BATMAN #39 by Tom King, Joëlle Jones, and Jordie Bellaire
From heartwarming to heartbreaking, this book will definitely make you feel some stuff. The characters are on point, which par for the course with King. Jones and Bellaire set the perfect tone for a BATMAN book and portray characters like Wonder Woman and Selina Kyle with expert style. The twist of the knife at the end of this comic is truly superb, and I'm not mad at all even though I want to be.
88 %
Beautifully Painful
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Tom King knows exactly how to make an audience feel things. For the past two issues of the “Superfriends” arc, he filled us with absolute joy. The story takes one hell of a turn in BATMAN #39, and even though it feels like a punch in the gut, it’s undeniably well done.

A Lovely Cast of Characters

What King has been doing with Bruce and Selina has been a delight to watch. This writer is incredibly adept when it comes to portraying the Cat and the Bat. They feed off of each other brilliantly — the perfect compliments for each other. King’s turned it up in some of the most recent issues, showing us perhaps the best double date in history.

So, in BATMAN #39, when we move on from Superman and Lois to Wonder Woman, the reader is probably expecting some more delightful character moments. We get those moments from many sources.

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The women in BATMAN #39 have a lot of great lines, from Diana’s quips about men not being suited for a battle to Barbra Gordon talking to her dad about the latest football game, to Selina telling Bruce he looks ridiculous in a new suit. They give the book life and truly make it a pleasure to read.

The Gentle Man — who enlists Bruce and Diana to temporarily replace him in an everlasting battle in a place where time virtually stands still — isn’t entirely formed yet, however. His moments with Selina are enjoyable, but King doesn’t spend enough time with the character for us to know him.

Considering his finesse with every other character he’s brought into the series (the Kite-Man story had no right to be as good as it was), I think we can expect more from this one going forward.

BATMAN #39 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Hang It In a Museum For Goodness Sake

Joëlle Jones and Jordie Bellaire absolutely slay in this issue. The grittiness of their work sets a distinct mood essential to the success of this book. They truly create a visual feast. Their first image of Wonder Woman, for example, is so incredibly striking that I want them to work on her series, too. Diana appears as mighty as she is elegant and completely commands the page. A new reader could see that image and know what she’s about in an instant. That’s effective artwork.

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The facial expressions Jones brings to Selina are charming and endearing — two traits King’s writing has emphasized in the cat burglar. This teams’ work fits so brilliantly together that it’s almost upsetting.

BATMAN #39 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Punch In The Gut Of BATMAN #39

When King wants to hurt you, he always finds the perfect way of doing it. In this case, he saves it for the very last panel on the very last page. This issue’s evil twist arrived in a way that’s surprising, but somehow easily acceptable; the seeds are there, but ignorable because you don’t want to see them.

It’s heartbreaking, it’s frustrating, and it makes you want the next issue immediately because you need to know how anything will ever be okay again. I legitimately felt my stomach drop when I saw it, and it still hurts to look at this panel. It’s infuriating and expertly done. So King, Jones, and Bellaire continue their masterclass in Batman comic creation, dragging us all crying along the way.

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