Batman #42 Review

Posted March 8, 2018 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Tom King

Art By: Mikel Janin

Published By: DC

I wanted to open with a joke about how 42 is the answer to everything because of that one book series that was turned into a movie, but I’ve never read the books and only saw the movie once like a decade ago. That would be disingenuous, and not very funny besides. Instead, I’m going to open up with a different joke: What’s a pirate’s favorite letter? Now, you’d think it would be R but it’s not, because nothing trumps his love of the C.

Thank you.

So, Batman was sure something this week, though like the last few issues, it’s really Selina that sells the whole package. Ivy has her and Bruce trapped in her world of brainwashing and vegetable eating, and Selina takes it all with an admirable stride. She’s not afraid of Ivy or her zombies, nor is she particularly surprised that Bruce is is as grim as ever. Instead, she’s basically a non-stop joke machine, poking fun at herself, her predicament, and how Ivy’s gone off the deep end.

She also makes fun of Bruce’s neurosis, which is always a plus.

I’m reminded of the issue where her and Batman are double-dating with Clark and whatever Superman’s wife’s name is. It was a fun character piece then, and it’s a fun character piece now. Selina talks wedding plans while Bruce tries to figure out how to save the world. I get the feeling that this upsets Bruce, that he’s seething because he’s been stumped with a mystery that needs to be solved or else. I also get the feeling that Selina does actually care about saving the world and stopping Ivy, but bothering Bruce is equally important. Priorities!

The two really do work well together.

That being said, I suppose you could call the issue stupid. Tonally it all fits within itself, but this is a far cry from Gotham Girl or that awful War of Jokes and Riddles. We have Bruce knocking out Superman with a whistle, and Selina beating up a few iterations of the Flash. As someone who hates the Flash, I’m down, but fans of one of DC’s worst characters might find the whole predicament hard to swallow. Ivy herself doesn’t seem to fit well into the whole thing either. I won’t claim to know much about her, but world domination doesn’t feel like her speed. She has a dialogue with Selina at the end, but I’m not sold on motive or any of that yet. It’s all a little obligatory.

The artwork also isn’t that strong. It’s better than last issue, which had some ugly panels and awkward proportions, but it’s also not very exciting either. There seems to be a lack of detailing, and some of the coloring comes off as flat. The action scenes are bad.

Still, if you want a comedy featuring Batman and Catwoman, there’s fun to be had here. It’s a quick read with a solid group of jokes, and the Flash gets beat up. God I hate that guy. Anything where he gets beat up gets a thumbs up in my book. Maybe not two, but one. One’s better than nothing.

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.