Batman #40 Review

BATMAN #40

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Joelle Jones
Colored by: Jordie Bellaire

This week brings the finale of the “Superfriends” arc by writer Tom King and artist, for this and the previous issue, Joelle Jones. The story has been a little disjointed as it began with a great character study of Batman & Superman’s friendship, along with their respective significant others, and is now concluding with a less fully realized Batman & Wonder Woman chapter. As always the art is simply beautiful and worth a read for fans, but I’m not sold on the two episodes featuring Diana. This is a bit of a miss for me as a reader.

We more or less pick up where we last left the four characters in this story. Batman and Wonder Woman are in “The Realm” fighting off an endless horde of relentlessly attacking creatures and laughing off their almost kiss moment from the last page of #39. Meanwhile Catwoman is escorting the Gentle Man to see his wife who lives on Earth…not sure why or how, but ok…I’ll go with it, even though its pretty flimsy for plot. As time moves differently in the two dimensions, Batman/Wonder Woman have been fighting for decades while Catwoman and Gentle Man have only been together a couple of hours. This is best illustrated in the art featuring Batman and Wonder Woman since they are shown time and again battered, exhausted, and near their breaking points.

Gentle Man, who’s name is Julian, finds his wife Angela and have their reunion. Selina has promised a short amount of time to Julian in exchange for going back to the Realm and getting Batman/Wonder Woman back to Earth. Selina observes the couple’s love and questions her and Bruce, but ultimately finds her feelings deepening. Batman too is missing his home and loved ones. Tom King employs his trademark repetition throughout, but I find what mostly works in Mister Miracle for instance, is tiresome in this context. The absolute best part for me is an exchange where Diana and Bruce are making fun of Superman’s “up, up and away!” line. The characters poking fun at this whilst fighting brutal beasts is a great bit of comic book fun.

Ultimately the issue ends with all respective parties right back where they started. Bruce and Diana have strong bonds and promise to fight the good fight, while the Gentle Man returns to his dimension. Catwoman and Batman have a brief heart to heart and end up more in love than ever. Thus ends the super friendship between the trinity and how it all relates to Catwoman aka Batman’s bride to be. The takeaway is that this pair of lovers truly belong together and somehow fit despite their differences.