Review – Batman: Killing Time #1 – Villains Run Wild

Comic Books DC This Week
Batman: Killing Time #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman: Killing Time #1 – Tom King, Writer; David Marquez, Artist; Alejandro Sanchez, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: Tom King’s work on the most obscure DC characters is typically brilliant. His work on the Bat-characters is a little more spotty, as his very distinct take on the world of Gotham can be controversial. That’s going to continue with this new miniseries set in the past, back when Batman was still operating as a solo vigilante with only a newly appointed Commissioner Gordon for backup. This series, with excellent art by David Marquez, seems to be King’s tribute to modern noir films like the works of Tarantino and the Coen Brothers. It immerses us in a world of ugly people doing ugly things and digging themselves deeper with every decision. The difference is, these ugly people are the Bat-villains. The first issue is a tense, multi-pronged tale of Catwoman, Riddler, Killer Croc, and Penguin pulling off a complex heist of one of Gotham’s biggest banks—and the target may be a lot more than just money.

The walk to doom. Via DC Comics.

Penguin is the architect, pulling this together from behind the scenes. Riddler is the master safecracker, getting into that top-secret final vault. Croc is the muscle, killing whoever he needs to on his way in. And Selina is deep undercover, posing as a tennis instructor for the bank manager’s wife. The pacing of the story is excellent, with Batman almost playing a supporting role as he tries to play catch-up. The characterization of the villains is a little more spotty. Riddler is excellent, seemingly always five steps ahead of everyone. Penguin seems to be a tribute to Danny De Vito’s brilliant version. Croc is maybe a bit too brutish, and the line about how he became what he is is… odd. The main controversy will come from Catwoman, here a sadistic femme fatale who seems to have no problem torturing an innocent woman. It’s hard to square this version with the one King has spent so much time developing. It’s an intriguing start, but I’m not sure it’s King’s best work with these characters.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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