Batman #75 // Review
Hitting the zenith of his proposed run on the title, author Tom King introduces a warped, twisted iteration of Gotham in Batman #75, illustrated by Tony S. Daniels, Mitch Gerards, and colorist Tomeu Morey. The opening chapter of “City of Bane” leaps the narrative an unspecified period of time ahead, to show the city under the thrall of a very different government.
Entering in medias res, the story is introduced through the lens of buddy-cop detectives, Joker and Riddler, who are investigating murders perpetrated by Two-Face, against the will of Gotham’s new regime. Through this minor plot, the rest of the world unfolds, as dark facsimiles of the Dynamic Duo, the Gotham Police Commissioner, and other city mainstays, are revealed.
While Tom King’s talent for world-building is heavily displayed, dialogue marks his authorial highlight this issue and helps ground this seemingly fantastical world in canonic reality. Discussion between Alfred and Thomas Wayne helps solidify the seriousness of the situation, particularly in regards to Bruce. Meanwhile, the conversation between Bane and a character prominent in recent pages of Justice League indicates that this Bane-run Gotham is indeed taking place in the core timeline, and not an offshoot like the world King built-in past arc,
“The Gift “.
Art this issue is split between Tony S. Daniels and Mitch Gerards. Daniels’ work is as sharp and sleek as ever; his facial expressions on Joker and Riddler portraying volumes. However, the psychotropic, hallucinogenic nature of Mitch Gerards’ art accentuates the surrealism of a Gotham being run by its criminals, and his portrayal of Professor Pyg as a Police Officer takes the cake for the best panel of the issue.
From Psycho-Pirate to Gotham Girl, Tom King’s entire run on Batman has led to “City of Bane” and the first issue of the arc absolutely delivers. Succeeding where The Dark Knight Rises failed, Batman #75 shows a compelling vision of Gotham in a world where Bruce Wayne has been broken. Whether as a standalone issue or part of the Tom King compendium, Batman #75 is an engaging look into a Gotham gone mad, and uncategorically worth a read.