Batman #47 marks the end of “The Gift” storyline. An unthinkable event is about to happen in Gotham City–Batman is getting married. In case you haven’t heard, he’s engaged to Catwoman. It sounds like an absolutely bonkers idea, but writer Tom King has elevated their long-running on-again-off-again relationship and made the idea of the proposal work.
With the impending nuptials, Booster Gold figured he came up with the perfect gift for the Dark Knight–changing history so Thomas and Martha Wayne live. Unfortunately, like many of Booster’s plans, it ended pretty badly. Now Bruce Wayne is ready to kill Booster Gold.
I’ve said it many many times, King’s Batman stories keep getting better and better. DC Comics is letting him take big risks (having Batman get engaged, Poison Ivy taking over the world, changing history in order to resurrect the Waynes, etc). This is a massive story that doesn’t require the forced grandeur or hoopla of a big “comic book event” in order to get fans to read the story. With only three issues, King introduces us to a very different, and very scary, DC Universe.
As if a captivating and compelling story wasn’t enough, this arc has also has an incredible art team consisting of Tony Daniel, Danny Miki, and Sandu Florea along with Tomeu Morey providing brilliant colors. This art team makes the characters solid and bold. Even scenes where characters are talking, the panels feel alive. They also depict Booster with a glorious beard since he’s been locked up for a year after creating massive chaos in Bruce Wayne’s life.
Did you catch that little piece of information? Booster was locked up for an entire year. This was a second one-year time jump in the arc. This isn’t just a quick and simple story. By completely changing the status quo of Batman and sending him down a completely different direction, one might simply dismiss it as a stunt for the story that will be quickly resolved. It’s just so much more than that.
Will Tom King be allowed to completely change Batman’s character while he’s appearing in other books such as Detective Comics and Justice League: No Surrender? Probably not. Despite this fact, the entire time you’re reading the story, you’ll be completely immersed and believe this is how things are.
You’ll also won’t look at Booster Gold the same way after you read the final pages.
Whether you love Batman with all your heart or just know him from the movies, you need to be reading Tom King’s Batman. If you’ve missed out on this current arc, track down issues 45-47. Heck, track down King’s entire run. Pick up the trades.
“The Gift” is an ambitious and intriguing look at how changing one event can have drastic results on the DC Universe. King continues to take daring risks and is telling different kinds of Batman stories that keeps the series fresh with each story arc. With a killer art team accompanying each of King’s intricate arcs, Batman is a must-read series.