Batman #38 Review

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Posted January 3, 2018 by Aron Pohara in Comic Books

Written by: Tom King

Art by: Travis Moore

Published by: DC Comics

Batman 38 is very much a “What if” Batman origin story.

King tackles a story that is well known – so well known it’s like beating a dead horse.  But he does it in an interesting way that brings a bit of intrigue to the story. This is a very much a Batman detective story, as it is a Bruce Wayne story. It is a probably the best detective story Batman has had this whole run and King manages to thread the familiar and add a few twists along the way.

There are some lesser known Batman villains that show up in this issue and they add to the intrigue but ultimately it is the solution and the reveal that really holds water. It is a potent invitation of Batman and Bruce Wayne to look within himself and to see what could have been if the situation ended up being just a little bit different.

King is very familiar to working on the books like this and is at his best when introspection is the focus of the story itself as seen in Vision and early Batman run in Rebirth. And this issue does have some pacing issues especially in the middle of it, it very much does throw the reader for a loop throughout the story.

Travis Moore’s art here is top notch and this being a very interpersonal issue the conveying of emotion was key. His work on faces and especially eyes is stellar and adds gravitas to the story that is rarely seen in comics. I always found eyes to be the hardest to draw; you want them to convey emotion and when they are done in such a way that they are almost glassy it is hard to connect to the character on a deeper level.

Batman #38 is a standalone story, it is one and done and kind of a filler book issue it is interesting in its own light but it also does not move the story forward, other than the fact we do know it takes place after issue 33. So in that sense at least the time tframe is clear, but other than that it does not do anything to expand on Batman’s lore.


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Aron Pohara