BATMAN #78 & #79

There once was a sexy thief, who had some difficulty with her front teeth. But then, one day, she found, a way, to chew her food without any beef. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Tom King, Clay Mann, and published by DC Comics in September, 2019.

TO QUOTE Woody Allen:The difference between sex and love is that sex relieves tension and love causes it’.

Over the last couple of months, Bane has managed to take over Gotham City by organizing an army of villains to control the populace. So, to get back in shape and ultimately defeat him, both Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle have decided to have a holiday together in order to work through their differences. 

But can they do this? Can the two of them relax to the max and become fighting fit for their up-and-coming battle?  And if they can, whatever next? Is it going to be Gotham or bust? Or is it going to be let’s bust-up Gotham? To find out, please pick up issue 78 and 79 of Batman today. In the meantime though, here, check this out...

If truth be told, I’m not entirely sure if I enjoyed reading this adventure or not! On the one hand, the artwork was amazing, while on the other, the story was shit. Well, not totally shit, because I was amused by the flirtatious rhetoric exchanged between the two main characters, Bruce and Selina, as well as how the overall narrative flowed in a fairly charming manner. Apart from that, though, everything else felt overly dramatic, staged even, on account of its minimalist plot and its monochromatic intent. After all, both of these episodes were nothing more than an interlude of sorts. An interlude where the Bat and the Cat hash out their differences so they can clear the air and take back Gotham! In fact, there was so much of 'the same' sprawled out between each chapter, I sincerely think that questions need to be asked and duly answered. Namely, these questions...

1)  Are Bruce and Selina truly in love? Yes, I like to think they are, because they both fancy the pants off of each other and have quite a few things in common. This includes things like: a traumatic childhood, a strong determination, the need to do the right thing, as well as a passion and a focus that can build them up or bash them down!  That said, however, Selina does seem slightly more superficial than Bruce and a lot more friendlier.  While Bruce, on the other hand, does seem to have a softer heart and a willingness to think outside the box.  In any event, I’m sure that the two of them will always be in each other’s lives -- one way or another -- be it for friendship, partnership, or something else, wink-wink!  What do you think, dear reader? What do you think about Bruce’s relationship with Selina? Are you a bit like me, and hope that he stays with her for the foreseeable future? Or would you prefer them to get out of each other’s lives and remain enemies for good? Whatever the case, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. 

2) Why did Selina leave Bruce standing at the altar? Well, according to Bruce, Selina walked away from their marriage because she could sense that he was afraid of putting her above his need to fight crime!  Which to me, personally, sounds like a load of old crap! Come to think of it, it sounds so stupid, that at first, I thought it was some sort of a joke! Or at the very least, a revelation pertaining to a psychic ability! Ha! But it’s not, is it? It’s not a joke or a revelation! Otherwise, he would use his ability to read peoples minds to fight crime! Besides, Bruce has been in love many different times before, with women like Vicki Vale, Jezebel Jet, Silver St. Cloud, Sasha Bordeaux, Zatanna, Julie Madison, and Talia al Ghul, to name but a few. So to some extent, he already knows what it feels like to lose someone he deeply cares for!  Or, should we forget about this? Should we long term Batman fans conveniently forget about everyone else Bruce has fallen in love with for the sake of this one specific storyline? No! I don't think so! Especially those of us who’ve embraced his 80-year history.

3) Under what circumstances did Catwoman and Batman first meet?  Ever since Tom King started to recreate their blossoming romance, both Bruce and Selina have persistently quarreled over the circumstances surrounding their first encounter. While Bruce thinks that he first saw her while she was stealing jewelry from a boat, Selina thinks that she first saw him while he was fighting some thugs on the street.  But as far as I’m concerned, who's right and who's wrong, largely depends on which version of continuity you wish to follow! Therefore, Bruce is correct if you want to acknowledge Catwoman’s very first Golden Age appearance (Batman #1, circa 1940), whereas Selina is correct if you want to regard Catwoman’s very first Post-Crisis appearance (Batman #404, circa 1987).  Either way, the end result doesn’t really prove anything in the long run, except for who has a better memory, Ha!  Seriously, though, at the end of the day, what we have to remember is that love is love, hate is hate, and how we generally remember someone doesn’t start at the beginning, but rather, begins at the end!

4) Was Clay Mann’s art any good? Yes. It was amazing. It was f#cking amazing because he managed to draw scene, after scene, after scene, full of bold and lavish visuals that literally leapt off of the page! The way he drew Selina, for instance, was very sensual and very versatile because he was able to maintain her essence yet change her style, depending on what she wore. With her costume off, she looked like an elegant porn star, but with her costume on, she looked like a hardcore dominatrix. Similarly, Clay’s depiction of Bruce followed these said-same artistic guidelines. Although, in his case, Bruce seemed better in costume than out of costume, because in costume, he looked like the real deal, while out of costume, he looked like an unemployed Chippendale!  I would also like to applaud how Clay varied the tone and the scope of each scene, ranging from the two love birds sitting in the sun (very pleasant),  climbing up a mountain (very adventurous), diving into the sea (very daring), camping at night (very atmospheric), sleeping in bed (very... ehhh... very), drinking by the bar (very casual), and of course, beating up the bad guys (very quick).

5)  So was there any action featured in this story? Yeah, there was a little bit, but nothing too much to talk about, except for one scene where Batman and Catwoman beat up a bunch of thieves, as well as another where they take down Magpie so they can get their hands on some of Bane’s Venom!  Presumably, they need this so they can use it against him during their up-and-coming battle. Although, I could be wrong, and probably am, but at the moment, nothing much has been divulged in terms of what’s happening in Gotham, post issue 77!
For this month’s musical match-up, I’m going to align this adventure with the Cliff Richard song, ‘Summer Holiday’, because, for the most part, that’s precisely what Bruce and Selina had...  A romance in the sun. 

I have a sneaking suspicion that Tom King has watched the 1953 cinematic classic, ‘From Here to Eternity’, because he duplicated a scene from that film for this very story. It was the following scene starring Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, which serves as the basis for this month’s comic book comparison.

At the end of issue 79, Selina turns to Bruce and tells him something about Bane. So, out of the following eight options, let’s see if you can guess what she tells him? I mean, could it be…

  1. Bane is probably gay.
  2. Bane should be deported.
  3. Bane has a nice butt.
  4. Bane is in trouble now.
  5. Bane doesn’t shop at Walmart.
  6. Bane sucks.
  7. Bane has difficulty drinking with his mask on.
  8. Bane must be kinky.

Nuff said.

BATMAN #78 & #79 BATMAN #78 & #79 Reviewed by David Andrews on September 25, 2019 Rating: 5

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