Publisher: DC Comics
Release: July 31st 2018
Issues: Batman 38-43
I read Batman Vol. 6 as single issues.
This volume of Batman is sort of stuck in an oddly transitional period. It’s between two relatively major events; what unfolded in the last volume and the upcoming plot (which most people will know to be the Wedding by this point). That’s a tough place to be in, yet they managed to find a way to make this one worth reading.
While I’ve been really enjoying the art for Batman recently, I have to say that the cover they chose for this volume is absolutely striking. Honestly, it’s probably my favorite Batman cover to come out in a while, which is funny considering the fact that Batman isn’t even on the cover of this one.
Being that it’s between a few major plots, this volume didn’t bother trying to establish any longer term plots for itself. This was actually probably a smart move, all things considered. Instead it’s split into three distinct parts.
The first is the Super Friends plot, continuing from the last volume. Admittedly I feel like these two should probably have been put under a different plot title? Super Friends just sounds so…happy and the first part of this one (part three, if you want to get technical) is actually kind of heavy. It’s a fantastic plot, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t what I’d call light reading by any stretch of the imagination.
Long story short, Bruce and Diana get stuck in a space between dimensions. Sure, they volunteered for it; but they were not made fully aware of the sacrifice at the time. In the end its Selena’s job to get things back to normal and get them out of there.
This plot was a little concerning for many when it came out. I remember the controversy of the conclusion to one of the issues. People were concerned that Bruce and Diana were going to become a thing. This obviously upset people for a couple of different reasons. The first; Bruce and Selena are engaged, and that engagement shouldn’t change based on circumstances, right? Second, Diana is more than a minor character to be thrown around like that. Thankfully though, our fears were unfounded for the most part, and Selena did what she does best.
The second Super Friends plot is also kind of heavy, which again makes me wish they had named it something else. On the bright side it’s a Poison Ivy focused plot, and being that she’s one of my favorites I was pretty thrilled about it. The big revelation was perfect, as were the character interactions and the appearance of Harley Quinn. I couldn’t have asked for more.
The second part of this volume is a bit of a weird one. It’s titled the Origin of Bruce Wayne, but it isn’t anything that you could expect just based off that title. It actually has very little to do with Bruce Wayne, other than the idealization of his persona and circumstances. Beyond that it’s entirely about a young both who at first glance seems very much like Bruce. It isn’t until the whole truth comes out that we learn just how wrong quick assessments like that can be.
The last part is the source for the amazing cover of this volume, and it’s also probably one of my favorite issues. Well, that may be a bit of a stretch, but I still loved it. It’s all about Selena trying to find a middle ground for herself. Some sort of compromise of what she wants to be for herself, and what Bruce wants her to be. It’s a shockingly introspective piece, put into sharp contrast by the fact that Selena is gleefully ‘shopping’ (read: stealing) a wedding dress for herself. Still, it suits her character perfectly and helped to show that there will be sacrifices made to make this relationship work; just like there always have been.
This was a pretty solid volume on the whole. I still don’t know how I feel about this whole wedding business, but DC is not shying away from it and I have to give them credit for that. I do feel like they did a better job of hitting the darker tones they’ve been searching for, especially in the Super Friends parts. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of those sorts of plots, truth be told.