This week's issue of Batman from Tom King, Mikel Janin and DC Comics is a special one. It's an absolute must read, as King's vision for Batman past, present and future is really starting to take shape.
Issue No. 12 comes in the "I Am Suicide" arc, in which Batman is preparing to raid Bane's villainous island. While that sounds like a fine and dandy action-packed Batman story, King instead has Batman traveling through gobs of bad guys as he reads a letter he wrote to Selina.
It's emotional, it's deep and, most importantly, it allowed King to put his footprint on Batman.
This now feels like Tom King's character, which was an uphill battle from the start coming on the heels of Scott Snyder's beloved run. You don't just put your fingerprint on a character by doing an deep-cutting story like this one, you do it by offering your interpretations on the character's origins.
And, that's exactly what our close personal friend TK did.
In the letter from Bruce to Selina, our main character divulges a secret that he once attempted suicide as a young, lonely and distraught boy. He tells the story of dropping to his knees, apologizing to his parents and placing a blade to his wrist until blood trickled down.
This leads Bruce into describing his dedication to fighting crime, which came as somewhat of a resolution, or self-compromise, after the suicide attempt.
The way he writes to Selina, so openly, so understanding and so sympathetic develops a connection between these two characters that I have personal never felt before. There is something more between these two characters than just being badass with nicknames, and King made that stand out.
The work of Janin cannot go unrecognized. There is no dialogue in this issue until the very last page, but you would never even notice with the emotional letter being read aloud as Batman travels through layers and layers of bad guys and lairs.
Janin's work in showing Batman as he works his way through almost makes the book feel like a shutter. It's seriously fascinating. A seemingly never-ending advancing group of bad guys, and here is Batman reading a letter as he thinks of his parents laughing at the man in the bat costume.
This is now Tom King's Batman. Welcome, as it feels like things are just getting started.
Rating 10/10: Tom King knows how to put his mark on a series. Batman #12 is bold, daring, deep and emotional. Prepare yourselves, because this is one hell of a ride and King is just getting started.