded and zany, like the heroes he’s drawing. There are a few moments where keeping track of characters gets hard due to some costume changes, but it’s a minimal problem and one that is alleviated by a second reading. Furthermore, Mann does a stellar job with his background characters and the prevalence of costumes featured throughout.

Batman #37 is a monumental issue, one that manages to capture the essence of the characters it features, while also remembering that superhero stories can and should be fun. If you’re tired of the same old superhero slugfests or just want to read a fun and beautiful book, then I highly recommend picking up this gem. I’d even consider bringing it up on your next date.

About the Author

Alexander Handziuk

Alex is a comic aficionado who loves Aquaman, Overwatch, the musical Hamilton and medium length strolls on beaches. Check him out on the Comics Dash Podcast, on twitter at @axehandziuk and in real life patrolling the borders of Canada.