Review: Batman #38 By Tom King, Travis Moore & Giulia Brusco

Review:  Batman #38

The Origin of Bruce Wayne

“It’s always there.  Scratched into you.”

Published by DC Comics

Written by Tom King

Art by Travis Moore

Colours by Giulia Brusco

The Plot

The story begins with Bruce comforting a child named Matthew whose parents have been murdered recently.  His father worked for Wayne Enterprises and is now under the care of his butler, Taylor.  Meanwhile Batman confronts Victor Zsasz in prison for the murders, but is not met with a lot of cooperation.  Batman digs a bit deeper and finds that Zsasz may not be directly involved after all.  There are various clues left that point to possible suspects after additional murders occur.  Bruce continues to bond with Matthew as he guides him through the process of dealing with the sudden loss of parents.  Eventually, Batman determines who committed the crimes and why they did it.

The Breakdown

This series has been firing on all cylinders lately (Nexus reader EnigmaticMan put it best recently).  I’m really enjoying how we’re been able to have smaller arcs and even a standalone story lately.  It seems like King is able to do his own thing with this book and the quality has improved quite a bit.  The previous two story arc was just fantastic as Batman and Superman discussed their relationship as well as going on a double date.  I was wondering what the next story would be and I was glad to see a quick standalone story that managed to do things such as touch on his relationship with Selina.  It’s refreshing to see how good a title from one of the Big Two can be without having the fabric of reality threatened or some other means to create an event comic.  The stories in this title lately have been character-driven and have been adding to the character by having him grow in the present day.  This is an approach I prefer to see rather than having more retcons and retellings of events in his past.  I was a bit leery when I first saw the title of this story, but my fears were laid to rest fairly quick as this definitely wasn’t another take on early Bruce Wayne.  The last couple arcs dealt with his engagement to Catwoman and in this issue we get to see what she’s adding to his life.  He has someone to share his happiness and disappointments with.  Also, she can deal with his habits such as getting up in the middle of the night to work on a case.  I like their relationship because he doesn’t have to create stories or alibis with her.  It was good to see some solid detective work from Batman in this issue, this is one aspect of the character that I always enjoy reading.  The reveal at the end was decent because of the way it impacted Bruce.  I also appreciated how King was able to tell a murder mystery story with different twists and turns while managing to wrap it up in 20 pages.  The art team did a solid job overall and I liked how Moore did the scenes with Matthew sitting on the chair.  It was a darker tale and the art suited the story quite nicely.  The Swamp Thing: Winter Special ad near the end of the book definitely has me interested (doesn’t hurt that Tom King has a hand in writing it).  Anyways, another Batman issue worth reading for sure

BUT…

I could see what the outcome of the story was going to be, but it was well done and the storytelling by the creative team really helped make this issue a good read.  While it may not be a complete surprise for some readers, it’s still worth reading.

The Verdict

Buy It…I’d give this book a rating of 7/10.  Batman has been putting out some very solid issues as of late and I hope that this trend continues.  I haven’t enjoyed this series this much for quite a while and lately it’s been the first book I read the week it comes out.  I’m completely onboard with this title as King has been bringing some truly quality work to it.

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