Batman/Catwoman #6 – Tom King, Writer; Clay Mann, Artist; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: This series will be getting an art change soon as Liam Sharp takes over for the second half (before, I believe, Clay Mann returns for the finale), but this final issue of the first half doesn’t feel like there’s any behind the scenes turmoil. It’s strong as ever, as Tom King delivers pitch-perfect character work in his own little version of the Bat-verse. The past segments are more a mood piece than anything, as Selina and Joker spend a very weird Christmas together and Selina looks over her box of cat-themed tree decorations. There are some really funny lines here, but also a surprising amount of pathos as we see what she went through.
In the present day, we finally get the long-awaited showdown between Batman and Phantasm, as the enraged Andrea Beaumont has captured Selina and intends on forcing a prisoner exchange—Selina for Joker so Phantasm can gut him. We finally get the admission of exactly why she’s out for blood this time, and it’s what we expected, but it’s unveiled in a very effective way. The dispute between the two of them is something we’ve seen before—it comes up every time Batman and Red Hood face off—but the outcome here as this segment ends is unexpected and reveals a major rift between the title characters.
Finally, we’ve got a great future-set segment as Helena’s decision to confront her mother plays out in an unexpected way. Selina decides to suit up and join her daughter on patrol one last time, which includes a fun reunion with Commissioner Grayson and a great set of visuals showing off some of the villains of this future Gotham. But at its core is a compelling question of guilt and innocence, and whether murder can ever be justified. This series has always been good, but it wouldn’t be nearly as effective if King wasn’t this great at showing what drives his characters in these three different timelines.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.