Written by: Tom King
Art by: Mikel Janin and Hugo Petrus
Batman’s latest arc from Tom King, “I Am Suicide”, has been a saving grace for the series’ early run. The initial arc was up-and-down and more often down, but three excellent parts into the Dark Knight’s makeshift Suicide Squad has made King’s work a true must-read for the first time in his Bat-career.
The build-up to this point has been rather slow, but not annoyingly so. Batman’s recruitment drive and his initial infiltration of Santa Prisca in the last two issues set up for the first shoe to drop in this third installment, and it drops in a hurry. In just the 20 pages, the story takes a dramatic turn that feels like it could go one of two ways and in either case the outcome would be worthwhile. Catwoman fans will adore this issue as she takes center stage in both the early dialogue-heavy parts as well as one hell of a cliffhanger.
I’ve long adored her and Batman’s on-and-off relationship and this issue really expresses that well, not just with words but with really captivating art. The new artist, Mikel Janin, with additional inks by Hugo Petrus, have really amplified my appreciation for the story. Nothing against the earlier issues, but the stile then just felt too mainstream. It comes with the territory of a mainline comic, but the stuff by Janin feels slightly more daring and thus more rewarding for readers.
It’s noteworthy to deliver an excellent issue of Batman in which the titular hero hardly plays a role in advancing the action. He’s present and necessary, but it’s Catwoman who steals the show, with the rest of the Suicide Squad pitching in memorable moments too. As much as the pace picks up in issue #11, it remains just the first proverbial shoe to drop. It drops in a hurry, and it now seems inevitable that the other is trailing right behind. Issue #11 stands well on its own and sets up for what should be an excellent issue #12 in two weeks.