This review contains minor spoilers.
Sigh. Just when you think that Tom King has Batman all figured out, he brings it down a notch and spits out the mediocrity again. It’s obvious that he wants to leave his own distinct mark on this series (who wouldn’t?), but he’s guilty of trying too hard here. Due to this, Batman #24 is another forgettable mess that does no one any favors.
Now that Claire Clover (Gotham Girl) has recovered, she has a heart to heart with Batman about being a superhero and what she should do going forward. An out-of-character Bruce reveals a lot about his true feelings towards heroism and tells her to do what she feels is right. At the same time, Claire encourages Bruce to do what makes him happy and to not be afraid anymore. Bruce heeds her advice and meets up with Selina Kyle on a rooftop (where else?). There, he opens up to her, exposing his fear and true feelings for her, and then pulls an absolute shocker. Yip, he goes down on one knee and asks her to marry him.
Let’s get one thing straight here: the marriage angle doesn’t bother me in the slightest. In fact, it’d be interesting to see Bruce have a significant other for a prolonged period in a Batman book. Everyone deserves a slice of happiness, and since Bruce and Selina care deeply for one another, let’s make it happen. The problem I have with this issue, however, is its cringe-worth cheesiness.
While the sentiment is honest, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The ending, in particular, reads like amateurish fan fiction, or a really bad romance novel. The pauses. The short sentences. The turning away and coming back. WTF. I had to rub my eyes to make sure this wasn’t written by Stephenie Meyer or E.L. James.
I get that we’re killing time until “The War of Jokes and Riddles,” and we also required an ending to Gotham Girl’s arc, but we still expect a certain standard of quality here. This book feels rushed and done quickly to get onto better things. This level of storytelling is simply unacceptable, especially in DC’s premier title, and it needs to stop. Comic book sales are suffering – and it’s because of uninspired releases, such as this one, that people wait for trade paperbacks instead of buying single issues.
David Finch and Clay Mann share penciling duties for this issue, and it looks like they don’t want to be here, either. The art is decent enough, but if you compare this to their other work, it’s like different people drew this. Considering how bad this script is, I probably would’ve done just the right amount to collect the paycheck and not enough to be remembered for it, too.
As much as I appreciate King’s desire to try new things, his quality is dipping again. When he hits the right note, he’s sensational. When he doesn’t, he belly flops hard and it isn’t pretty to see. Unfortunately, Batman #24 is the latter. It’s a nice idea in theory, but it’s poorly executed.
Even though the sentiment is honest, Batman #24 belly flops into a pool of mediocrity. This is the sort of tripe that stops people from buying single-issue stories.