Writer: Tom King
Artist: Ivan Reis
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Reviewed by David Hildebrand
In case you missed it, Tom King won the Harvey award this past weekend for Most Promising Talent. With titles like Marvel’s The Vision and Vertigo’s The Sheriff of Bablyon that he is currently knocking out of the park with each issue he writes, you can only question how he couldn’t have won. But today, I’m reviewing his latest issue of Batman. He has done a magnificent job with everyone’s beloved caped crusader. And I’m going to go on record saying that issue #6 has been his best issue to date.
If you have followed me and read my reviews of King’s current Batman run, you know I have questioned a few times about the use of Gotham Girl. Why is she here? She isn’t doing anything. When is she going to have some importance? The first five issues, Gotham Girl was scattered, she was never really made a big impact in the story. What was her significance? I’m more than happy to say that King has totally smacked me in the face, told me to sit down and shut up with this issue. It is fantastic!
If you haven’t read issues 1-5, then you might want to skip my review. It pretty much spoils the first arc. As I always tell you guys/gals, you have been warned!!! So here we are, Gotham Girl is dealing with the death of her brother from the last issue. We start out with seeing her talking to him but he isn’t there. I almost thought at first that this was a flashback. Then Gotham Girl begins to shave her head while telling her brother a joke. It all clicks right there, she is losing it. As you can imagine, Gotham Girl isn’t handling her brother’s demise well at all. She is still going out fighting the forces of evil, but she is slowly going insane. Batman is watching her while keeping himself hidden in the shadows, Duke is monitoring her from the cave. They both know that something needs to be done for her. But what?
This issue serves as an epilogue to the first story arc. It is very emotional and so damn good. Batman is finally able to reel Gotham Girl in and basically becomes her shoulder to cry on. They have both lost family and make that connection with one another. It felt to me that Gotham Girl continued to fight crime as a way of her coping with the fact that she has lost all of her family. She has no one else, but she has crime to fight. I think that Batman sees that and is the reason behind him standing idly by watching her as she fights crime, but never stepping in to stop her. All the events of this book lead up to the final page, where we are teased that things are about to get intense the next issue.
One thing that was missing is David Finch doing the art for this issue. I would have loved to see him illustrate this issue specifically, but Ivan Reis who takes over for him does a wonderful job. He details Gotham Girl’s fall to madness in great detail. Expressing her psuedo-happiness as she talks to herself, her fierce demeanor as she fights crime, and her sorrow as she finally comes to terms with the events leading up to her snapping.
BUY IT!!!! I finally got what I have been wanting. I got to see Gotham Girl matter and not only does she matter, but I feel for her. I hope she has a future in King’s Batman run. I would like to see her grow as a character, battle her demons, and be a hero to Gotham City. You’re missing out if you haven’t started reading this series yet. King has started out strong and it has gotten better with each issue. Let’s see what’s next!