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Batman #14 is the start for the newest story arc in Tom King's Batman run. Rooftops Part 1 continues to build on the relationship between Batman and Catwoman, which we saw a glimpse of during the I am Suicide story line. Tom King explores how truly complicated the relationship between Bruce and Selena is, and how although the both know it might never work out, they will try to find a way. Abel Loza, our Batman connoisseur, will help break down the newest addition to the Batman story.
Review: Batman #14
"Tonight. They can have my life. Without parole. But this night right here… tonight. Look at it, Bat. It’s a diamond. It shines.”
Some Spoilers Ahead!
After the events of Santa Prisca, Batman and Catwoman head back to Gotham with mixed emotions. This is due to the fact that Bruce and Selena have never been closer on a personal level, yet, Batman has to return Catwoman back to Arkham for the 257 murders she had committed. Batman is able to remove the death penalty from Selena’s sentence and has been downgraded to life in prison without parole. In exchange for the downgraded sentence, Batman has to bring Catwoman in to Blackgate that night.
Catwoman pleads with Batman to take her in the morning, for the simple reason that Catwoman wants to enjoy this last night alone with Batman. In return, Selena promises to tell Bruce the entire truth about the men she killed.
As Batman and Selena settle in for the night, Batman decides to take Catwoman around Gotham City to show her exactly what is in a nights work for the Dark Knight. So on her last night of freedom instead of spending some alone time with Batman, Catwoman spent the night fighting crime, alongside Batman in Gotham City. Because Catwoman spent the night doing what Batman wanted to do; now Batman has to do what Catwoman likes to do. And that is be a cat burglar.
After they steal Selena’s life savings, Catwoman begs Batman to take those diamonds and build an orphanage, or a few, when she is gone. But before Batman turns in Catwoman in the morning they get to enjoy the night alone, one last time.
Tom King’s Batman run has been good, but I did feel that the ending of I am Suicide was a bit disappointing. I was expecting a bit more of the final confrontation between Bane and Batman and it was a bit underwhelming. Not that I lost faith in King’s writing but even the slightest inclination of doubt was extinguished with Rooftops Part 1. The first issue of the new arc has completely put me back on board with this run. For my money, this has been one of the best single issues of King’s still young run.
One of the best things that is becoming evident in King’s writing is that he excels in creating and amplifying the relationships between characters. I have seen this in his run on The Vision and have seen it thought his run on Batman. The relationship between Catwoman and Batman is so human and relatable (expect maybe the taking a love to jail part). Being in love with someone that either you shouldn’t be or you know it won’t work out is one of the most relatable things a person can connect to. At the core of this issue, it’s a simple live story and it explains and shows that the feelings between Selena and Bruce are real. The dialogue between them is as if they have been working together for years. Setting each other up and finishing each other sentences.
Batman is almost always characterized as an emotionless hard ass. Batman #14 reminds us that Batman is human, and his complicated relationship with Catwoman makes him much more relatable to the rest of us.
Building the relationships between characters isn’t the only thing King has been doing well all run long. An underrated part of Tom King’s Batman stories is his use of all the B and C level villains in Batman’s rogue gallery. I know all of us Bat-fans love to see the big names, like Bane, the Joker, Riddler and the Scarecrow but every once in a while it’s good to see the smaller criminals make an appearance in the Batman world as well. That is why seeing Psycho- Pirate as one of the main antagonist in the last arc was a breath of fresh air.
In this single issue we got a good look at The Cavalier, Film Freak, Copperhead, Condiment King Snake among others make an appearance in Gotham. Since King continuously keeps bringing the smaller villains into the story perhaps we can get one of those villains be the main heel in an upcoming arc.
Overall I think that Batman #14 brought me back from being underwhelmed from the final issue of I am Suicide and really has ne excited for this upcoming arc, which I can safely assume will also involve Catwoman. Tom King did an excellent job humanizing not only Batman but Catwoman as well, and made them much more relatable to the readers. King also continues to use little known villains in his story arcs which bring some much needed villain-diversity in the Batman universe. Rooftops Part one sets up a very intriguing story line that will no doubt involve Catwoman.
Abel Loza is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @St_Abel45
Source: DC Comics
After a disappointing ending to last story arc, I Am Suicide, Tom King has been able to give us a beautiful romantic story, in a very Batman way, between Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle. It gives us a base into the the next possible story arc might be.