Batman #47 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on May 16, 2018

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Tony S. Daniel
Inkers: Tony S. Daniel, Danny Miki, and Sandu Florea 
Colourist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles 

This is one of the worst story arcs I've ever read, for many reasons. I'll try and list them all in this review. There are some spoilers ahead. 

Firstly, this had absolutely no bearing on the overall wedding story. I'm not exactly clambering for this wedding to happen because I need to see it, but the arcs preceding this one at least connected to the relationship between Bruce and Selina, and had some sort of message. Batman didn't kiss Wonder Woman; he's loyal to Selina. Got it. The Poison Ivy epidemic was solved by love; love conquers all. Got it. Booster Gold goes back in time and tries to give Batman a "For the Man Who Has Everything"-type of story; I can see why Tom King would want to tell this story. It's inherently concerned with the wedding. What the hell happened? 

For those of you keeping up with general news about DC, one little bit of information you might have heard was Tom King announcing a series dubbed "Sanctuary", dealing with characters with PTSD. There are hints of this concept in the Poison Ivy arc. Bruce mentions putting Ivy in the Sanctuary, since she's so troubled by the events of the story. The reason I bring this up is because I think King wants to put Booster in this Sanctuary story. By the end of this issue, Booster seems to be on the verge of insanity. I hate to be this kind of person, but... aren't I supposed to be reading about Batman? The title character? And isn't he getting married in three issues? 

Secondly, the characterisation of Booster Gold is simply excruciating. I'm sure King is aware of who Booster is, but he may not be aware of who the character is at the moment. Dan Jurgens wrote and drew a great Booster in an Action Comics arc recently. He made some seriously mature decisions and observations, and Jurgens used his Booster-ness to great effect and ended the arc really strongly. Here King's portrayal of the character is simply annoying. He yells whenever he speaks and is overall unlikeable. 

Thirdly, I just don't get the plotting. This takes place a year after the events of the previous issue. A year! Why? Bruce manages to fix Skeets and wants to use him to go back in time and stop Batman and Catwoman from killing his parents. And I thought Alfred died too, but apparently not. His neck was just sliced by Selina. There are these entirely useless pages involving either very unnecessary jokes or recap. Why is Booster recapping how he became Booster in the final issue of the arc? It's just nine-panel grid fodder. The story is meant to be tense in the final few pages but King jusr drags out the smallest detail into multiple pages. He hasn't really done this before, so I was even more bothered by it. 

The art is nice. There are a multitude of inkers and yet the book looks pretty consistent! I'm not a fan of how Tony Daniel draws some faces, like with some panels of Bruce, but it mostly looks incredible and tells this story very well. The final few pages, while thematically confusing, just might be a triumph because Daniel usually goes for wider storytelling. Instead he's able to tie everything together very well in the tight nine-panel layout that King obsessively uses. 

Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm doing a good enough job at describing exactly how terrible this issue is. You have no idea until you've read it. This is by far the worse issue of the series yet which is kind of incredible because there are some truly awful, awful issues in this series. This is worse than anything we saw in Jokes and Riddles! It's worse than that Swamp Thing issue! This is such a low that I really hope that Tom King can't top this. 

Our Score:


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