By: Andrew Fontana
Batman #33 is an odd book. Not bad by any stretch of imagination, and definitely not boring, but among the dark and brooding depths of Batman’s canon issue, #33 shines like a particularly bright flashlight. Tom Kong’s run thus far has been pushing Bruce into a healthier place, the culmination being his marriage proposal to Selina. Issue #33 is preoccupied with the fallout of that decision as much as it is devoted to setting up the new story arc.
King uses this crazy new status quo to ask one question central to Batman’s mythology: can a guy whose prime motivation stems from the darkness of his past truly be happy, and If so, can he still be Batman? The script of this issue doesn’t tackle this head-on, but it does focus on the ramifications of Bruce’s quest for happiness. King leavens things up along the way with plenty of humor and clever dialogue that’s a welcome presence on the book. The reactions of various batfamily characters to Bruce’s more questionable decisions were especially on point. There’s an edge to all this lightness, however, and just enough of it to keep what’s a relatively straightforward plot suspenful.
Joelle Jones and Jordan Bellaire are on pencils and colors, respectively. Jones does an excellent job of capturing both the barren vistas of the desert and the interior of Wayne Mansion. There’s not much action this issue for her to work with, but the intricate detais of her pencils is enough to hope for her to stick around for this arc. Jordan Bellaire brings out the best in her artwork with his vibrant colors. He does especially well in portraying the desert scenes. His colors bring a immediacy to each panel that helps anchor the entire issue.