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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
Comics I Read Last Week:
The best comic I read last week was Batman #48.
THIS WAS A HARD WEEK TO PICK! SO MANY GREAT BOOKS –
ALL OF THEM, IN FACT!
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mikel Janin
While I am running out of original things to say about Tom King’s Batman run, he is – fortunately – not running out of new twists and turns. Each issue and arc seems to add something new, something different and something fascinating to the Batman mythos. This is not hyperbole. It is as if, we he pitched for the job, he told the powers the be at DC Comics that he would write status quo changing moments in story-after-story.
With Batman #48, he continues this run.
As the build up to the wedding of Batman and Catwoman continues (and I believe this is the first issue wherein I understood that the marriage is decidedly of the costumed not secret identities of the characters), the Joker is becoming more-and-more unhinged at the thought of losing his best adversary (or… is Batman something more to the Clown Prince of Crime?) to someone else. This issue features the Joker at a wedding, executing guests and participants alike to draw Batman out and draw him out he does.
The ensuring action and dialogue is fascinating and is one of the best scenes between the two characters. Ever. What is equally interesting to this Catholic in particular are the overtones, both overt and covert, of the Joker’s thoughts on religion.
Daring, scary and powerful stuff, Mr. King.
I have written of Mikel Janin’s line work before. He is a crisp as Kevin Maguire, as detailed as Neal Adams and as brutal as Steve Dillon. He is a master and so very well suited to this book.
Batman remains, by any measure, one of the best books on the market. As long as King reigns, it will be a top-of-the-pile, must-read every time it is published.