Batman Annual #4 Review

by Wes Greer on October 30, 2019

Batman Annual #4

Writer – Tom King
Artists – Jorge Fornes, Mike Norton
Colorist – Dave Stewart
Letterer – Clayton Cowles
Publisher – DC Comics
Release Date – 10/30/19
Cover Price - $4.99

Well, where do I even begin with this one. With all the problems going on with Tom King’s current run, I was hoping he would take the opportunity to do something different with this annual issue. Technically, he did do something way different, but it still lacks. I would think with all the criticism he has received lately; he would try to put some effort into this issue to show people you know what there’s a reason I was picked to write Batman and here is why. He did no such thing with this issue.

With Batman Annual #4, we are taken to a place far away from the current City of Bane story line. The story is written as diary entries kept by Alfred Pennyworth which means all the events had taken place before Batman #77. Each page starts with the date of the journal entry and is written as if we are reading Alfred’s diary for ourselves. Each journal entry is Alfred telling us about what events Batman or Bruce faced each day and we are given a glimpse of that event through different art panels. Going into this one, I was pleased to see something different out of King, but it starts to drag on and feels like it is never going to end with each journal entry getting shorter and shorter. The main moral of the story being Batman has done a lot and continues to do a lot to save Gotham. From dealing with villains to going to the ends of the universe, to dealing with disruptions in the timeline. Batman was always there.

The artwork for this one is different as well. For this issue Romita Jr. is nowhere to be found. The issue starts off with artist Jorge Forns drawing the memories on pages 1 – 29 and page 38 then over to Mike Norton drawing them on pages 30-37. Not sure why they chose to do this, but it really disrupts the flow of the art. The best art comes in the latter half of the book when Norton takes over. Not to take anything away from Fornes as he is a creative artist, I just was not feeling the direction he chose to go with his character design of Batman.

Overall, this issue really was a waste of an opportunity by King to really hammer out something great for the last time before his work on Batman is over. The writing feels lazy and as I mentioned before, it really just drags on. The more I read, the more I just wanted it to be over. If I was reading it personally, I wouldn’t have even finished it. The artwork is the only real thing this book has going for it and even most of that is weak and awkward at times. The latter art though is great and the character designs of Batman as well as the colorings are all done beautifully and are some of the best I’ve seen in a Batman issue recently. If you are a collector and want this issue to complete the series, it is available today, so pick it up at your local comic shop. If you were looking to read something different and get some excitement from a Batman book in this series, keep looking because this one is not it.

-Wes Greer

Our Score:


A Look Inside