Batman/Catwoman #7 – Tom King, Writer; Liam Sharp, Artist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: It’s very rare to see an art switch mid-stream work out, and even rarer for it to take a title to another level. But while Clay Mann’s art was always excellent, Liam Sharp’s super-detailed and gritty work is even better for this three-pronged story. We continue to see the complicated legacy of Batman, Catwoman, and Joker unravel over three timelines, as in the past Batman tries to put the pressure on Catwoman to come clean about Joker’s whereabouts. She makes clear she won’t betray her fellow criminal—something she’ll come to regret—but all of Batman’s ultimatums come to nothing because the passion between the two vigilantes is impossible for either to resist for long.
The segments get more compelling as they head towards the presence, with a special shout-out to the trick Selina pulls on Bruce when she decides to make her move to kill the Joker in the present day. Tricking Bruce into a no-win situation that pits him against the GCPD, this leads to one of the best action segments King has ever written—a bruising brawl set in an underground bank vault, as a naked and anonymous Bruce pummels his way out through an army of officers and then finds an inventive way to get away from them. But if you’re wondering why Selina would trick the man she loves like this, a gritty page of dialogue and nothing else lays bare exactly what a monster this version of the Joker is.
And we all know how he meets his end, and in the future it’s time for Selina to pay the piper for that. After Helena met with Commissioner Grayson, we knew this day would come, but the arrest segment is brilliantly done. Even with Selina in her sixties, you can tell Dick is expecting her to have some shocking tricks up her sleeve—but all she has is a lot of pain, as she lets Dick in on a secret from his early days as Robin and then goes quietly. One of the best segments of the issue is Helena’s quiet pain as she talks to her father’s costume about the impossible choice she makes and how it was all based around what he taught her. I’m not sure if Mann will return, but so far Sharp seems like a brilliant choice to bring this series home.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.