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Subj: Batman/Catwoman #4 review
Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 at 01:17:41 pm EDT (Viewed 68 times)
What can I say? King's weaknesses as a writer are out in full force in this issue.
We are now a third through this story line and we know virtually nothing. Andrea Beaumont, for all intents and purposes, is a new character and we know nothing about her, her relationship with Bruce and her relationship with Selina. There is the movie, but this is her comic's debut and it's been a long time since I saw the movie. King is absolutely wrong in having her back story explained in another medium that came out almost 30 years ago.
We have the new Batwoman, who is Selina and Bruce's daughter and we know nothing about her except that she's gay, like the old Batwoman I guess. Maybe that title comes with certain sexual preference requirements.
We know that Selina killed the Joker and that in the past she and the Joker had some sort of relationship that she didn't want Bruce to know about. We know the Joker killed Andrea's son (I hope to God that the son isn't a secret son of Bruce. How many of Bruce's sons and daughters does the Joker have to kill or cripple before DC gets it in their heads that they can't keep repeating the same beats over and over again. Especially in an era when they reprint the orginal stories over and over again. Even new fans are aware of the past. It's not like in the old days when it was difficult for fans who were new to the hobby to collect back issues going back 30 or 40 years, so they didn't have an acute awareness of Bats' history.)
We see Selina in the future being ruthless. But we saw that already when she killed the Joker.
And apparently Selina is kind of angry at Bruce for his mercy to villains. She said that Bruce didn't lock them up, he forgave them. Maybe King is going for some sort of "Selina feels that she shouldn't have been forgiven for her crimes" thing. And what she hates in what Bruce did is because secretly she feels he let her off the hook. I don't know, but it's actually something worth exploring, and should not be just a casual one-off line.
King seems to write Selina as inherently evil and only on the side of angels because of Bruce. Once he's gone, it's back to being a Bond villain. That's insulting is so many ways.
First Seline was never a killer. She was always a thief. From the beginning, she never went in for blood. I mean she and the Joker premiered in the same issue (Batman #1) and they crossed swords a couple of issues later in Batman #3. We actually see Catwoman willing to give up to Joker the jewels she stole if he spared Robin's life.
From the very beginning they establish a difference between her and the Joker. But King has Selina being pals with the Joker. Bad characterization.
Second, having a bad woman be good because a man "straightened" her out is just sexist writing in the highest degree. Again, bad writing.
Also, King has public domain poetry do the heavy lifting in the story telling. In this case the Christmas carol "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" do the heavy lifting. I maintain the carol is just a variation of theme.
Tom, words and dialog are a main component of comic books. Don't be so lazy. Embrace the story-telling tools you have at hand. For God's sake, stop hiding behind the words of other people. It's just cheap.
Finally, having a story take place in past, present and future becomes very confusing. I may not be a genius, but I am not stupid. If you can confuse a long time comics fan like me, then I have to say, you're doing something wrong.
King might think switching time periods gives the illusion of forward momentum, but he is blowing it. For once he has the chance to tell a story where we don't know here it's going. In the past, we know that Bruce doesn't end up with Andrea, he ends up with Selina. But the future is an undiscovered country, to steal from Chancellor Gorkon. We actually don't know how the story will end, but King kills momentum by constantly switching up time periods.
But the art was good. Can't say I love the new Batwoman costume. A little to cheese-cakey for my tastes. DC artists, you can draw women in an attractive way without resorting to Cinemax at night renditions of the female form. Who knows, you might actually attract some women readers.
Or I could be wrong.
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