Gotham and Gotham Girl seemingly appeared out of thin air in I Am Gotham (Batman #1). Batman #3 starts to pull back the curtain on who these mystery vigilante crime fighters are and where they came from. The opening sequence is a flashback (with entirely too many “piss references”) where Batman saves a young boy and his folks from a brutal mugging. Back in storyline present, we learn the tale is being told to an incognito Bruce Wayne by Gotham & Gotham Girl’s parents. We’re following the story of the world’s greatest detective.
Of course he figured out their secret identities. Although exactly how the pair achieved their superhuman abilities is still unclear. We only know it was expensive and it took place somewhere overseas. There’s a rabbit hole I’m sure we’ll head down eventually.
“The Monster Men are… coming. Aren’t they…STRANGE…?”
If you haven’t guessed by now, with the oh-so-subtle dialogue clues like the one above and two cameo appearances by none other than Dr. Hugo Strange himself, Tom King is setting us up to revisit one of the oldest storylines in Batlore, Hugo Strange and the Monster Men. King isn’t messing around with the “back to our roots” DC Rebirth concept. This story has its roots all the way back in 1940’s Batman #1.
I am thoroughly enjoying Tom King’s take on Batman. We’re seeing more of Bruce Wayne’s sleuthing abilities and disguise expertise. The chapters haven’t been excessive in their use of action sequences, but the action is well planned and executed. The dialogue and setup is where King is really starting to shine. There are more than a couple times Mr. King effectively uses misdirection to poke at readers who have extensive knowledge of Batman and DC canon. Those are my favorite setups, where you aren’t sure you’ve been had until it becomes abundantly clear three panels (or three issues) later.
Batman #3, DC Comics, released July 20, 2016, written by Tom King, pencils by David Finch, inks by Danny Miki, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by John Workman, cover by David Finch, Matt Banning, and Jordie Bellaire, $2.69
Review by Brendan Allen