Review: Batman Annual #2 By Tom King, Lee Weeks & Michael Lark

Review:  Batman Annual #2

“I see it, every time I see you.  And I see you more than you know I see you.” – Catwoman

Published by DC Comics

Written by Tom King

Art by Lee Weeks and Michael Lark

Colours by Elizabeth Breitweiser and June Chung

The Plot

The issue begins with Catwoman breaking into the Batcave and taking a joy ride in the Batmobile while Batman is on the job.  Sometime after, Bruce is doing some investigative work and Catwoman breaks in again.  The police are waiting outside for Catwoman, but are unable to apprehend her.  Later she breaks in yet again and goes after his safes and finds something tied to his past.  They share a moment about their similarities until she escapes…yet again.  Each of these times she’s encountered him she left behind a mouse.  The next time she tries to break in, Batman is waiting and ready.  However, Catwoman reveals why she’s been doing so and why she’s been leaving mice behind.  Later Catwoman learns that Batman has discovered where she lives and how he was able to figure it out.  Fast forward to the future and an older Bruce and Selena are living their lives and there is someone familiar that has taken the mantle of the Batman.  In the rest of the story, it is shown how much Bruce and Selena love each other.

The Breakdown

Now THIS was a great comic.  I feel like between this and the Rules of Engagement arc that I’m being rewarded for sticking it out through the War of Jokes and Riddles arc (which wasn’t too bad, but I definitely had my issues with it).  As brilliant as Batman is, I really liked how it was Catwoman that proved to be more than his match when it came to matching wits.  She had more insight and instinct in this case, which also makes sense why he’d want to marry her.  The repeated break-ins by Catwoman were fun to read as there was a sense of playfulness on her part.  I really enjoyed Catwoman’s explanation as to why she was doing what she was.  King is really good at writing this character.  The vault was also a very well-written scene, the whole part hit all of the right beats without even trying to intentionally hit them (in my opinion).  The flow and the pacing in this issue was executed so damn well.  The scene when Batman revealed he knew Catwoman’s identity was nicely done and lead to an absolutely brilliant pin-up page.

The last part of the issue when they were older was so beautifully done.  They were portrayed as a couple just living life with no superheroics…they were portrayed as human.  I absolutely loved the ending and it showed how well King and Lark worked together to tell such a good story (King and Weeks did some fantastic work too throughout the rest of the issue).  The art team did an unbelievable job in this issue.  Weeks and Lark told such an expressive story with so many spots that had me staring at the page for a minute.  They worked so well together that I actually forgot that there were two artists working on this book.  Breitweiser and Chung did a great job of colouring this issue and really complemented the work of the others.  The hint of colours in that one pin-up scene was a small detail, but it added so much to the page.  The page when Catwoman was jumping off Wayne Manor towards the police was made even better with the colours.  This entire art team just knocked it right out of the park in this issue.  I couldn’t have enjoyed this comic any more than I did.

BUT…

Minor quibble, but the mice that Catwoman left behind definitely looked more like rats.

The Verdict

Buy It! I’d rate this comic 9.5 out of 10.  I greatly enjoyed Doomsday Clock #1 last week, but as far as pure enjoyment out of a single comic goes…Batman Annual #2 is the comic that I’ve enjoyed the most so far this year.  I highly recommend you check this one out.  I really, really…really hope that King is allowed to do his thing on this title without any mandated crossovers or events for a while.  Between his recent work on this book as well as Mister Miracle, he has been killing it! This issue had so much heart in it….just a great comic.  Read it, definitely worth every cent.

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