There’s trouble afoot at Wayne Manor
Bruce Wayne awakes in the middle of the night – and something’s not right. Villainess Poison Ivy’s up to something, and her plans just might come to fruition sooner than expected.
This issue marks the beginning of a new Batman arc after last week’s conclusion to the Superfriends saga. You can find our spoiler review for Batman #40 here. To any new readers looking to jump into the series, here’s as good an issue to start as ever. All you need to know going into this issue is that Batman and Catwoman have recently gotten engaged. This progression is pretty big, considering that they’ve been crossing paths as both lovers and foes for coming on 78 years now.
Storytelling that reflects concept
It’s a notion that a lot of writers struggle with: shaping structure, perspective and using language in ways that reflect the concept you’re trying to convey. Batman #41 performs well in this regard.
The narrative is cleverly constructed, using a secondary voice as a framing device to propel mystery. Though Batman #41 does follow Bruce Wayne, writer Tom King does not tie himself down by giving us his inner monologue too. Instead, King opts for a more encompassing approach – a stream of dialogue from Ivy as she enthralls her victims – compounding tension and questions as the story moves forward.
While the issue sets up a very bold and compelling situation, it does cause concern for issues to come. Whether King can take the time to fully flesh out all the scenario has to offer will remain up in the air until he wraps the arc up later this year. Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see where he takes the story from here.
If you’d like to check out any more of Tom King’s work, you can find our review to his acclaimed Swamp Thing Winter Special here.
Janín and King reunite
This issue also saw the return of artist Mikel Janin known for teaming up with King on projects such as Grayson and Batman: War of Jokes and Riddles.
Janin’s line work is soft yet the image pointed, straying from a generic comic book aesthetic. The change in art is a contrast to the work of Batman’s previous talented artist, Joëlle Jones, but feels appropriate in terms of reflecting Ivy’s dream-like charms.
It would be almost criminal to end this review without commending the way Ivy is portrayed visually in the issue. Despite up-and-down artwork for Ivy over the years, the villainess is drawn respectfully and powerfully in the way which she deserves.
Batman #42 hits the shelves on the 7th of March.
Batman #41: Everybody Loves Ivy
Everybody Loves Ivy marks the start of an exciting new story. Here’s to hoping future issues live up to all Batman #41 suggests.